Sandton Craft Beer Festival


Out with the old; in with the new.

sandton craft beer fair

I’m not sure why the Sandton Craft Beer Fest is not held at The Sands anymore, but I am definitely grateful it has moved. Besides for the remnants of the wristband with the brands identity still holding their own, the festival celebrated its craft goodness without pretension, oiled up men and girls on stilts. Instead, it welcomed all. The coming together of diverse groups for an experience not only limited to a type of person is genuine, and this is what they managed to conquer at this year’s Craft Beer Fest at the Sandton Sports Club. The improvements are vast, but my reservation lies in its lack of practical stalls. Where was the coffee? For designated drivers, for individuals who need a boost before the day is up, and for a craft festival- even though dedicated to beer, a coffee roastery would have worked so well.

The event is now family-friendly with kiddie activities popping up around the grass area. (Even though I can’t decide in whose best interest it is to welcome children into a habitat where their parents consume alcoholic beverages and then get into a car to drive them home.) Live music streams through the grounds as people approach the different craft beer stalls.

I tasted two beers that stood out, both of which were completely different, and only one who managed to get a refill. Apple ale made from Granny Smith apples, from local newbies Soweto Gold, and a rose beer- distinct in appeal, but lost in identity.

Using live music as a companion to the beers works well. Going from an unexpected duo act of rock n ’roll from the Hellcats to reggae favourites Tidal Waves, individuals gathered nearer to the stage to let the beer flow through their limbs. Even when the rain joined the afternoon mood, people were not discouraged and found intimate holding spaces to gather or let the drops bead on their skin.

As the day passed by me, I realised I had had a good time. The venue. The product, the music. It was all that I needed. So goodbye to the old and hello to the new. I look forward to seeing the progression of the next one.

Sandton Craft Beer Fair.


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