Why I travel halfway across the world for a Beer Fest

by David Stratton
February 18, 2020
beer fest

Travelling to a Beer Fest

It was Saturday 6th April 2019. The sky was cloudless and the sun was heating the day nicely. My wife and I were walking down the main street in Greyton in the Western Cape, South Africa. We were heading for the Fools and Fans Beer Fest, held on the first Saturday of April each year. It had taken us about an hour and a half to drive there from Cape Town International Airport. The journey before that had taken much longer because we had traveled from the County of South Yorkshire in the UK.

The Beer Fest

A sense of excitement and anticipation rose in me as we entered the festival. Set in a field at the side of the main road. There was live music playing from under an open sided marquee set with tables and chairs, where people could relax, chat, and eat and drink of course.
Dotted around the field were small stalls all labelled with the brewery name and its array of beers clearly marked. There were food stalls and a creche for the children to play whilst their parents sampled the excellent beers. It was a compact, friendly and family affair. The whole atmosphere was satisfying and relaxing, certainly after a few beers it became even more so!

The Beers

Each brewer encouraged you to try a sample of their beer before you bought a full glass of it. They were all passionate brewers who were enthusiastic in showing off and discussing their creations. People seemed to enjoy discussing brewing beer as much as drinking it. At a bottle share the night before I had met quite a few of the brewers. I felt that I was in the best company and felt honoured to be there.

My Hero’s

I met many of my brewing hero’s that day who I had previously only seen on ‘You Tube’ thanks to a man called Mike Halls (Real Beer Revolution). Having previously followed Mike on YouTube as I shared his passion for homebrewing. I loved his presentations of show casing the best beers around South Africa and encouraging people around the world, like me, to brew them. It was down to him that my wife and I were there to share in this wonderful day.

The Fool

A big thank you has to be given to Trevor Gerntholtz the owner of the Old Potters Inn and founder of this festival. His ideas and efforts have created a truly spectacular event in Fools and Fans. It may not be the largest beer festival in the world, but it certainly is one of the best in my humble opinion.

So what of the future? Fools and Fans is happening again this year on Saturday 4th April 2020.  On Friday 3rd April 2020 there is a national homebrew festival which promises to be an event also not to be missed. In my opinion, this annual event can only go from strength to strength. After our experiences there in 2019, my wife and I are travelling to South Africa again to be there in 2020. We would not miss it for the world.

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