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?
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!)
When I feel like making myself feel bad about myself, I try to take photos. Like brewing beer, I feel like photography has become a skill that is under-appreciated. To take a good photo with film, which I’ve been trying to do for three years, is quite a difficult thing, especially if you’re used to the convenience of digital cameras. I’m not a good photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but I really like to try.1
Back in March, my housemate James and I went to the We Love Real Beer Festival, held at the Old Biscuit Mill on Albert Road in Woodstock. It’s a really interesting space with great boutiques and an excellent gourmet goods and fresh produce market held every Saturday morning.
Every six months or so, a bunch of craft brewers, mostly from the Cape, come here to showcase their wares. The usual suspects are in attendance - Jack Black, Mitchell’s, Brewers&Union et al. - along with some smaller breweries with specialist brews, including, as I found to my pleasure, a man with a beard selling big bottles of honey mead. Inside, a healthy crowd remained throughout to guzzle a wide variety of weissbiers, stouts, ales and lagers. Outside, a healthy crowd of taxi drivers waited with dollar signs in their eyes.
Although this was a good few months before I envisioned the beginnings of this blog, I brought along a (bad) camera and took a few snaps that - I hope - can give you an idea, however distorted and fuzzy, of the festival. It’s definitely worth the R30 entrance on arrival and the crippling hangover on departure.
The next festival will be held at the Old Biscuit Mill on Friday 30 September 2011, and it’s touted to be the biggest yet, so I suggest you save the date!
Oh, your entrance fee also includes a draught glass you get to keep. It’s a really nice touch.
1As an aside: I used to love Lomography, a hip worldwide film photography community, but <hipster> I have a feeling it’s becoming more and more about pretty cameras and self-gratification than about becoming a better photographer </hipster>. I was also once a huge fan of The Impossible Project, a Dutch collective that saved the original Polaroid factory in the Netherlands, and who now produce film for once-defunct instant cameras. Their products are prohibitively expensive, though, and their films aren’t yet stable enough or of a high enough quality yet to invite my continued investment. Each to his own, I guess. tl;dr photography is weird.
Sweet lord what is this my eyes are seeing this is fantastic.
As far as I know, tickets for Thursday’s dinner are still available from email@example.com for R295 per person. It may seem a bit pricey, but it also includes a takeaway pack of beer and, well, a seven course tasting meal from Massimo’s in Hout Bay. Get on it.
(For more details, including what’s on the menu, click on the flyer.)