Once upon a time, the only beer events in Cape Town were trips to your local with a few friends. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course, but if you wanted a real beer experience, wanted to actually learn something about the beer, you were out of luck. Beer festivals started to pop up and soon turned into fest-mania, where you’d actually have to choose between beer-centric events happening on the same day. Many of those fests are still going strong, but as South Africa’s beercurious population grows, people are looking for the next level of beer event. Enter the Craft Brewers Powwow.
Let’s quickly clear one thing up before we continue, before you click away from this page, thinking “I’m not a craft brewer so this event clearly isn’t for me”. The three-day conference/expo/get together isn’t solely aimed at those who brew professionally. It’s not even aimed exclusively at those who brew. The event is a gathering of beer lovers of all shapes and sizes – homebrewers, bar owners, craft brewers, big brewers and yes, dear drinker, you and I as well.
Held at the Hotel Verde next to Cape Town international Airport from May 20th to 22nd, the event kicks off with the homebrewers’ braai on Friday evening. Our talented homebrewing community will be showcasing their beers fo you to taste while you grab a boerie roll and wander between stands. Beers will be judged by industry experts with great prizes up for grabs. If you’d like to exhibit your homebrew, please get in touch with the SouthYeasters either via the website, Facebook or Twitter.
On Saturday the talks begin. I will be kicking off the weekend with a presentation on the SA beer scene – how far we’ve come and where we might be heading next. Berlin-based beer journalist and editor of Brauwelt International, Ina Verstl then gives a global overview of the craft beer scene. The day continues with talks on green brewing procedures, social media, what will doubtless be a fascinating session on recipe development with beer writer/brewer Horst Dornbusch and an ‘ask the expert’ discussion with a range of familiar faces in the local brewing scene. Saturday ends off with a beer and food paring dinner.
Sunday looks at some crucial topics – the importance of water in brewing, how to keep your beer from spoiling and how to set up a microbrewery in South Africa. Then we’re off on a field trip! Buses will arrive to take Powwowees (if that is not a word it really, really should be) to the impressive new Darling Brewery where we’ll be treated to a tour, tasting and lunch.
All in all, it promises to be a stellar weekend for anyone even vaguely interested in beer.
A weekend ticket is R1500, which includes the Friday braai, two lunches and the Saturday evening gala dinner.
For out-of-towners or those not wanting to drive/Uber home afterwards, there is a hotel deal on offer for R1000 per night. Check the Powwow website for full details.
And if you get on it and book quickly, there’s a 10% discount for all bookings made by the end of April 2016.