Category Archives: Beer Festivals

oktoberfest

Where are you celebrating Oktoberfest? Here’s our selection of bierfests

You never really need an excuse to drink more beer but we’ll give you one anyway. October is to beer what November is to hastily-grown moustaches. This is our month and boy, are we excited to get our beer moustaches going. With everyone getting into the spirit of beer, it’s pretty hard not to get swept up in all the oompah music and lederhosen. October is not about asking why, but asking why not! We say lederhosen away! Do up your dirndls and pigtails! We’ve put together some of the best bierfests to check out across the country. You don’t have to go to all of them, but you could try.

oktoberfest

Bierfests in Cape Town

Don’t think for a second that just because it’s Cape Town, that the local version of a bierfest is a toned down version where everyone just listens to soft jazz while laying about on throw pillows. Cape Town knows how to party like the best of them.

Cape Town Bierfest

Where: Newlands Brewery
When: 6–8 November
What: This is one of the big ones on the calendar with events in Durban and Johannesburg as well. And as a bonus you can buy legitimate imported leather lederhosen. (Say you’re buying them for a friend but then just don’t give them to the friend.)
Website: www.bierfest.com

Oktoberfest At The Blaauwklippen Vineyards Market

Where: Blaauwklippen Vineyards
When: 25 October 2015
What: What’s better than a little bierfest off the beaten track? Free entry with a selection of local craft legends will be available such as Wild Clover, Striped Horse, Erdinger, Darling Brew, CBCJack Black’s, Eversons Cider, Sir Thomas and Birkenhead. It’s like seeing the lineup of all your favourite bands.
Website: www.blaauwklippen.com

DSK Bazaar 2015

Where: German International School of Cape Town, Tamboerskloof
When: 31 October 2015
What: A classic Oktoberfest with a hint of German traditions. Think cakes, bratwurst, meatloaf, pretzels and, of course, a classic beer tent with live oompah band music. There’s also a huge variety of activities for kids and interesting stall and exhibitions.
Website: www.facebook.com/DSKBazaar

Bierfests in Johannesburg

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the ‘City of Gold’ got its name from well, all the gold. But it actually gets its name from throwing quality bierfests. (Don’t fact check that.)

Johannesburg Bierfest

When: 9–11 October, 16–17 October
Where: Montecasino
What: The Johannesburg installation of the nationwide celebration is offering two weekends to get you into the spirit this year. Which means if you buy lederhosen you’ll have two excuses to wear them (unless you have a wedding in between, then it’s 3 occasions.)

Oktoberfest, German Country Club

When: 24 October
Where: German Country Club,
What: Another great bierfest with everything you would expect. Above and beyond the oompah band they even have country and rock with a jumping castle for the kids. There’s also a drindl fashion show on the 10th of October at the same venue. Just so you know.
Website: www. germancountryclub.co.za

Brauhaus Am Damm Oktoberfest

When: 31 October
Where: Brauhaus Am Damm
What: An Oktoberfest in a beautiful setting with of course a legitimate oompah band means they’re taking this very seriously. Also they say there’s a DJ in the cellar which we assume is a venue and not a hostage situation.
Website: www.brauhaus.co.za

Durban

Escape to the KZN midlands, situated only 1 hour from Durban and 15 min from PMB, the Pecanwood Oktoberfest is the perfect get out of the city event.

Peacanwood Oktoberfest

When: 10–11 October
Where: Peacanwood, KZN Midlands
What: A festival with some of SA’s best loved bands, camping as well as a trail run if you’re into that sort of thing.
Website: www.oktoberfestkzn.co.za

Port Elizabeth

An annual landmark event for Port Elizabeth, the Oktoberfest in true tradition is going to be no different.

Where: German Club, Lorraine
When: 23-25 October
What: There’s a legitimate Oompah band from Austria playing – itdoesn’t get more authentic than that!
Website: www.online.computicket.com

Since the whole world is kind of swept up in the spirit of Oktoberfest, there might be a few we’ve missed out. So if you know of any good bierfests we haven’t mentioned then let us know! It’s like we always say, “There’s no such thing as too many bierfests.”

Well, we don’t always say that but we’re going to start now. Enjoy and remember, attending an Oktoberfest is germandatory.

Prost!

jozi-roadshow

Top 10 highlights from our Jozi Roadshow

We spent just over a week in Gauteng recently; visiting brewers; hosting events; meeting with people to discuss the business of good beer; hanging out with craft fans; enjoying a festival and some tastings at crafty venues; and generally having a good old craft beer infused time. For those of you who couldn’t join us, here are some of our highlights.

jozi-roadshow

1. Top 10 highlights from our Jozi Roadshow

  1. The main man behind League of Beers itself can do a lot more that brag about his BJCP knowledge and is now affectionately known as Rob ‘Dancefloor Destroyer’ Heyns.

  2. Swagga brewery exceeds expectation. It is big, shiny and really well put together.

  3. You can definitely enjoy a mammoth beer tasting (16 beers) at an intimate venue and we did just that at The Common Room and also at Wolves Cafe.

  4. Capital Craft is an iconic watering hole and a must visit destination for craft beer lovers in Pretoria.

  5. No palette is too small for a 16 beer tasting and pairing – if you don’t believe us – ask anyone who enjoyed Chef Roy MacAskill’s popular spread at the Beerhouse tasting.

  6. Don’t underestimate brewer’s that come in pint-sizes! Anyone who’s had the pleasure of enjoying a craft with fire-cracker brew mistress Apiwe Nxusani of Brewhogs Brewery will know that.

  7. The Jozi Craft Beer Fest is an awesome way to spend time tasting some of the best beers on offer from South Africa and meeting the people behind those beers!

  8. People are STILL super blown away and surprised when we tell them exactly what it is that League of Beers does – sourced craft beer delivered free to your door – woah?

  9. The most rewarding thing on the job – exposing someone who never thought they’d like ‘strong beer’ to the beauty of craft and unusual beers like the Innis & Gunn or Estrella Galicia and seeing that expression on their face when they realise ‘hey this stuff is delicious’.

  10. Jozi’s craft beer scene may be a few years behind Cape Town but the force is strong and growing, and the people over there – are thirsty!

beer-country-in-jozi

2. Best of the Show at the Jozi Craft Beer Fest 2015

The Jozi Craft Beer Fest was once again a phenomenal event but when it came to favourite beers and brewers, these three came out on top:

1. Smack Republic with their Newtown Nemesis Stout
2. Aces Brewing with their Flaming Ginger
3. Standeaven with their Hoptimist IPA

Expect to see these beers in your upcoming Monthly Mixed Cases.

3. Winners at the Jozi Craft Beer Fest:

If you subscribed to our newsletter at the Jozi Craft Beer Fest 2015, you had the chance to win beer for a year. True’s Bob. For the next 12 months this lucky person will receive our monthly mixed case and it’s on us. And the winner is Stuart Last. Congratulations!

The Overall Winner of the Instagram Competition:

Michael J Gatti who managed to get enough people in his photo to make up an entire mixed case. He also wins beer for a year.

We hope we see your beer swilling faces at the next festival and if you’re not into beer yet but are keen to be part of the craft beer experience, come find us and we’ll teach you everything we know. Three cheers for beer bringing us together.

Craft beer at the Clarens Beer festival

The Clarens Craft Beer Festival

Grab your best beer-drinking shoes and get ready to toast SA’s rare and top brews at the Clarens Craft Beer Festival on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd February. This festival offers beer lovers the chance to sample a variety of beers within a few footsteps of each other. Use this time to drink in the festivities, discover new beers, expand your palate and hang out with like-minded beer folk. Sound like a plan? Here are the details.

Clarens-beer-festival

Brewers to look out for

The Clarens Craft Beer Festival will feature some of South Africa’s finest micro-brewed beers. Check out some of the breweries that will be in attendance:

Dog-and-fig-clarense-beer-fest

Activities and entertainment

A variety of gourmet food stalls, live music entertainment, as well as a kids play area make this a festival that adults and kids alike can enjoy. The Friday concert is set to be a festival highlight with top local artists such as Matthew Mole, Van Smith, Slipstream and Rooibaardt performing. The town of Clarens itself is a hidden South African gem, making a trip to the Clarens Craft Beer Festival equally awesome for the non-drinkers in your party.

Clarense-beer-fest

Time, dates and tickets

The Clarens Craft Beer Festival is set for Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd of February this year at Clarens Village Square in Clarens, Eastern Free State. Head this way to book your tickets for the festival. Tickets include a free Clarens Beer Festival Glass. Book now and you can save, tickets are more expensive at the door.

Whether you are a thirsty traveller or a local beer lover, head over to the Clarens Craft Beer Festival for some hand crafted brews, gourmet food and live entertainment.

We’ll be there sourcing great new craft brews to bring to you, so pop over and raise a glass with us.

SA-Beer-Fest-beer-tap

Are you coming to the Cape Town Festival of Beer?

As you may well have noticed, November, along with being the month for mo’s, is also the month for celebrating the glory of the golden brew. And as luck would have it, the Cape Town Festival of Beer, the big daddy of all beer festivals, is right around the corner. Are you coming? Here’s the hype.

SA-Beer-Fest-beer-tap

Cape Town Festival of Beer is a happy celebration of our craft beer brewing heritage, both locally and internationally. Feast your eyes and hoppy taste buds on more than 200 beers, brewed up by over 60 different breweries, some made especially for this mega festival.

Some brewers to look out for:

Lakeside Beerworks

Set in the picturesque Kommetjie Valley, Lakeside Beerworks prides itself on being a naturally brewed and honest beer, produced from the finest ingredients. Stretch your palate with their malty American Pale Ale, subtle roasted caramel Red Ochre Ale and banana/bubblegum Hefeweizen beer at the festival this year.

Triggerfish

Triggerfish Brewing, situated just outside Somerset West, has become a respected brand in the Western Cape with a focus on brewing exceptional ales. Their craft beer line-up includes six staple beers, with plenty of seasonal and once-off brews, like the Kraken, a 1000 IBU beer, the bitterest ever made in Africa.

Devil’s Peak Brewing

As the name suggests, Devil’s Peak Brewing, a Cape Town based microbrewery, combines tastes from the US and Belgium with an injection of Mother City flair. Expect rich flavour and plenty of character in their Woodhead Amber Ale, Kings Blockhouse IPA, First Light Golden Ale and Silvertree Saison, all on exhibit at the festival.

Robson’s Beer

Not only the part-owner of the brewery that produces the award winning beer Robson’s Beer, Donn Stewart is also a passionate advocate of responsible drinking and will be cycling a massive 1972 kms from the Shongweni in KZN to the Cape Town Festival of Beer to raise awareness around his cause. Be sure to stop by to hear about his travels and grab one of 100 special edition Double Indian Pale Ale which will be auctioned at the festival with funds going to the South Africans Against Drunk Drivers association.

Dalring-slow-beer

For those with a taste for international beer do not miss the Belgian Beers, Celis White and Carolus Gouden Classic, which both won awards at the Festival of Beer in Joburg this year.

Activities and entertainment:

Family fun

There will also be some brewing demonstrations, the best beer awards, food and beer pairings and guided beer tours so you can learn more about the appreciation of artisanal beer. There will also be plenty of food stalls and live music to assist in getting your beery groove on. Did we mention the wine options and kiddies play areas with child minders? Indeedy.

Rugby fans

Don’t fret about missing out on the rugby folks. You can catch it live on the big screens at the festival, so book a table at info@capetownfestivalofbeer.co.za. Not a rugga fan? No stress.

League of Beers in action

League of Beers will of course be there, showing some grizzly mo faces and our very own Rob, will be doing some expert judging at the beer competitions. Pop by and say hi.

Cape Town Festival of Beer Giant-Beer-Pong

Time, dates and tickets

The Cape Town Festival of Beer is set for the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of November this year at Hamilton’s Rugby Club in Green Point, Cape Town (next to the V&A Waterfront).

You can buy tickets directly from League of Beers at a special price of R100. Head this way to book for Friday, Saturday or Sunday (you’ll need to log in to web tickets). Offer excludes beer glass. Also, if you’re feeling like there’s a four leaf clover hiding in your pocket, keep your eyes open for our ticket give-away competition popping up on our League of Beers Facebook page.

See you there, craft beer drinkers.

craft food fair

A Food Craft dining experience

For all you Cape Town folk, could we possibly grab your interest in an evening of craft beer and food tasting on Wednesday 13th November? Our League of Beers, Rob, will be there pairing some of the best craft beer in SA with artisanal food in a quaint bistro. You in?

Food-Craft-advert

Magpie Creative have put together this nifty ensemble, hosted by Eat.Art,  of all things local and delicious so you can simply rock up and enjoy the vibe. So what’s in store?

A R270 ticket gets you well fed by the folks at Pink Boutique and BistroThe Flying Pan and some treats from Sazali Chocolates and let’s not forget well watered with some Waverly Hills Organic Wines and multiple beers from CBC, Citizen and Boston presented by our very own Rob from League of Beers.

So if you’re free on the 13th of November get hold of Shané on 021 701 8785 or email foodcraft@eatart.co.za to get your hands on one of these tickets for a truly one of a kind Cape Town event.

Hope to see you there, beer fans.

craft beer festival

Big House Craft Beer Fest ticket give away

Like moths to a flame, so are craft beer fans to a good beer fest. If you’re in Pretoria on Saturday the 19th October 2013, do yourself a solid and swing by the Big House Craft Beer Fest, taking place in Jan Smuts Museum, Irene. Want to win tickets? Read on.

Big-House-Craft-Beer

Seven of SA’s most exclusive breweries will be showcasing over 31 types of micro brewed beers on the lush lawns of General Jan Smuts’ tree topped sanctuary and we just so happen to have two sets of double tickets to give-away.

The following craft beers will be available for tasting:

Boston Breweries
Chameleon Brewhouse
The Cockpit Brewhouse
Clarens Brewery
Copperlake Breweries
Three Skulls Brew
Dragon Brewing Co

Aside from a good sip of golden ale or lager, this craft beer fest also promises some foot stomping entertainment.

Craft beer festival

So what do you have to do to win these precious tickets? Simple. Leave a comment below this post about your best craft beer experience thus far and you just might be the lucky one to snatch up an arvi of beer filled goodness with a buddy. If your crafty comment doesn’t win you the tickets, don’t worry, we also have one mixed 6-pack beers of Chameleon Brewhouse to give away. Times are good. You have until 16:00 pm on Monday the 14th to enter. Cheers.

Head to Big House Craft Beer Facebook page for more info.

Jozi Craft Beer Festival

Jozi Craft Beer Fest 3.0: Festive Feedback

Giving feedback to this event is like asking someone what the Cobra was like at Ratanga straight after it stops. I mean, where do I start? Do I start by talking about the event as a whole, or do I start by talking about the vibe, or should I kick off with a bit about the awesome food stalls that were available or should I start by talking about the great people I met?

The answer is yes. I wish to cover all these things so here I go.

Where and when and how

The third annual Jozi Craft Beer Fest took place at Marks Park sports club on the 4th of May from 10am-7pm. It was a beaut of a day that turned surprisingly chilly in the evening. I bought tickets through Webticket for R100 and got a branded beer mug thrown in. Many people pitched up on the day to buy tickets and were turned away as they had already reached the 3000 capacity limit. This was very sad for those thirsty folks on the other side of the fence, but in all fairness the venue couldn’t have handled anymore and it was a wise (but tough) decision to limit numbers for safety purposes.

Vibe

There was live music playing the whole day. There was some amazing food offered at the food stalls, my favourite for the day being the burgers from The Counter Love by Meg Pascoe, plus there were qualified child minders so the parents could relax and take part in the craft beer wonderment. My one complaint about the food would be that the queues were way too long. Hopefully the very pro organising team can sort that out by next year by bringing more food.

Who

The guest list of brewing royalty was made up of the following:

  • Some big wigs: Darling Brew, Jack Black Brewery, Boston Brewery
  • A few old favourites: Devil’s Peak Brewing Company, Clarens Brewery, Citizen Brewery, The Cockpit Brewhouse
  • The experienced hands: Mitchell’s Brewery, Robson’s Brewery, De Garve Brewery, Drayman’s Brewery, Mogallywood Brewery
  • The new kids on the block: Smack Republic, Cape Brewing Company
  • Outside hero’s: Jorgensen’s Craft Distillery, Alphabet Wines, Everson’s Cider
  • The local celebs: Copperlake Breweries, 3 Skulls Brew Works

I was in awe at how the craft beer community has grown in the past few years. The quality of craft brews that are coming out of South Africa are a force to be reckoned with.

The League

While we were out there enjoying the company and seeing the sights, I was also on the hunt for a final selection of beers for our Jozi Craft Fest Mixed Case. We wanted to make the best possible selection so we combined our own opinions with those of the festival goers to ensure that the most popular beers made the case. We encouraged as much feedback as possible by holding a competition and we then used the reviews on our site to get a feel for the most loved beers at the festival and tailored the case appropriately.

Fortunately, we had a flurry of feedback, making the final decision on the mixed case selection very tough. The winner who had one of the best comments on our site – Neil Jenkins won a Jozi Craft Beer Fest Mixed Case for his awesome contribution, “Cockpit Black Widow Stout: An incredibly well brewed stout, unmistakable roasted flavour without being over the top and bitter, delicious!” Although it was difficult to choose, as it seemed like Neil managed to taste and comment on beer from every brewer at the festival! Ironically, Andre ran out of Black Widow at the fest, but that doesn’t mean it won’t sneak its head into the June mixed case. I’m just saying, you know, maybe.

In closing, let me say that I am chomping at the bit for the next Jozi craft beer fest. A huge round of applause to Jason and Chris from Craft Liquor Merchants and the team from Beanstalk for bringing together this monster event. I know they are only aiming to do more next year. Best to put a reminder in your phone now so you don’t forget to buy tickets!

Yours expectantly,

Rob

Jozi Craft Beer Fest 2013

Jozi Craft Beer Fest 2013

Jozi Craft Beer Fest 2013So the long awaited Jozi craft beer festival 2013 is almost upon us. For the craft beer enthusiast, this is a huge event on the calendar. Not only does it boast an incredible selection of craft beers, it also gives craft beer lovers the opportunity to see the greater craft beer community. If you are anything like me, you spend a lot of your time at braais explaining the difference between an ale and a lager or trying to back up why micro-breweries deserve the support of South Africans, so I relish the moment where I can just relax in the presence of like-minded people without having to explain a thing.

But for those unlucky few among you that cannot attend the Jozi Beer Fest, I have a suggestion: a runner-up prize if you will.

The League of Beers is tailoring their May mixed case to the host The Best of the Fest. That’s right. If you can’t make the festival, you can organise a tasting at a convenient time when you can.

I see that got your attention.

We’re also hosting a competition in honour of this case. Just post a review of your favourite festival beer on our website (www.leagueofbeers.com). The winning review wins a May mixed box – signed, sealed and delivered to your door.

The Jozi Craft Beer Fest is going to host around fifty different craft beers so be prepared for a lengthy tasting process. And if you can’t get around to tasting them all, the League stocks most of them so you can always order online. That was one of the reasons we started the League of Beers – because it was so hard to find a good craft beer in South Africa when you wanted it.

Appreciating craft beer gets you to level one in my books, but being able to pair beer with the correct food and circumstance: this is impressive. We will be hosting tastings as well as dinner and beer pairing events at various locations in Joburg leading up to the Festival to give you a head start. The first one will be a full craft beer dinner on Thursday the 2nd of May at Eatery Joburg and the second event will be a craft beer and food tasting and pairing evening at Wolves on Friday the 3rd of May.

And be warned: if you are not a craft beer enthusiast, do not attend this Festival. If you do, you will leave a changed person.

See you there!

Rob, the self-proclaimed beer geek

Jozi Craft Beer Fest 3.0