Review: Capital Craft Beer Festival 2018 in Pretoria

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Capital Craft Beer Festival happens in June, basically in the middle of the winter. It’s freezing in the mornings and super chilly in the evenings. Luckily, we South Africans are blessed with the best winter days.

And what better way than to spend a winter’s day in the sun surrounded by barrels upon barrels of craft beer? This Youth Day was spent in the right way; with great local music, a wide selection of delicious food, and of course, craft beer.

Capital Craft Beer Festival was back, and this year’s one was even better than the previous two years (which I attended). A great selection of craft beer and food awaited visitors at Pretoria’s National Botanical Gardens, together with some of the best local acts to entertain in between said beers.

Capital Craft Beer Festival 2018
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It was still rather chilly when we arrived just after 10 AM. Even though it’s hard to believe, the first beer helped warm me up a little. With such a wide variety of beer available on tap, it was hard to choose which one to start with. Call me biased, but I decided to try BraaiBoy’s “Braaibeer” (not the actual name, yet… Although my idea wasn’t part of the final two options. Watch this space to find out what it will actually be called). Now, I am not a beer connoisseur at all, if it tastes good to me, I’ll drink it. And I’ll definitely drink BraaiBoy’s beer again.

Another beer I’ll drink again and again is Soweto Gold’s Apple Ale (I lost count how many I’ve had during the day). My friend had their Cherry Ale, which is a mixture of cherry and ginger ale. I love these two flavours on their own, together was a bit weird for me, but it seemed like a lot of people (mostly girls) loved that one.

La Trappe beer is always a treat. Not only does it taste good but visiting their stall every year means running into a familiar face (but not this year, nooo). Luckily their beer was still as good as always.

From gin to ciders, craft beer to Jägermeister, there was a drink for everyone at Capital Craft Beer Festival. And if you started to feel peckish, there were plenty of food options too. Wood-oven pizza, burgers, Belgian waffles, loaded fries, churro’s, bacon wrapped doughnuts (I repeat: bacon. wrapped. doughnuts!) If you didn’t at least put on a few kilograms by the end of the day, you did the beer festival wrong.

Not only were we treated to alcohol and snacks galore, but throughout the day we were entertained by music from three stages (and a kombi or two for those not scared to sing karaoke). There was a band for every musical taste. Bands and artists like Bad Peter, Crimson House, Femi Koya, Retro Dizzy and Ard Matthews.

Christiaan Baartman rocked the Forest Stage with his country covers and soulful (and a bit of a parodious) renditions of “Over the Rainbow” and “No Woman No Cry”. We Are Charlie brought some Indie jams to the Hillbilly Ho-Down Stage. The same stage rocked with The Black Cat Bones (Deboned) – although they weren’t really all that deboned.

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Jägermeister Brass Cartel got everyone dancing and jamming along. Spoegwolf climbed into everyone’s hearts (while climbing the framework of the stage, no wonder he hurt his leg once before). The Springboks win over England added to the great vibe of the day.

Spoegwolf @ Capital Craft Beer Festival 2018
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Capital Craft Beer Festival 2018 was one heck of a day – like it always is! I’m already excited for the next one. In the meantime, I’ll just sample some more beer at either one of the Capital Craft restaurants.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Events category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

Photos by Ferdie Snyman.

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