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?
The time for the Keg King Open Tap Night is almost here. On 31 March at the German Club (6 Roodehek Terrace) in Gardens, Cape Town, eight brilliant craft beers, Eversons Cider and Castle Milk Stout will all be on tap. After a taster of each, attendees can drink all the beer they want - until the kegs run dry, that is. Tickets cost R200 before the evening, and, depending on your enthusiasm, perhaps your dignity afterward.
Email email@example.com for tickets and further details.
I had a housewarming on Saturday. I recently and very happily moved into a large house in Woodstock with three of my childhood mates and one lovely woman after a year living on the mess of traffic and chip packets that is Rondebosch Main Road. We’ve worked very hard on the place: converted surplus building materials into tables and benches, battled with unstable curtain rails and painted a massive chalkboard wall, á la (500) Days of Summer. A celebration was in order, so my housemates called up their friends and put up an event on Facebook.
I called up Keg King.
Keg King is a Cape Town-based business that supplies draught beer for just about any kind of event you can think of. They supply weekend markets with local craft beer, run their own bar in the Cape Quarter, educate beer novices with their College of Beer evenings and supply starter kits for the budding homebrewer. They’re also really nice guys, to boot.
Despite the multifaceted nature of their business, using Keg King for private events is simple. Choose from a wide and still expanding list of keg options (including selections from SAB, Namibian Breweries, Mitchells, Camelthorn, Darling, Boston and Jack Black), how many kegs you want and whether you want a one-tap or two-tap unit.
Call them, place an order, and they deliver straight to your door.
It’s no frills come party day, either. Keg King delivers a compact cooling unit attached to a no-spill tap. Your keg and a small canister of CO2, which powers the pouring, are then attached within minutes. No plug points, no wastage, no mess.
Now all you need is 50 people and an iPod filled with awful dubstep.
We got one 30-litre keg of Jack Black lager for the party – nothing fancy, but something that we thought would please most of the crowd. And please it damn well did. The beer was fresh and ice cold, and the revelers loved filling up their own cups.
Fuel for a great evening, and the first of many keg nights to come.
All in all, the benefits of Keg King are numerous. It makes large parties easy, even for the more discerning drinker: there is simply no better way to bring 50 litres of your favourite microbrew into your house. It’s a gloriously simple and efficient system. Plus, it doesn’t leave hundreds of bottles and cans lying around the house.
Keg King operates in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Durban. Visit http://www.kegking.co.za, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to order your keg and let the beer and good times, quite literally, flow.
Cape Town is market city; Hout Bay is market town. Just down the road from the tourist trap stalls of the decades-old Lions Craft Market and yappy curio sellers by Mariners Wharf is a colourful and gratifyingly authentic indoor market.
In an old harbourside warehouse, made complete with wafts of rotting fish from nearby factories and docks, a hundred or so vendors of all kinds set up shop to form what is perhaps Hout Bay’s best shopping experience. (It’d be its best eating experience too, if it weren’t for Massimo’s.). Although seemingly only a godsend in comparison with Hout Bay’s other marina markets, the truth is that the Bay Harbour Market is one of the Western Cape’s best: chic but relaxed; free of posturing and entirely good-natured; buzzing but never uncomfortable.
Great produce is accompanied by craft beer supplied by Keg King. This past weekend featured local favourites Darling along with the ever-improving Napier and ever-present stalwarts Paulaner. Everson’s craft cider is also available across from the beer. Gourmet sandwiches and R15 hotdogs sit together comfortably ten metres away. Live music wafts over the busy stalls. The smoke from fried sausages and brewing coffee mingle easily in the seaside air.
But don’t let me spoil the surprises for you. Rather, let these photographs whet your appetite for a wonderful day out. The Bay Harbour Market is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Follow @bayharbourmkt, too.
Just watch out for the dive-bombing seagulls in the parking lot.