South Africa’s beer scene is fairly young. Microbrewed beers really only took off five or six years ago and most of the styles we find in our fridges today have only been around a year or three, so it might surprise you to know that there’s a beer festival that’s been taking place in SA for the past decade.
I think it’s fair to say that The Solstice Festival is quite unlike most of the country’s other beer events. Describing itself as “famously relaxed”, you can expect groups of guitar-playing beer-drinkers camping out on the dusty farm, providing their own soundtrack to the event (although of course, live bands are also in attendance). I’ve only been to the festival once, but if that was anything to go by you can expect a quirky crowd doing anything from sipping pints while clad in chain-mail attire, throwing tomatoes at people in stocks, and of course, beer lovers chatting to the festival’s most famous attendees – Dirk’s donkeys.
Dirk van Tonder brewer-owner at the Irish Ale House in Broederstroom, is the festival’s founder. You’ll find beers from the self-confessed “Style hillbilly” on tap at the festival alongside a variety of other local brews (breweries are still to be announced). Tickets for the fest are R150, but to celebrate the 10th birthday of the fest, I have 10 tickets to give away to you, lucky beer-drinking reader! To win one of the five pairs of tickets, all you have to do is tweet this:
Simple, right? And for those of you not on Twitter, head over to The Brewmistress Facebook page, find the correct post and like/share/comment. Winners will be announced on June 15th.
Solstice Craft Beer Festival takes place on June 25th at the Irish Ale House in Broederstroom, from 10am–6pm. Tickets are R150, which includes a branded glass. For more information check out the website or book tickets here.