The Craft Beer and Wine Festival held at the Cape Gate undercover parking area sounded ominously delicious, reckoned our Taste team The Truman Show


Craft Beer and Wine Festival: The Truman Show

The Craft Beer and Wine Festival held at the Cape Gate undercover parking area sounded ominously delicious.

The sun shone deceptively in the background as we followed the signs to the specific underground parking area. We expected cold, dark and dingy. What a pleasure it was then to walk into an invitingly, warmly lit, spacious underground parking area with high-ball tables sporadically scattered around for people to sit at in this surprising venue.

The organisers were at the entrance to welcome whilst a ginormous gothic potted array of Cape flowers sitting high above the ground, dared one to enter the #CGBeerAndWinefest. How jolly spectacular! On entering we were each given a wine tasting glass and plastic tumbler (hic) for the craft beer. We were also given a coupon card allowing each guest 20 tastings of beer or wine. The idea being, that when you decided on what you wanted to taste, the exhibitors would tick off one tasting on the card. Very clever! This allowed guests to taste whatever they wanted of the generous portions given by the wineries and breweries showcasing their specific offerings. The back of the card enticingly offered guests a chance to win a two night stay at INNSCAPE Castle Hotel valued at R3300. And all one had to do was rate the festival and pop the card in the competition box. A marvellous way of evaluating the success (or failure) of the festival.

The Craft Beer and Wine Festival wines

The music from the live bands blared in the background whilst people bobbed on the spot, wine or beer in hand. Others ambled about the various stalls tastefully lined around the edge of the venue. Heavy wood tables and benches were located near the food carts inviting people to sit together and share – well not their food, just their space. We sat at one of the tables taking in the size and general layout of the venue to decide our plan of action; We wanted to head straight to the wine whilst the others wanted to start with the craft beers. And with 20 tastings – we needed a plan. The most profound comment that described this festival came from a friend who looked around nonchalantly and said: “It’s nice. It’s nice to see so much diversity at festivals such as this. Normally, you would not find that.” This rendered us silent as we all sat appreciating our surroundings and the colourful buzz. Snap! There’s wine!

Craft Beer and Wine Festival: The Truman Show

More surprises. As we ambled about the wine stalls we found that many of the wineries show-casing their wines were from farms based outside the more popular regions in Cape Town. Wineries from as far afield as Robertson, Montague, Ashton, Bredasdorp, Vredendal, Upington – wait, there is a wine farm in Upington?? Elim? What was the Garagiste Movement? We were wrecks, thirsty for knowledge, and wine. It was a treat listening to stories shared by the various wineries of their love for their craft. Remember these names; Orange River Cellars based in Upington in the Northern Cape, Black Oystercatcher Winery based in the small missionary town of Elim, meaning ‘Place of God’ (yes, we’ve been), Kranskop and Excelsior Wineries which are both based in the Robertson/Ashton areas, Bellpost Cellar situated on the banks of the Olifants River near Vredendal on the West Coast. And for those aspiring wine makers, do check out the Garagiste Movement.

The Craft Beer and Wine Festival beers

Feedback on the craft beers were lyrical; Loadshed Lager from Mountain Brewing had hints of honey and was easy on the pallet, Quagga Lager from the Perdeberg Cellar was dry with not a lot of flavour but drinkable, the full-bodied Italian Job IPA attracted craft beer connoisseurs and had a strong hops bittering. Abru Craft Brewery located inside the Motor Studio on the beautiful Lourensford Wine Estate offered a slightly bitter Abru Lager and stated that their craft beers were brewed by fools. The smooth drinking Durbanville Breweries Lager with elements of litchi flavour and a pleasant hoppy aftertaste appealed even to the non-beer drinker. Elysium Brewing offered cherry gin and tonic that had many a guest tap one of us on the shoulder to find out where it was bought – we must have looked very happy. And the food carts; well there were many, and not a salad in site. A silent prayer was said before tentatively tucking into a bowl of French fries laced with smoked paprika and cheddar.

With tickets costing just R75 on Webtickets (or at Pick ‘n Pay stores) and R90 at the door, the clear and uncomplicated venue layout, and the array of delightful craft beers and wine, ensured that this was an unpretentious beer and wine festival worth attending. So, please sir, can we have some more?

What: The Craft Beer and Wine Festival 2018 at Cape Gate

The Truman Show

Kiru and Neil Truman are passionate about wine and food (as long as Kiru does not have to cook it). Apart from loving what goes down in their own backyard in the Western Cape, they have also been spotted sampling local offerings in Italy, Argentina, Uruguay, Thailand (there are a few nifty wine farms there) and soon New Zealand.