Durban – CraftFest will feature many of the provinces top craft brewers, with an array of exciting lagers, pilsners, ales and stouts available. And even some odd beers thrown in.
The festival, brought to you by the Independent on Saturday and the Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market celebrates everything craft in a fun family day. And as it’s Father’s day, it’s a day to try all those fabulous brews.
Megan Gemmell’s Clockwork Brewhouse from Pietermaritzburg is not just a brewery name. It describes the meticulous and organised approach to brewing, combined with her preference for old-fashioned, ‘traditional’ beer styles that are full of flavour and complexity, and yet still easy drinking. This is beer to be savoured.
Gemmell produces her Märzen Lager: A smooth, malt-rich, amber-orange German lager and an Elderflower Golden Ale. Her Schwarzbier is a flavourful, light-bodied, German-style black lager while her English Best Bitter is an amber ale with soft, malty, caramel flavours. Completing the range is The Pitter capturing the best characteristics from an English Bitter and a Brown Porter.
From Ballito come Ursula and Gary Wilby who left their careers in the corporate world to pursue their hobby and passion for producing innovative and unique craft beers. They formed The Great Railroad Brewing Company in 2015 in Shaka’s Head. Their microbrewery which also offers tours and tastings produces eight different beers.
"There’s Our Dingaan’s Premium Lager, Shaka’s Impi Lager; Bohemian Pilsner, a classic Pilsner with a twist; German Weiss beer; Irish Red Ale; Ballito Belgian Ale, a Belgian Witbier (made with bitter orange peel and coriander), Ballito Olde’ English Ale,” he said.
They have been known to produce special brews, a memorable one being their strawberry beer.
Lions River Craft Brewery is a family-owned, micro brewery located in Lidgetton in the Midlands with it’s own beer garden and tasting room. They also offer brewery tours to learn more about the brewing process and see where and how the magic happens.
The Nguni Brewing Co was founded in 2016 by three gents in partnership. One aficionado – the brew master, and two beer enthusiasts – the consumers. The brand features the head of a Nguni cow which is the prevalent breed on the East Coast of Southern Africa, from Kenya to the Wild coast.
And the Nguni range has been well received. Hot off the heels of a highly successful debut at the Clarens Craft Beer Festival, Nguni offers a range of four beers – a premium “Munich style” lager, a gold lager, a blonde IPA and an Irish Red. “We also do a seasonal beer. In summer it might be a Mexican style beer like Sol or Millers,” says partner Craig Hulbert. “In winter it might be a stout or a dark beer.”
The Standeaven Brewery is another family owned Micro Brewery based on the Standeaven family’s farm, situated in Alverstone. Brew Master Shaun Standeaven launched his first range of craft beers in 2012, and has gone on to add new beers to his range each year.
The brewery was an idea that sparked while brewer Standeaven was traveling abroad and tasting different beers from around the globe. What started as a fascination with the different worldwide styles soon became an intense study of perfection and once he arrived home on Durban soil he started experimenting with craft brewing.
In addition to the brewers, the Gin Co, Distillery 031 and the Midlands Distillery will be featuring a range of exciting, gins and cocktails, while our Champagne Bar is always the place to chill.. And be seen.
CraftFest takes place on June 16 at the Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market from 10am to 4pm. Tickets R120 for adults, R60 for children 12-17 from Quicket. Children under 12 free. There are some limited early bird tickets available at R60 – book these today.
The Independent on Saturday