It doesn’t matter if you’re a brewer or a drinker, and it doesn’t matter where you’re based in the country – Beer Boot Camp: the Global Edition is going to be awesome. After a highly successful inaugural event in Johannesburg last year, the one-day beer conference is back with more speakers from more countries and it’s being held in more cities (well, one more city).
Boot Camp kicks off in Johannesburg on July 2nd, but this year, Capetonians will get their chance to participate as well, with Boot Camp moving to the Mother City on July 9th. I am particularly pleased about this, as there is no way I’d be missing out on hearing from the range of speakers appearing and this saves me flying to Jo’burg.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out why it’s called “The Global Edition” – this year’s speakers come from the USA (Randy Mosher and Neva Parker), the UK (Pete Brown), Germany (Christina Schönberger), New Zealand (Mazen Hajjar) and our very own JC Steyn will also be giving away some of Devil’s Peak’s secrets… “As usual I keep an eye on what is happening at the big brewing conferences around the world,” organiser Wendy Pienaar says when asked how she chose which speakers to invite. “Dr Christina Schoenberger presented in the States last year and her presentation had received very high praise as did Mazen Hajjar at the Australian conference. I also included some of my personal favourites while trying to cover the topics the delegates said they would like to hear more about.”
Personally I can’t decide if I’m more excited to hear Randy Mosher telling me why (almost) everything I know about beer history is wrong or discovering if Pete Brown is as funny in person as he is in his books (and why he’s [mostly] lying to me about beer history).
Wendy’s passion for beer in general and Boot Camp in particular is quite infectious and if even a fraction of it spills over into the conference, you’re in for something truly wonderful. Alongside the speakers there will be an expo area and plenty of local beer to taste throughout the day. If you’re in two minds at all about whether to pay the very reasonable R850 fee, perhaps Wendy can convince you. “This is the one day of the year when you can be totally surrounded by all things beer, be immersed in the smells of hops and malt, listen to people talk beer and drink craft beer all day! All this while surrounded by people just like you who are completely in their element loving every beery moment!”
I know I’ll certainly beer there (but I promise not to make crap puns like that all day).
Beer Boot Camp takes place at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg on July 2nd and at the River Club, Cape Town on July 9th. Tickets are R850 per person, which includes snacks and lunch. Book your tickets now to avoid disappointment – last year, everyone I know who didn’t go got the world’s worst case of FOMO.