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.
Woodmill Lifestyle Market Boutique Beer Festival
Vredenburg Road, Stellenbosch
Friday 3 February 2012, 1730-2200
Wine country gets a beer festival this weekend when the Boutique Beer Festival kicks off tomorrow night at Woodmill Lifestyle Market in Stellenbosch. A recent (and still relatively little-known) addition to Stellies’ upper crust, the Woodmill is a comfy indoor market held every Friday night from 5:30 ‘til 10, usually populated by gourmet stands, wine merchants and other ‘top-end niche products’, which I suppose might be stuff like goats cheese and macaroni picture frames.
Entrance on Friday night is R30, which naturally includes a branded glass (as is in vogue with local festivals) and five tasters. KeeZee and her Oompah band will be providing entertainment and excuses to crash beer glasses together with a semi-drunken “Prost!”.
Breweries in attendance will include Triggerfish, Darling, Paulaner and Boston, as well as Kommetjie newcomers Valley Brewery. With a lineup like that, there’s every possibility Stellenbosch might take a few more steps towards becoming beer country - even if they insist on using words like “boutique” to describe beer.
The Cape Town Festival of Beer took place this past weekend. What was supposed to be an orgiastic, transcendentally brilliant smorgasbord of delicious yeasty delights in the shadow of Table Mountain translated into what was, in effect, a nice enough weekend with some great beers and great people.
The vast majority of things about the festival wee good: smaller breweries were granted an opportunity, however limited, to show off their products to a diverse crowd; the venue was laid out well and the grass of Hamilton Rugby Club provided plenty of comfortable makeshift seating; the weather held up (albeit with a lot of wind) and the atmosphere was pleasant.
But a festival initially touted by its website as “the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere” it was not. It was surprisingly compact and unrefined: a few large plastic gazebos and a covered stage, littered with the same benches and picnic tables we last saw at SAB’s Oktoberbierfest. In fact, the whole thing suffered from a distinct lack of personality. Signage was rather spartan and the event’s logo was, well… What does a cartoon fraulein in front of a South African flag say about beer in Cape Town? Or anywhere in South Africa for that matter? Judging by the infrastructure by itself, the Cape Town Festival of Beer could have been anywhere in South Africa. It bought into an Oktoberfest mentality, where the focus is more on “festival” than “beer”.
SAB erected a massive Black Label branded bar in one corner that was disappointingly well-patronised, with women wearing Black Label-branded fraulein uniforms to remind everybody, in case they forgot, that although there are a hundred beers here, BLACK LABEL IS THE SPONSOR AND DID YOU KNOW THAT IT HAS SO MANY AWARDS GUYS.
The sponsorship of the event speaks volumes about their attitude towards local beer culture, laying bare what seem to be some remarkably strong insecurities about their products: instead of letting the beers speak for themselves, they sponsor a beer festival (which no doubt is also supposed to show their support for smaller breweries) then slap their own product’s branding on everything inside it. Of course, I’m not naive: such events need sponsors, infrastructure and dedicated organisers, but looking at the omnipresence of SAB branding, it wasn’t surprising that some breweries chose not to attend. What’s the point of showing off your own wares if the risk of SAB hijacking the event of which you’re trying to be part is ever present?
But I’m happy to say that they didn’t. The beer was spectacular. Although I will write a more in-depth piece on the beer later this week, I feel it’s necessary to point out the excellence of Devils Peak and Triggerfish Breweries in particular. In fact, I don’t think it’d be outlandish to suggest that Devils Peak’s beers are all serious contenders for the best beer in South Africa at the moment. Their IPA in particular is full, fruity and with a restrained bitterness to fit the South African palate, and their stout garnered an endless stream of superlatives from the puckering jowls of those who were able to get a sip of it.
The food was good, but the luchadore hats were better.
Unlike the WLRB Fest, the crowd at which tends to be rather homogenous (read: hip and white), the crowd here was diverse in age, background and attitude towards beer. I saw a man in a Dogfish Head T-shirt very seriously quaffing the most obscure beers on offer not ten metres from a bunch of guys playing beer pong on the picnic tables, and it was all good. Bad attitudes were absent, and I didn’t see any fights – the open layout of the gazebos and the substantial grassy courtyard area did well to relieve any potential congestion – although I did see a number of men that must have had rather substantial hangovers the morning(s) after.
But on seeing those men, it chilled me to think that most of these people drove here. Any festival which brings together thousands of people to drink intoxicating beverages should be amply cognizant of how these people get to and – more crucially – get home from it. The organisers did really well to remind people not to drive home drunk and to take home taxis or use hired drivers, but those options are expensive, often costing hundreds of bucks. So what about all that public transport, funded by taxpayer money? Well, I took the MyCiti bus from Gardens to Stadium station for R5, but then promptly wandered around lost in Green Point for 45 minutes because there was no physical signage for the festival near the venue, and no addresses or information on its website to aid people unfamiliar with the area. It was a – literally – painful oversight.
You might think I’m being overly critical or sour, but let me assure you I actually did have an excellent time at the Cape Town Festival of Beer. I drank a lot of good beer, had a lot of fun, and met a lot of very passionate people, people like Lucy Corne, who endeavoured to, and succeeded in, drinking 100 beers over the Festival’s three-day weekend; the ever-happy Mark from Keg King; Greg and the rest of the guys from Devils Peak Brewing; Kevin Wood from Darling Brewery, who seemed to be making a roaring trade; and, as ever, my friends from the Beer Garden, Rouvanne, Lenny and Jamie. I also struck up a good email correspondence with Martin, one of the main men behind the Cape Town Festival of Beer, but unfortunately didn’t get to meet him in person. (Thank you for the tickets too, Martin.) These people are all excellent.
But I don’t think LCD, Black Label-adorned fests are not what the good beer-drinking and beer-loving population of South Africa need 100% of the time. Of course, most of us don’t really know better, but that’s only because we’ve seldom experienced better. We’ve seldom experienced festivals (perhaps with the exception of WLRB) in which people have been thoughtful about creating an identity for a festival which matches the spirit of the place in which it is held. We’ve seldom experienced a festival at which cheap public transport is adequately utilised so that the threat of drunk and dangerous driving can be maximally eliminated. We’ve seldom experienced a festival at which all brewers feel comfortable, and all breweries have an equal place. That’s what it comes down to: it can’t be a city’s festival of beer if some of its biggest craft breweries pull out because they feel uncomfortable participating in it.
A year ago, I would have thought the Cape Town Festival of Beer was the greatest thing in the world. Now, I still think it was a roaringly good time, efficiently organised with the best intentions and populated by people who never fail to put a smile on my face, but I can’t escape the fact that it revealed to me the dearth of concerted consideration in these large, seemingly corporate-oriented events, even if they are streamlined, well-run and an established status quo.
We have brilliant people, and brilliant beer with personality and passion in excess – so, may I beg the question, why can’t we have festivals that are just as special?
In case you didn’t catch Monday’s post, let’s recap: last weekend Cape Town had two big beer festivals. One was a infrastructurally challenged, but excellent third incarnation of the We Love Real Beer Craft Beer Festival at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. Not 5km away, but lightyears apart in conception and execution, the weekend-long Oktober Bierfest was in full swing on SAB Newlands Village Green. I went on the Sunday afternoon to have a look around.
I have to admit: my expectations were hilariously low. Oktober Bierfest Cape Town asked R75 for a day ticket with no passouts, which meant that, if you got hungry, you couldn’t nip across the road to Dean Street for a meal or a snack. Compounding my apprehension was the knowledge that the festival worked on tokens, the website stating that each token (or crown) cost R20 and were purchased in packs of 5, meaning you had to buy R100’s worth. Beers cost two crowns, and you had to buy packs of five crowns? A good recipe for making stacks of money, I thought.
But that was just the cynic in me. Happily you could purchase as many crowns as you wanted in any quantity you wanted, so if you wanted just two crowns for one beer, you were welcome to just buy two with either cash or card.
Naturally, my first concern on arrival were the beers. SAB’s microbrewery in Johannesburg had brewed three “speciality” beers for the event, each of which were on sale for R40 per maß, which is exactly one litre. That meant that beer was cheaper here than at WLRB, but you had to buy more of it.
The three beers, the Krystal Weiss, the Munich Dunkel and the Oktoberfest Bavaria were all OK. But you can easily tell from all three that SAB know their market: they were all filtered and pasteurised. Diesel shirts and reflective sunglasses guys don’t like bits floating around in their beer - no way. Forgiving the sin of filtering, I can say that the Krystal Weiss was passable with unimaginative notes of what I could only assume were the bog standard clove and citrus; the Oktoberfest Bavaria was golden and slightly malty, but lacked body. The Dunkel was the best of the three by some way: a bit sweet with light caramel and nutty notes and a surprisingly satisfying malt.
In short, they were decent imitations of the real deal. Imitations, not because SAB are incapable of making the real deal, but because they tailor even their ‘craft’ beer to be deepthroated in lake-like quantities.
That said, the patrons here, unlike the patrons at We Love Real Beer festival, for the most part aren’t too fussed with the complexities of the beers they’re drinking. And that’s totally cool. Not everybody should be a douche about beer like I am.
An encouraging sign, however, was “brewers’ corner” in the corner of one of the sections of the massive main tent, where people could taste the beers on offer and get an introduction to how beer is made, being able to touch, smell and taste different kinds of malt, flower hops and hop pellets. (Curiously, however, no maize was on display.)
There were plenty of other nice touches too. Looking past the massive tent with its tacky fake plastic windows and flower pots, you could find a handful of old SAB memorabilia and things like Kronenberg wagons that tried to emphasise the Bavarian-ness of the event. Nothing could quite shake the feeling that it was a very shallow interpretation of Bavarian beer culture though: the beer maids were all fetishised, uniformed and had things like “tips please” written on their cleavage; the menu was composed mostly of schnitzel and wurst; and the imposing buildings of SAB Newlands surrounding the Village Green ruined the countryside feel. It wasn’t bad, no, but it felt a little like St Patrick’s Day, but with people gleefully cherry-picking the culture of Germany instead of Ireland.
The one thing that couldn’t have been criticised was the band. Singer KeeZee fronted an excellent Oom-pah band, complete with horn section, accordionist and a bunch of maß onstage, who played a long set, entirely in German, that had the crowd happy and dancing on the tables. They play every month at the Paulaner Brauhaus at the Waterfront, and I think I might go down there one night when play. It’d be bound to be a great time. (Also, I’m a big fan of Paulaner’s weiss. Two good reasons, I guess.)
I feel that I must admit here that I was comped my ticket by SAB. Oktober Bierfest was a perfectly good time with good, if mildly inauthentic, atmosphere and OK beer. Would I have gone if I didn’t have a free ticket? Probably not. R75 is pretty steep for a student, even though the entertainment is good and the festival is well run. I’d rather give my money to breweries who appreciate the patronage more and don’t see festivals solely as money-making exercises. That’s the point when it comes to beer festivals: they’re not competitions. There are different kinds of festival for different kinds of patrons.
The Johannesburg Oktober Bierfest, which takes place 27-30 October at Montescasino, is R100 entry, but I still have a feeling it’s going to be mobbed and SAB will make a killing. Would I go to it? No. Admittedly, it’s not really my type of thing, and I really dislike Montecasino. But don’t let me dissuade you: if you have a couple hundred bucks burning a hole in your trousers, don’t take your beer or your Bavarian culture too seriously and plan on getting a bit watered on Dunkel, then I’d say you’d probably really enjoy it.
Oh, but eat beforehand if you’re a vegetarian. Just saying.
This weekend past, Cape Town’s beer lovers were treated to - get this - two beer festivals, contested by the false David/Goliath dichotomy of South Africa’s beer world: on Friday night, We Love Real Beer Craft Beer Festival engulfed the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock; from Thursday through Sunday, the South African Breweries Limited hitched up immense gazebos on their Village Green for their Oktober Bierfest. These were two very different beer festivals, with two very different aims, attracting two very different crowds and producing two very different, very imperfect results. But if you just liked beer like I do, it was a treat.
But in country in which nothing is perfect and everything is a competition, it was unavoidable that attendees of both festivals would wage war over the two beer festivals this weekend on Twitter and elsewhere. In this tradition of petty name-calling and “my-opinion-is-better-than-yours” rhetoric, I will review both festivals, answering criticism and providing conjecture, over the next two days. I will begin today with:
We Love Real Beer Craft Beer Festival, Old Biscuit Mill, Friday 30 September 2011
It’s now becoming glaringly obvious that the We Love Real Beer brand is picking up momentum. Nowhere was this more evident at the Old Biscuit Mill, at which a hell of a lot of people turned up to drink some beer on Friday evening. The first time the event was held either on a Friday or in the evening, it turned out to be a difficult test for its organisers.
Not wanting to break fire laws two-thirds of the way through the evening, the organisers told the crowds that spilled out onto Albert Street that they couldn’t admit any more people. Outside, people left disappointed, cataloguing their emotions with furious taps on their smartphones. Twitter was soon abuzz.
Things were also abuzz inside, where hundreds were crammed. This naturally made walking through the hangar, where all the beer was sold, quite difficult. Few lateral paths, caused by too many tables taking up too much floor space, made getting from one side of the hall to the other an ordeal at times. The ATM broke a few hours into the festival, too, meaning longer queues at the bars as people increasingly had to use card machines to buy their beer. Cue much angst, a bit of jostling and a few unhappy faces.
Bad management, you say? Well, as much as the public jumped at WLRB’s throats, I don’t think it’s simple as that.
During the afternoon, everything seemed to be going along with precedent quite nicely: it was busy, buzzing, but pleasant. At previous festivals, the doors opened at 2; crowds milled in, sozzled themselves with delicious beer and then stumbled out a few hours later. Things seemed to be going the same way on Friday. The doors opened at 4 and the vibe was wonderful. As the sky darkened on Friday, however, it became quickly apparent that everyone in fricking Cape Town had long planned to come here for after-work drinks and a night out in Woodstock.
The festival’s usual infrastructure was quickly overwhelmed, but I think this might be more of the Old Biscuit Mill’s fault than anyone else’s. The back of the hangar, comprising a good few hundred square metres more space, was inaccessible - perhaps in view of the next morning’s Neighbour Goods Market - and the outside courtyard was not utilised well at all. OBM is a pretty big place and, although there are businesses and restaurants who operate during the evening, not using the maximum amount of space - for what was never a small festival to begin with - was asking for trouble.
And herein lies the problem: underneath everything, people tend to be assholes. Throw a thousand people into a small place, ply them with beer and watch an ever-increasing handful begin to push and act obnoxiously towards people who are in the same place as them for the same reason as them. I got to thinking that the simple mathematics of uncomfortable crowds + beer might begin to spoil a few people’s nights, and, by what I’ve been reading on Twitter and the blogz, it did.
And that is a massive shame, because - apart from the crowds and the broken ATM and the under-utilised floorspace - WLRB was such a good time. The overwhelming majority of people were there to enjoy some great beer, and some great beer they got. Boston Brewery’s Van Hunks Pumpkin Ale was a huge treat for many, as were Birkenhead’s Karoo Honey, Paulaner Bräuhaus's Weiss and Camelthorn’s Sundowner. England’s Hook Norton Breweries was also impressive. Their Double Stout is frankly once of the best beers I’ve ever had. These beers present a standard of quality that breweries new and old could all do well to strive towards.
The strangers and brewers who I spoke to as I quaffed a healthy number of delicious brews were unfailingly friendly and in good spirits throughout the evening. It stands testament to the driving force behind this festival: for the vast majority of these brewers and promoters, this is not a money-making exercise. It’s about showcasing their love for their craft, showing off their beers to a market that can very easily make or break their businesses. The spirit behind WLRB is for the most part pure, an attempt to create something brilliant without the financial backing, infrastructure and ubiquitous support that an institution like SAB has already.
To me, the crowd and venue issues are only concomitants to the ever-increasing swathes of people who are tuning in to the excellence of South(ern) Africa’s craft beer. Some people spoke of greed causing the problems. Charging R50 here as opposed to R75 per day at SAB isn’t a measure of greed. An increasing availability of beers and breweries at competitive prices with each successive festival isn’t a measure of greed. Managing to fill a venue to its capacity isn’t a measure of greed. In fact, it’s the opposite. Yes, people were incredibly disappointed to be turned away - and they have every right to feel that way - but isn’t that an indicator, for better or worse, of just how strongly people feel about beer here?
It’s no question whether or not WLRB will sort out these issues - this wasn’t a “wake-up call” as some have suggested, but rather an eye-opener for everyone to the potential of this event. Knowing the people behind it, this potential should be fulfilled, perhaps with a bigger venue, a revised admissions system or just a well thought-out refinement of what they already have in place.
What was once a buzzing afternoon event is suddenly growing up into a craft beer phenomenon. Friday night was only its awkward puberty.
I’m not yet in any state to talk coherently about last night. Until I do, please have a look at some of my pictures of what was another terrifyingly full, terrifyingly fun and terrifyingly good evening at the Old Biscuit Mill.
A beautiful short video of March’s We ❤ Real Beer Fest by Craig Hunter Parker. The next one - a celebration of all that is good about beer and food in our sometimes fraught and taxing existences - is this Friday, 30 September at the Old Biscuit Mill.
You’d be mad to miss it.
This weekend at the Toffie Food Festival at Cape Town City Hall, SAB brought along two speciality beers (along with Castle Milk Stout) on tap. They made the intelligent move of putting the taps for these three beers in the craft beer hall, amongst the Mitchell’s, Napiers and Darlings, where business was good and consistent all day. They left their taps for things like Castle Light and Black Label Draught on the other side of City Hall, in a big old room whose only saving graces were beautiful ceilings and a couple guys selling delicious looking pies.
Disregarding Milk Stout, which I reviewed last week (link), I first tried a regular SAB speciality brew, one that has made its appearance a couple times before at various beer festivals. Brewed with marula fruit, Lerula Lager had an inviting fruity bouquet, and was quite sweet and easy on the palate. As I ordered it at 11am, I didn’t drink it with great gusto, but I was impressed when the sweet marula and granadilla fruits on the palate mellowed out considerably as I continued drinking my pint. Although it lacked complexity - which I’m relatively sure SAB wasn’t too worried about with this one - the beer has good mouth feel for a lager, and remained light and delicious throughout.
I would like to point out something, though. It’s something that will only make sense if you’re a South African under 30 years of age. If you are, forget what I said above and try to remember only this about SAB’s Lerula Lager:
GUYS THIS BEER ACTUALLY TASTES A LOT LIKE SCHWEPPES GRANADILLA.
It made me a little giddy when I managed to place the taste, and, needless to say, I enjoyed the beer even more once I had done so. Recommended.
Next up was SAB’s one-off beer for the festival. It being the Toffie Food Festival this weekend, SAB’s microbrewery in Johannesburg created something quite amazing. They called it the Toffo Cream Ale.
The wafts of sweet, sweet toffee aroma that come off this beer are unreal. To be honest, it smells more like toffee than actual toffee. I was expecting a sickly sweet ale, but was surprised when the toffee bouquet translated into what was really a very mellow toffee flavour, mitigated by light maltiness and a good handful of hops. Against all expectations, the Toffo Cream Ale wasn’t sweet, nor was it creamy, come to think of it.
It was delicious with the savoury pastries on sale from the Queen of Tarts next door, and was drinkable throughout. The brewer from SAB Newlands in attendance seemed rather nonplussed when asked about it. “I honestly have no idea how they’ve brewed this,” he said dismissively.
I couldn’t even begin to guess. It probably has to do with a vat of toffee flavourant. I don’t know. I don’t really want to know, in fact.
But they were sneaky, old SAB. Each pint was R20, which wasn’t awful considering the Lerula was a speciality and the Toffo Cream was a one-off, and the money went to charity, which sounds great at first.
All money collected from the three beers on sale in the craft beer hall was donated to The Friends of the Liesbeek River.
This should ring some bells: if you were paying attention when I was talking about my visit to SAB last week, you’d have remembered that SAB Newlands only uses water from the Liesbeek in brewing their 10 Olympic swimming pools of beer each day. Although I am a conservationist at heart, this seems like quite a self-serving ploy on SAB’s part. A smart spin to put onto a worthy cause, yes, but a case of self-serving charity nonetheless. But, you know what? If the Friends of the Liesbeek River look after the African clawed frog and make sure water abstraction during the summer months doesn’t get out of hand, as well as making sure SAB Newlands have clean water with which to brew their beer as a concomitant, then good on them.
(Correction: Originally I thought SAB’s charity-giving had ulterior motives, but I have since been corrected - SAB’s water comes from a nearby, but different source. The donation is, in fact, towards an excellent cause. Apologies.)
In any case, the beer from SAB this weekend was refreshing. Yes, they’re still brewed with the utmost scientific rigours and still lacking the complexity of their neighbours in the Toffie craft beer hall, but, you know, it’s OK. The Lerula Lager and Toffo Cream Ale were imaginative, quite delicious and suited the festival in which they were sold very well.
If you didn’t get to the Toffie Food Festival this weekend, then I’m afraid you missed out on a good thing. Hopefully it will be back next spring, and I recommend that you go if you can make it. Maybe there’ll be some interesting new beers then, too.
All y’all, listen up.
Do you live in Muizenberg? No? Whatever. Do you like Muizenberg? You should.
You should also go to the Barrel and Brew Beer and Wine Festival in Muizenberg on 10/11 September, to drink much delicious beverages, eat much delicious food, buy many good-lookin’ crafts and spend some quality time with your family/lover/friends.
Bluebird Garage presents a wine and beer festival with a difference – showcasing Western Cape Boutique, Garagiste, Organic and Bio-Diversity producers, with a passion and dedication for crafting the finest tasting and quality beverages - many of which the public get to sample by appointment only. On offer will be a selection of artisanal Wines, Whiskey, Brandy, Absinthe, Gin, Cape Ruby, Beers and Ciders; including Eversons and James Mitchell Cider & Wine, Elgin Cider, Wilderer, Boston, Darling Brew, Napier, Birkenhead, Mitchells Breweries and Camelthorn Breweries from Namibia.
There will be family friendly kiddies corner too and, obviously, no alcohol will be sold to under 18’s; so there will be BOS ice-tea, ginger beer, fruit juice and spring water as well as a variety of child friendly munchies and meals on offer. For the tee-totaller or designated driver The Bluebird Pantry will also be hosting The Sweet Spot offering tea, coffee, cake, pastis, nougat and handcrafted chocolates.
Delicious vegetarian, meat dishes and pies from The Olive Station, a selection of cheese and breadboards from The Bluebird Pantry, mezze platters, chicken and chickpea stews from The Egyptian Gourmet, Dohne’s lasagnas and wraps, sandwiches, samosas, schwarmas and various other finger licking nibbly bits will be on sale.
If you don’t like the sound of that, well, I don’t know. Maybe you shouldn’t go to it then, because you’ll probably have a bad time.
More details can be found on the Facebook event here!
Image source from The Travel Manuel (link!)
Toffie Food Festival is happening this weekend at Cape Town City Hall. Day tickets are R50; VIP all-access passes are R1500.
Wonder which ticket I’ll be buying?
It’s not all bad though: that Julie chick from that Julie & Julia movie will be giving a talk, amongst other great things, so I suggest, if you have a grand and a half burning a hole in your trousers, you pick up one of the last tickets remaining at http://toffie.co.za/ ! The ticket also includes 5 meals a day (!) and lots of workshops and great conferences. If I was a yuppie, I’d definitely go. Unfortunately I have no job (this relegates me to the “hipster” demographic) and thus I cannot attend all that great stuff.
The reason I’ll be going, in lieu of Julia Child’s would-be-protegé? It seems that lots of great craft brewers and “ye olde enemy”, a.k.a. The South African Breweries Ltd., will be selling some specialist brews at the festival, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to try them! Also my housemate likes buildings and City Hall is a building so I guess he’ll want to go too. Architects, you know?
So: see you there?