Sandton Beer Festival: The Conservative Festival
Sandton Beer Fair Review:
It’s not like there was anything wrong with this year’s Sandton Beer Fair (We’re not supposed to call it a festival, because you know, that may imply over promising), but that is not to say that there was anything about the “fair” that would make any beer festival veteran moist in their nether regions.
It was a gathering of your usual craft beer suppliers and breweries from across South Africa, including the teams from CBC, Striped Horse and Devil’s Peak. Unlike most craft beer or beer events, there was nothing new here, nothing really worth talking about or noting. The breweries came and sold their beer, simple, nothing more to it.
This is where I have a problem.
It’s a conversation my friends Ivor Swart and Lucy Corne have discussed in the past: the quality of craft beer festivals/fairs in South Africa. Like I said, there wasn’t anything wrong with Sandton’s version of a craft beer festival, but there was nothing interesting or exciting about it either. Nothing for me to talk to you about, nothing for the average beer festival goer to be excited about to be honest.
The entire fair felt like a nice excuse to take the money of Sandton residence when they had nothing else to do that weekend.
Yes, there was more than enough beer, there was a wide array of food stalls and there was some stellar entertainment (The cover band was actually very good), but so what, the fair could have held hands with the stylings of a local upmarket flea market, and even then, only for the wealthier folk that drive the latest BMW. A market of people that didn’t mind paying R50 next door for parking or ubering across town.
Sure, they may be able to afford it, but they don’t deserve anything less than a great beer festival! (Fair)
In summary my friends, Sandton Beer Fair, as the name suggests, was fair, it also felt shallow, tired and lacked the excitement or even culture that a beer festival should have. Where were the brewers? We came for their passion, not some random waiter that can’t pour beer from a tap (Someone who can pour beer and who had to take over for the CBC team can be found here).
From what I hear, although a failure, Bloem Beer Fest had more excitement going for it!
Sandton Beer Fair, yes, you were nice, but, only nice, like your selection and atmosphere. If I can summon the energy to return next year for beer I’ve already had a million times and eat food I’ve eaten a thousand times and listen to cover music, again, Ill go to my local pub.
Also published on Medium.