One of the places you have to visit is Alexanderplatz. It is the site of so much history, in particular the Alexanderplatz demonstration on 1989, just before the wall came down. Over 1.5 million protesters gathered in what was the biggest protest ever in East Germany, so of course it was somewhere we had to visit.
But we were somewhat startled to find that we had stepped into a very large African market. We (purely by chance) selected Africa week to visit Alex, so the square was fulled with African goods for sale (think Greenmarket square or Long Street in Cape Town), and African bands playing on the stages. It was fun and entertaining, but not quote what we expected in the middle of Germany.
One thing we noticed at the festival is how proud the locals are of the heritage. Many people were dressed in traditional lederhosen, and they were not people in one of the events, they were just regular visitors to the festival. I think its great. We need to be proud of both our culture and our heritage.
We were lucky to be in Vienna during the annual harvest festival – a big celebration of local food and culture. The best part is that it was largely attended by Viennese locals, and we were one of the few tourists there.
The beer hall (of course there was a beer hall) had traditional singing and dancing throughout the day – although I find the Viennese folk dancing very different from the waltz for which the city is so famous. Most of the dances seem to require you to either stamp your feed, slap your knees, or slap your partner. But it was entertaining to watch.
Slap your knees
Dancing with your partner
Inside the beerhall
In March it was the annual Southyeasters home-brew festival, and as usual they had a fantastic selection of beer to try (my favourite was a beer made with smoked grain – something I will be trying soon).
I was there to take a few photos, and of course to try the beer.
It amazes me how big the home-brew and craft beer has become in Cape Town. When I started brewing a few years ago I knew of only 1 other homebrewer, and now there are so many people making their own beer. I think it’s fantastic and is only going to result in better beer all around.
So, what to make for my next brew…?
On Sunday I visited the Southyeasters home-brew festival. It was (somewhat strangely) hosted at SAB in Newlands (SAB is the second biggest commercial brewery in the world). But back to the home-brew, there were some amazing beers to try. Many of the stands had a simple “help yourself” policy, and the rest were generous with their tastings.
Being a home-brewer myself I was amazed at how big the local home-brew scene is, and also at the quality. Of all the beers I tried there was only 1 that I did not enjoy. The rest were fantastic.
You will be seeing me there next year, maybe even at my own stand. Find out more about home-brewing in Cape Town.