What's better than sitting in a German beer hall and sipping authentic Bavarian ales to the sounds of a traditional oompah band? Well not much really, but this year's Cape Town Bierfest sparked our imaginations about what the experience could be like.
The massive Bierfest tent, which was erected at SAB in Newlands, was to be our drinking sanctuary for the afternoon; more precisely the 11am to 4pm slot. The tent was filled with dozens of banquet tables, holding as many tankards of beer as there were people - a welcome sight for us as the mercury climbed to the 31-degree mark. The friendly, beer-serving fräuleins were attentive and well-versed in their knowledge of the ales on offer. Tankard-on-table-thumping songs
We were seated at a table in front of the stage, where shortly afterwards the oompah band started playing traditional, tankard-on-table-thumping songs. Our first round started off with a litre of Krystal Weiss (a pale, straw-coloured, light ale that had notes of cloves, vanilla and honey) and a litre of Bavarian Weiss (a dark-gold, dry ale that was not too heavy nor bitter and went down very smoothly, and probably a little too quickly). Another beer that I really enjoyed on the day was the Munich Dinkel - a deep-copper-coloured brew that had sweet hints of caramel.
Food was in abundance too, as stalls served up roasted pork knuckles, Bockwurst and Bratwurst platters, pretzels, knödels and schnitzels. I was impressed at how affordable the beers and drinks were - an example being that a litre of beer and a huge pretzel didn't cost more than R50.A lively festival atmosphere
As the afternoon progressed, the tables took a beating from the mugs, the dance floor area in front of the band filled with langarmers and the non-slip rubber floor (kudos to the event organisers) developed a shallow layer of combined German brews. There was a lively festival atmosphere that was the next best thing to a beer hall in Munich.
The session ended with us collapsing on the grass in the outside area, our fill of beer having certainly been felt at that point as we lazed in the late-afternoon sun, feeling content and langarmed out.