It all began in a tiny pub in Greyton. I love singing. Can’t say I’m particularly great at it. I don’t think I’d make the joke reel on X Factor, but I certainly wouldn’t be getting any golden tickets either. I do love a bit of karaoke though and after an epic night commandeering the microphone in The Village Pub last year, it kind of became my thing. I celebrated my 40th birthday belting out Sweet Child o’ Mine at Beerhouse, I happily returned to the aforementioned pub to ruin the peace again in April and the spontaneous group renditions of Bohemian Rhapsody were so – ahem – memorable at this year’s Fools & Fan Fest there is actually talk of adding karaoke to the entertainment programme next year.
And now, lovers of beer and silliness, I bring you a six-pack of karaoke collabs. The idea came to me in the middle of the night: beers inspired by the lyrics of karaoke classics (or at least, songs I like to sing in the shower). The beers – small batch, once off brews – would be available exclusively at the Woodstock Winter Beer Festival, taking place at the Castle of Good Hope on July 27th.
I approached six breweries and they all said yes, though some didn’t quite read the brief and were a little alarmed when I turned up on brewday with a camera crew – the awesome MS Retief and Schalk Hanekom (camera/sound/editing team behind SA beer documentary Brewing the Republic). And so began some of the most ridiculous, hilarious and utterly enjoyable brewdays in history. Or at least that I have been to.
The videos saw normally shy brewers singing, dancing, clowning, playing epic air guitar, donning wigs, whipping off shirts and in one case, pretty much perfecting their running man. And yes, of course you get to see these videos in all their edited glory. The first of the videos, featuring the team from Drifter Brewing Company, airs this Thursday (4th July). Then in the lead up to the festival, videos starring Afro Caribbean Brewing Company, The Kennel Brewery, Urban Brewing Company, Metal Lane Brewery and Little Wolf will follow, each vid unveiling the limited edition beer – and the brewer’s previously unseen musical talents. Then come and join us at the festival on July 27th to taste all six of the beers – and perhaps to belt out a few lines of karaoke with us as you sip. Tickets are selling out quickly, so get over to Quicket now and nab yours before it’s too late! Every brewery there will be showcasing a once-off festival brew (they just won’t all be singing about it).
I cannot tell you how much fun this project has been. I laughed, often until I cried, at every shoot. I learnt a little about brewing from every collab, I sampled plenty of beers while we brewed and I was reminded once again just how much fun beer can be. We sometimes get a little pretentious about the whole craft beer thing and the Karaoke Collabs are meant to remind everyone that while beer is complex and nuanced and all of those things, it is above all meant to simply be enjoyed, whatever you choose to drink. And whatever music you choose to listen to while you drink it.
Check out all the vids here: