Sunday, 10 April 2016

Fond Farewells

And so it is, the adventure ends tonight when i board a plane with an hour and five minutes left on my visa.
I'm leaving behind some good friends and i'm taking with me memories which will last me a lifetime.

What i'm also leaving behind is a vibrant, growing beer scene that whilst it is still in it's infancy it's as bold as a child testing it's parents patience for the first time.
It's been truly hard work!

As with other beer cities around the globe, Cape Town is so often overshadowed by the uninformed and often only choice of SAB in the guise of Castle Lager and it's various, hideous variants; but there is an almost tangible pulse about the beer scene here now. For the second time in my life i have had the privilege of being in a city just as it's beer scene starts to explode.
Cape Town now boasts some truly world class breweries in the forms of Aegir Project, Cape Brewing Co, Devils Peak Brew Co, Jack Black, Woodstock and Riot Beer.
Of course with world class breweries you need great outlets to sell the beer to and you don't get much better than Beerhouse on Long Street, overseen by Murray Slater(formerly of Clapham Junction's, Powderkeg Diplomacy) and his band of merry beer navigators. With it's regularly changing guest taps and knowledgable staff it's at the forefront of educating people in Cape Town about the beers they drink.
Cape Town is all about eating and drinking and so it's great to see so many restaurants getting on board this early in the beer explosion with their beer offers too; even if it's only one or two beers, the intent is very much there.
With any good crafty beer explosion nowadays you have to have a proliferation of crafty canned beer and Cape Town is no different with the likes of Cape Brewing Co and Devils Peak starting to produce in cans too; when the other brewers realise it's far better than bottling when done well it'll really take off!
Now for the advice bit, Cape Brewers...
Firstly don't think of yourselves as 'pushing the envelope', set fire to that motherfucker and watch the mainstream brewers burn with jealousy! Only by doing this will your customers tastes develop as they should!
Secondly, brew some sours!! Or at the very least Berliner Weiss's, the climate is perfect for them and your customers will learn to love them as much as this sour-starved blagger!

Now on a more personal note there are a few people here that i'd like to mention as they have helped keep me sane and shown me some of the better brews here!
Matt Hurst, a nicer bloke you could not hope to find anywhere and frankly he's a fucking great home brewer! His Black IPA won a home brewing competition and was brewed at Devils Peak, it's amazing and you have to try it! You can follow him on Twitter as @BeerclubSA.
Murray Slater, already mentioned but always a legend, i didn't really know him when he was running PKD but i'm glad i found the time to here! He's on the twitter too as @Murray_Slater.
Rory, Carey and of course Aegir the dog at Aegir Project, they're brewing fantastic beers and have plans for the future which should really shake up the beer scene here! @Aegir_Project
Mark Mohr now at Woodstock Brewery, a man who whilst knowledgeable is still looking to learn about the business and totes nice chap to boot! On twitter as @MarkWMohr.
Mark and David at Riot Beer, i wish i'd been able to get to know you better but your beers are fantastic and i look forward to seeing how they travel!
Wayne, stay lekker you hairy bugger, everyone else can follow him as @Wayne_cpt on that twitter!
At the signal bar in the Cape Grace hotel, somewhere we found ourselves a lot there is one man who must be mentioned. Some say he can make a Gin & Tonic by simply making the spirit fingers, others say he is merely an urban legend created when Lord Lucan disappeared, all i know is he's called The Stig! wait that's wrong. It's Mangena, he is softly spoken, always calm, always polite and he optimises everything that a bartender should be. There just aren't enough of his kind behind bars anymore!
If i missed anyone out i apologise but i'm going to stop now before this turns into a cheesy oscar-like speech. Stay Lekker, Cape Town.

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