Festival-goers at this weekend’s third annual Clarens Craft Beer Festival, sponsored by The South African Breweries (SAB), were among the first to become ‘Beer Heroes’ by using the new MyBeer app.
For those who know their stout from their ales or wish they did, MyBeer was launched in the small Free State town this weekend, to assist the beer-loving community to rate, review, discover and share the best beers South Africa has to offer. Users can also see the top 10 trending beers, as voted by the community, in real time, and view prices.
“MyBEER, the new online beer community, was commissioned by SAB to encourage beer lovers to share their beer drinking experiences with each other. MyBEER is educational, fun and a valuable resource for old and new beer drinkers alike, ” said SAB’s Chief Brewer, Martin Brooks. “Spurred on by the burgeoning craft beer movement, experimentation with different kinds of beers is a growing trend in South Africa. SAB hopes that MyBEER will broaden the horizons of beer lovers around the country by encouraging this experimentation and promoting knowledge sharing.”
The beer app can be downloaded for free at www.mybeer.co.za
As part of its support of the Festival, SAB sponsored the Best Beer on Show prizes which were selected through a rigorous Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) tasting. The first prize for best beer in show went to the Red Amber Ale by Chameleon Breweries, based in Hartebeespoort. The second prize was the Natal Chilli beer, made by Mtunzini Brewery in Eshowe and the third prize was the Mustang American Pale Ale from Cockpit Breweries, located in Cullinan. The People’s Choice winner, for the second year running, was the Farmer’s Draught from Rustenberg’s Brauhaus am Damm brewery. All the winners received malt and hops from SAB.
For the Clarens Festival, Sandra Innes, one of SAB’s brewers, brewed four exclusive beers, enjoyed only by the more than 3 000 festival-goers and not available commercially.
The Peary, a crowd pleaser at last year’s Cape Town Festival of Beer, fermented with 100% pear juice, had a medium sweetness and was clear and pale gold in colour. The traditional Weiss beer, Sunset Wheat, had clove-like flavours and moderate fruit esters.
A Chocolate Stout, called Willy Wonka, was an indulgent rendition on the popular milk stout, while a lighter version, the Chaleur, had fruity esters with subdued roasted flavours of a classic stout.
Proceeds from the sale of these beers and SAB’s popular #luvbeer t-shirts amounted to R27 000, which was donated to the SAB Boucher Conservation Fund, which is raising funds to register South Africa’s threatened rhino population on a DNA database. The database will create a direct link between a horn and a carcass, making it easier to convict poachers. The campaign, driven by retired South African cricketer Mark Boucher, hopes to raise R1-million in its first year and is on target with more than R300 000 raised thus far.