Win one of two Good Fellas Memberships with SAB Last Round
Drunk driving needlessly costs the lives of hundreds of South Africans on our roads every year. And every year, various companies try to create the campaign that will get the message through our skulls that driving drunk is one of the stupidest things you can do.
Nothing totally works, of course - SA still has one of the world’s most prolific drink-driving problems - but if they make any discernable impact, it’s typically the more graphic campaigns, literally and figuratively, that do so.
So, as part of their Reality Check campaign, SAB have put together a surprisingly well-made online game that aims to raise awareness about drunk driving by very literally showing how drunk driving can and has affected you and your friends.
The premise of Last Round is pretty simple: after stumbling out of a party, the player is presented with a number of choices to get back home, such as calling a cab or taking a ride home with a mate. Each option has a different outcome, but the fun quickly turns bad if you make the wrong choice. Players are then encouraged to share their personal stories through Facebook. It has the potential to be a powerful campaign.
Better still, SAB is upping their message by giving away two six-month memberships to Good Fellas chauffeur services, each worth over R2500, through Suip! this week. Good Fellas are a personal chauffeur service (fancy) who pick you up from your night out anywhere in anyone of South Africa’s major centres and drop you off at home in your own car.
My apologies to Mark and Martin from Keg King for how criminally late this post is. Thanks for putting up with me.
A little over six weeks ago, at Cape Town’s German Club, a little bit of pandemonium broke loose. Ten breweries, some small, some large, some teetering on the verge of collapse, pledged over 40 kegs of beer to everyone’s favourite portable party merchants, Keg King. Two hundred people booked off their Saturday nights and bought tickets to an all-you-can-drink pour-gåsbord: Keg King’s first ever Open Tap night.
The way it works is simple: pay R200 for a ticket, of which there are only 200, receive a branded beer mug on the night, and drink to your heart, your brain and your liver’s desire. Some acquaintances of mine fretted at the price when I asked them to come along with me, but, realistically, you’d spend about R200 on a bender at any craft-serving pub or dive in the Cape. This is just streamlining the process, creating a slick, safe occasion for beer indulgence with no queues, no fuss; just a lot of beer and a lot of happy faces.
The beer came from a variegated assembly of Southern African breweries; Darling, Jack Black, the then-recently-closed Paulaner, Mitchell’s and Camelthorn to name a few. Castle Milk Stout and cider were also provided by SAB and Eversons.
Surely the evening’s highlight, however, was the offering from Devil’s Peak. King’s Blockhouse IPA is definitely a frontrunner of the latest batch of Cape IPAs: like its new labeling, it’s equal parts regal and understated, but certainly lets loose with a well-rounded hops rush. It was a knockout in more ways than one: my only remaining memory after four pints of the stuff was a conversation in slurred French with the Congolese taxi driver on the way home.
As for the atmosphere, it was certainly more genial and lighthearted than my own, already rather high expectations. Potential disaster was avoided with a Stormers victory in the big-screen Super 15 clash against the jacaranda-hued Bulls.
And with that, the party really begun.
In the end, Keg King’s first Open Tap was well organised, well patronised and, happily, very well stocked. It was a night for two purposes, really: the first, an opportunity for the party-seeking public to become acquainted with some new beers and, secondly, getting hammered on them all. Even with the amount of people drinking such a remarkable amount of beer, nothing turned sour. On a backdrop of Bundesliga and wood panelling, new friends were made and instantly forgotten, and a new kind of party took shape.
And I thought it was smashing. Have another one soon, alright?
This past Saturday, Banana Jam Cafe was host to the first iteration of the Craft Beer Project, a new alliance between brewers and beer lovers poised to fill the hole that We Love Real Beer left with its seeming dissolution half a year ago.
Unlike We Love Real Beer’s gatherings, the Craft Beer Project has begun somewhat smaller; trading graphic design and branded glass bombast for something a bit simpler, a bit less crowded and, as a result, a touch more friendly. The idea, put most simply, is to have smaller, more regular mini-festivals (in contrast to WLRB’s bi-annual Biscuit Mill explosions) that are more approachable and more conducive to easy gathering, and letting craft beer become a more regular part of Cape fabric.
Of course, WLRB festivals were always about that too, but the atmosphere at Banana Jam was more genial: spacious, easy-going and accessible. With an excellent selection of beers on tap and in bottle from Darling, Boston, Triggerfish, Devil’s Peak, Porcupine Quill (Botha’s Hill, KZN), Three Skulls Brew Works (JHB), Anvil Ale House (Dullstroom, MP) De Garve Brewery (Vanderbijlpark) and others - combined with a special menu of beer-infused bistro dishes - it was a delicious snapshot of the undercurrents running beneath different sections of SA craft, without the hype and noise.
The highlights of the day for me were new brews from the BruHouse - Maui Point, a mellow but complex IPA brewed with Riwaka hops from New Zealand, was especially fulfilling - and Paulaner’s swansong Salvatore, a refined doppelbock with a sweet, caramelly roast and finish laden with plum; a bittersweet send-off from the Cape Town Brauhaus.
As the day wore on and the crowd at Banana Jam remained healthy and quietly thronging, it became clear that the Craft Beer Project is trying to show that beer celebrations need not be all-encompassing or stupendously large orgiastic days out. The crowd happily buzzing, the beer quickly flowing. No angst and no show - the beer very capably spoke for itself.
But that’s enough of my observations and probably incorrect postulations. I hope you enjoy these few photos of an essentially simple, happy afternoon in Banana Jam’s sun and reggae-laced courtyard.
Starting tonight I will be starting guest appearances on Gary Cool’s Rock Dimension on 2OceansVibe Radio, to talk about beer and ramble on about all things Cape beer-related. I’ll be on from 21h30 or so to stutter uncontrollably and attempt to relay some semblance of news about this weekend’s local beer festivals and some other beer stuff. The rationale behind this is that “rock and beer go well together, so eh, may as well.”
I used to be on radio a long time ago (read: two years ago) as a presenter on Rhodes Music Radio in Grahamstown, where I used to host a specialist indie rock show on Thursday nights. It was generally well-received and popular on a station whose forté was house and Top 40 (and broken in-studio headphone sets.) I generally had a good time there, although after one particularly tough day in studio I went to the Rat and Parrot, drank far too much, then went back into the studio where I promptly fell asleep live on-air.
The consummate professional, I know; but with all that said, it’ll be good to be back on-air.
2OceansVibe is South Africa’s (and possibly Africa’s, but I wouldn’t want to be too presumptuous) largest digital radio station, using the freedom that online radio provides to create a station that allows its presenters the freedom to fully express their aural ambitions (and allows them to drink beer in-studio, a freedom Gary and I are looking to put to good use in weeks to come.)
So, in short: tune in on Thursday nights at 20h00 on 2OceansVibe Radio, and discover that I have an American accent, despite not being an American. Quelle surprise!