To kick off birthday celebrations, I opted to go to a festival I’ve been meaning to go to forever: The Hop & Vine Festival 2019.
It’s a bi-annual festival hosted by Simon’s Restaurant on Groot Constantia Wine Estate and brings wine, beer and good music under the same roof.
The event showcased a wide array of local wine and craft beer producers from 12pm – 5pm, with a full bar and live music from The Bootleggers Blues Band from 5pm onwards.
To be honest, the food selection was very limited. Your options were a beef or chicken burger, a salad, goujon strips, a cheese platter or a charcuterie platter and, what looked like samples, looked very sad. However, it was super cheap (only between R50 – R100, if I remember correctly) so we settled for a beef and chicken burger. Boy, did it surprise us – it was DELICIOUS! So, we do owe the kitchen a huge apology for judging before we even tasted anything 😳. Never judge a book by its cover.
The Beer & Wine
You know I love me some tasters because you can easily get tipsy off tasters (#BargainHunter hehe) but since we need to be bargain hunters with class, we bought a glass of wine and beer at vendors whose beer or wine we enjoyed.
I definitely loved the wide selection of vendors who, of course, had a wide range of wines and craft beer available to taste. On my Instagram Stories, alone, I took pictures of about 14 displays and that was not even everyone so I was impressed.
- Lagunitas Brewing Co.: They’re an American brand trying to get into the South African Craft Beer scene. It didn’t really do anything for me but my tastebuds may have just been a bit confused so I’m willing to give it another try should I find it somewhere else again. But then again, if I remember correctly, they were selling Ales and I just hate Ales in general.
- Toast Ale: They brew beer using leftover bread they get from bakeries. It tasted way too yeasty for my liking. One question I did have, though, was does the bread replace the yeast they would actually use in beer as a standard ingredient but the girl didn’t actually understand my question. If you know, then hit me up in the comments!
- Diesel & Dust: Not really a new find but they didn’t get much traffic to their stall because Devil’s Peak was right next to them (yes, I am one of the few people who hate Devil’s Peak – not just because of the beer but because of how they’re dominating the entire craft beer industry and making it difficult for smaller breweries to enter and grow in the market 🤮) – anyway, I digress – Diesel & Dust is actually awesome and you should give them a try should you find them anywhere.
- If you know me well, you know I don’t know much about wine but I am always open to hearing about it. There was a new blend that I was quite interested in because I had never heard of it before. It’s called Grenache and it’s apparently a new type of grape that they’re trying out and have finally gotten the hang of. Do you know more about this? Then tell me in the comments 🙂!
All I can say is that The Bootleggers Blues Band is a jol and a half, an entire mood, everything – have I used enough adjectives to tell you just how awesome they are? They’re a six-piece blues band and they know how to get the crowd moving.Check out this snippet courtesy of MS Events:
They actually took me back to a very pleasant New Years Day a few years ago. The plans my then-boyfriend and I had made fell through and we somehow ended up at this picnic spot in Magaliesburg, where there was this restaurant/bar vibe as well and they just played 1920s swing, blues and Elvis all day long and it was so much fun. And, that was exactly what this band reminded me of.
Anyway, back to the present, we were on the floor from 5pm until 8pm and we still went clubbing afterwards – no wonder my legs were so sore come Monday!
Although, I thought it was an outdoor event (not sure if usually is, since it was chilly on the day), it actually worked quite well as an indoor festival. The wine and craft beer selection was great, the food was great and the live entertainment was great. Maybe a wider selection of food would’ve been nice but let’s not be fussy. Oh, and the toilets were clean but apparently weren’t flushing properly – mine flushed just fine. So, good toilet facilities always get a thumbs up from me. I never, at any point, felt like it was too crowded since there was ample seating available outside as well, so I think the space worked well.
Rating: 9/10. Would definitely do it again!