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An insider’s guide to Cape Town Festival of Beer 2018

Planning on going to this year's Cape Town Festival of Beer? To avoid disappointment, make sure you know the do's and don'ts!

by: Karl Tessendorf | 27 Nov 2018

(image: Upsplash)

November is here and that means it’s time for the biggest beer festival in the Southern Hemisphere - Cape Town Festival of Beer. The festival is celebrating its 9th year which is incredible for any festival and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. This year promises even more beers on tap, more breweries from across the country, and one helluva good time. This will be my fourth year working at the fest so I felt I should share a few nuggets of knowledge that I’ve picked up along the way.   

Pick your day wisely

The Fest happens over three days and to maximise your experience you need to pick a day that best suits your goals. Friday is a great after-work drinks option and it's generally not that crazy. The brewers are fresh so if you want to chat beers or brewing techniques then this is a great time to do so. Saturday is the Royal Rumble and if you’re looking for a good time with your mates and plenty of Instagramable memories then that’s your day. The lines and chaos make it a bit more challenging to have engaging chats with the brewers but it is still possible. Sunday is a family day and the accumulated hangovers of the brewers make things move a little slower. It’s the perfect chill and taster day. Alternatively, go the whole hog and hit all three days, yeehaa! 

Try something new

We’re all guilty of sticking to what we know but with over 200 beers on tap, you’d be silly not to dive into new beer styles and flavours. Many of the brewers brew beers just for the Fest so get stuck in and explore new territory. 2018 has seen some amazing sour beer releases so keep your eyes peeled for anything sour. I guarantee you’ve never tasted anything like it before. Another thing to bear in mind is that this year you will have a limited number of taster coupons so make them count. If you find something awesome then consider showing your support by buying a pint. 

Rehydrate and refuel

Beer might be made up of 90 odd percent water but you still need to hydrate with actual water if you plan on making it to sunset. It’s easy to get caught up in the avalanche of awesome beer but a sip of H2O here and there goes a long way. Also, consider chowing something at the midway point of your day from any one of the great food vendors. My go-to meal for the last few years has been pizza and it always hits the spot. This may sound like basic advice but I’ve seen many a weary soldier stumbling around wondering where it all went wrong. The Cape Town Festival of Beer takes place from 30 November to 2 December 2018 at Hamiltons Rugby Club. Book your tickets today!

Karl Tessendorf is one part of the duo that hosts 'Beer Country', South Africa's first TV show dedicated to beer, braai and the open road.

Read more on: beer  |  festivals  |  drinks

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