Of all the beer festivals during the year, Fools and Fans has become the one I make sure I don’t miss.
Here are ten reasons why:
1. It’s in April
It is one of the best times of the year for a beer festival, especially in the Overberg. The weather is usually ideal and there isn’t too much else going on in an otherwise busy beer events calendar.
2. It’s in Greyton
The beauty lies both in its location – less than 2 hours from Cape Town – as well as the fact that it is a small town in the classic sense of the word, so you really feel like you are on a proper holiday. There is also lots of accommodation at various rates so there is always somewhere to stay close to the festival, no matter your budget. One of the cheapest and closest options is the Fools & Fans Campsite!
3. The best breweries from around the country will be there
The festival is invite-only and because there are fewer breweries than other events, it gives you the opportunity to spend more time at each stall to make sure you don’t miss anything.
4. The brewers attend
I’ve been to a number of beer festivals where the breweries hire casuals to pour beer and promote the brand, but there is something special about chatting to the actual brewer who made the beers you’re currently enjoying – like meeting the chef at a great restaurant.
5. Once-off beers from each brewery
A special beer is brewed by each brewer especially for the festival and, because it’s often a once-off, the beers are usually very experimental like chocolate and orange ales or a vanilla milk stout.
6. There is something for everyone
Driving the drinkers home? Not into beer (yet)? No worries, Fools and Fans has you covered with an array of other fermented beverages, as well as non-alcoholic options to cater for everyone. Last year, there was small-batch cola, mead, a dedicated gin bar, cider and fruit juice – and of course water.
7. The party goes on
Once the gates close at 7pm there are many other pubs and restaurants within walking distance (even some offering karaoke) that remain open, so the party can continue without anyone getting behind the wheel!
8. The food pairing event
Looking to get even more out of your weekend away? Come through on the Friday and experience the ever popular, always sold out food pairing event on the Friday evening. Pairing a medley of fermented drinks with food. This will really help you explore the world of fermentation and set you up for a fantastic Saturday.
9. Homebrewers and Harlequins
Since you’re coming through on Friday for the food pairing, make a long weekend of it and attend Homebrewers and Harlequins during the day on Friday. Bringing together the best homebrewers from the country and even some international talent. This promises to be a fantastic intro to the weekend. The best part is once you have your ticket, all tastings are free!
10. Great atmosphere
Fools and Fans is still my favourite out of any festival. With live music, people who are looking to have a good time and brewers passionately spreading the love of their craft in a beautiful small town in the Overberg, it’s difficult to match.