Thursday, March 29, 2018

Wine Concepts Craft Festival

This new festival was held last Friday night between 5 and 8 pm and was well attended. There are so many new craft beers, gins, vodkas, even Rum, Whisky and Brandies being made in the Cape. Mike Bampfield Duggan decided it was time for us to sample some of them. We were delighted to be invited, but worried about tasting lots of alcohols. Uber was very popular indeed that evening. We decided just to sample beers and Lynne did one very interesting rum, she is not good with high tack after beer. We hope to taste them one at a time in the future. It was a lot of fun; these crafters are very committed to their products
A brewery that has taken the Cape by storm is the CBC Brewery at Spice Route in Paarl, and run by Paulaner-trained German brewmaster Wolfgang Koedel - we especially like its Imperial IPA
A novel name for a Cape Gin: A Mari Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean Gins. We like the label and the bottle very much. Hope to taste soon
From Boplaas in Calitzdorp, a Cape Gin, A Cape Pink Gin, A Craft Whisky and an 8 Year old Potstill Brandy made by Carel and Margaux Nel
A close up of the bottles
From Cederberg Winery, Boggom Beers: a light and well flavoured Lager, a biscuity and citrus zing Blonde Ale which Lynne really enjoyed, and an IPA with granadilla notes, nicely fruity and not too bitter. We know it's good with food, we have ordered it in restaurants
The winemaker having fun on the Cederberg stand
James Copeland was showing his Copeland Rum which is selling well. Lynne found creamy toffee and pineapple on the rum with notes of licorice, salt, chocolate and fennel leaves
He made us a great sour cocktail with rum, sugar syrup, fresh lime juice - what a difference that makes - coconut water and not too much ice. Absolutely superb
The lads from KCB, Karoo Craft Beers, which is actually made in Paarl. We liked these very much, they are real beers, with nothing added, skilfully made
Lynne really enjoyed tasting the Kudu Lager and the Jackal Indian Pale Ale
Our friends Carol and Roddy Mills. Carol makes the Kaapse Liqueurs and we really like her new packaging. Her Limoncello has always been authentic
There were quite a few interesting sounding mixers on show, and several new tonics. Nicole Kuhnert showed the Pura range, which has Soda Cucumber Lime, Soda Seville Orange, a Soda Cranberry, Soda Lemon Elderflower and Soda Pomegranate, all to add flavour and length to your alcohol of choice
Mark McCarthy of Inverroche Gin giving Carol a taste of one of the three gins. They also have a Ltd Edition Blackstrap Rum and a Ltd Edition Botanique Liqueur
Another of our favourites: Devils Peak Brewery - their King's Blockhouse IPA is one of Lynne's best beers
And young Jonathan Gilloway was punting The Italian Job, who showed four of their five Le Grande Cinque Italian sounding beers: Famiglia Pilsner, Forza IPA, Amore Amber Ale, & Amicizia Weiss. The Forza was a bit cloudy but enjoyable. They are made by an Italian family from Cape Town
The Woodstock Brewery has beers with slightly louche names, Happy Pills, Hazy Daze Belgian Witbier, Pot Belge Belgian Amber, Californicator IPA, Rhythm Stick English Pale Ale, Mr Brownstone Hazelnut Brown Ale, Sugarman Belgian Quad and a fruity Bomber Imperial IPA. These beers are flavoured with food extracts, not something we are fond of. The Hazelnut one smells and tastes like a Cadbury's Hazelnut chocolate. If that is your thing....
The Darling Brewery is always worth visiting when you visit Darling and doing a tasting. We did it last year, very fine beers
Steel Cut Spirits showed their Sugarbird Fynbos Gin and with it a new Tonic called Barker and Quin. Lynne loved it, as it is not as sweet as some of the newer tonics available locally and has a good dose of lemon, so you don't have to go searching for a slice in desperation. Perfect if you have a "dry" month but want to pretend you are drinking a G &T
Marine Point, whom we usually see promoting wine, sampling a beer
All the alcohols, mixers and beers are available from Wine Concepts in Newlands or in Kloof Street. This was a great idea and we think it should be repeated. But make sure you book an Uber home or get your mom to come and fetch you if you are going to sample more than a mouthful or two of beer, and some of the hard stuff
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