South Africa’s favourite tipple takes centre stage
The call has gone out for the country’s beer lovers to unite on February 1 to celebrate South African National Beer Day (#SANBeerDay).
On the first Saturday in February, SA National Beer Day sees big breweries, craft breweries, bars and liquor stores throughout the country hosting all manner of events to celebrate South Africa’s favourite tipple.
Founder and beer writer, Lucy Corne, initiated the event in 2017 after realising a cold pint goes down better in South Africa in February, rather than on International Beer Day in chilly August. ‘South African National Beer Day is a collection of small-scale events, promotions, pairings, specials and mini festivals – anyone can host an event from a full on party in a brewery to a beer braai pairing at home with friends,’ Corne said.
The inaugural #SANBeerDay saw more than 50 events staged across the country, and has gained momentum, with more than 120 in 2019. Now, thanks to sponsorship from the Beer Association of South Africa (BASA), Corne envisions even bigger and better things. BASA is chaired by brewer Apiwe Nxusani-Mawela, owner of South Africa’s first black female majority-owned brewery, Brewsters Craft.
Brewsters Craft will, in collaboration with Soul Barrel Brewing’s Nick Smith (chairman of the Craft Brewers’ Association), brew a batch of traditional umqombothi which will be aged in French oak for secondary fermentation. ‘Beer lovers are invited to Soul Barrel in Franschhoek from noon to 5pm to see how traditional African beer is made and hear stories about our fascinating indigenous beer culture,’ Nxusani-Mawela said.
Other events #SANBeerDay include free brewery tours at one of the country’s oldest microbreweries, Nottingham Road Brewing Company in KwaZulu-Natal. In Gauteng, The Craft Beer Association of South Africa is taking beer lovers on an open top party bus from Montecasino to At Hops End, Red Rock Brewing, Agar’s Brewery, OC Brewing and Mad Giant and back. More information on beerday.co.za.
Anyone wanting to host a beer day celebration at their local bar or outlet should visit beerday.co.za and submit their event so it can be added to the online events map. South Africans can also visit the site to find a nearby venue hosting a celebration, or follow #SANBeerDay on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in order to stay up to date with all the latest events and news.
‘#SANBeerDay hopes to encourage more people to gather with friends to enjoy a beer or two, perhaps even try a style of beer they’re not familiar with. It doesn’t matter where you celebrate, or which beer is in your glass when you raise it. It’s about celebrating one of the world’s oldest, most diverse and most popular drinks,’ Corne said.
Visit beerday.co.za for events happening near you on Saturday, February 1 and join the conversation on social media using #SANBeerDay.