When a bunch of foodies walk into South Africa’s oldest wine estate and bypass the wine to make a beeline for the craft beer, you know the movement has finally taken off.
And that’s just what happened at the media launch for the Hop & Vine Festival, a craft booze event focusing on 15 breweries from around the country, as well as a handful of Garagiste winemakers. Like the launch, the festival will be held at Groot Constantia’s Simon’s Restaurant on 20 and 21 July 2012 and will represent the marriage of my two favourite tipples.
I won’t go on about how awesome the food and beer pairings were at this supremely thought-out launch. I won’t mention how jaws dropped then grinned at the matching of grilled swordfish with Valley Brewery’s London Ale, nor how the spice on the tandoori chicken accentuated the hoppy wonderfulness of a Devil’s Peak Woodhead Amber Ale. I won’t tell you about the succulent pork belly with Devil’s Peak’s IPA, the smokiness of a Triggerfish stout offset by freshly shucked oysters or the realisation that Boston Breweries’ Van Hunks Pumpkin Ale is the ultimate food-beer. I won’t even mention the half dozen types of cheese available, allowing you to do a bit of DIY pairing between canapés. And not because people don’t want to hear about funky events they didn’t attend – I love a good brag as much as the next Facebook user.
Nope – the reason I’m not going to go on about the wonders of food and beer pairing is because at the Hop ‘n’ Vine Fest you’ll get to experience it for yourself. Handpicked chefs will be on hand to recommend which beer – or wine of course – would pair well with their dishes. Or you could tackle it the best way I know – taste everything and decided for yourself which pairings work.
Away from the food side of things, there’ll be local live music, beers from across the country (including Three Skulls and Cockpit making their Cape debuts) and a very special one-time-only beer, the product of South Africa’s first Gauteng/Cape collaboration brew.
Craft Beer Project’s Hop ‘n’ Vine Festival
The Craft Beer Project’s Hop ‘n’ Vine Festival will be held at Simon’s, Groot Constantia on July 20th and 21st 2012.
Ticket numbers are limited so book ahead through Quicket.
Tickets cost R120, which includes a branded glass.
For more information see http://www.thecraftbeerproject.co.za.
All images for this post are copyright of Crispin Sparg.