I heart Jozi: Bottoms up!

2011-10-29 14:23

When I woke up yesterday, feet still throbbing from the ANC Youth League march, the last place I thought I would find myself was in a tent on wooden benches with litres of beer on the table talking Malema-flavoured politics to a white couple while belting out “Country roads, take me home...”. But it’s the Oktober Bierfest so when in (makeshift) Bavaria … bottoms up!

Now beer is not my cup of tea – not even on the worst of days. But I thrive on all things new, so I headed down to Montecasino for Johannesburg’s own version of the record-breaking Oktoberfest in Munich to see if perhaps I could challenge my palate to acquire this strange taste.

It was a slow start, with problems at the ticket-scanning desk at the entrance and security guards that were no help to lost patrons. And I can’t say the rate of my beer-drinking improved much, but a little while into my time there the mood improved.

Everyone was falling prey to the effects of chugging litres of beer, the waitresses had now picked up the pace as they darted through the hall carrying fistfuls of frothing bier, while an old-school German band of five old men kept banging away.

Outside, the clouds had opened up and the rain was pouring along with a gusty wind forcing everyone inside. And I don’t know what it is about rain that always has people a little excitable, adding more energy to an already charged room.

Nevertheless, after going through a mini tour of all the different malts and hop flavours, and a tasting of the three beers specially brewed for the festival, my palate is still one I’ll reserve for the finer things in life.

We’ll try a wine festival next. Better still, a cocktail festival.

» The Johannesburg leg of the Oktober Bierfest runs until tomorrow at Montecasino.

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