Olives? What olives? A whole weekend went by at the Olive Festival in Riebeek Kasteel and I didn’t get to see one single olive! But I suppose that’s what happens when you’re behind a stand that attracts loads of customers. The rest of the festival just passes you by.
Organisers said that about 18 000 people descended on the Riebeek Valley over the weekend and although we weren’t in the ideal position – those were all bought up by the big brand companies – we found a great spot opposite the Royal Hotel on the main road. Being the 8th Olive Festival you are always guaranteed that loads of people would be making the trip out to the country-side.
We decided that for this event we wanted to offer something extra to compliment the beer, and so Jamie was cooking up a storm making fresh chips and German Bokwurst rolls served with wonderful German pickled gherkins. Our R50 lunch time special of chips, bokwurst and a 500ml Oettinger was very popular, but I would say that the stars of the stand were the Napier & Camelthorn draughts.
Camelthorn had provided us with their unfiltered Helles lager & the seasonal Bok beer (7%), while loads of people enjoyed the lager & ale from Napier. Of course the big name brands such as Erdinger, Paulaner and Singha flew off the stand and I was running back to our massive trailer all weekend fetching replen stock.
We saw loads of our regular customers, not only from our weekly Laborie Lazy Days Market, but also the people who make it their mission to visit festivals around the Cape. We had one group who almost caused an accident when they spotted us from the main road and we were thrilled with their excitement to see us. “There’s that guy that changed my life!” Yes, finding a beautiful beer, and especially a craft beer that is made with passion and care and natural ingredients can be a life changing experience!
We also did well from our spirits table introducing the Jorgensen’s Distillery range to lots of new people, though being in the same region as Wellington, where Jorgensen’s is based, many people already know the brands and were happy to be able to restock their supplies. The Field of Dreams Absinthe always excites; Naked Lemon Limoncello streams sunshine; Primitiv Vodka blows peoples socks off; and Savignac Potstill Brandy causes everyone to salivate!
If you didn’t make it out to the Riebeek Valley this year, yes the Taste of Cape Town drew good crowds again, you should make a mental note to get there next year. It’s a great way to spend a family weekend, and although you need to book your accommodation well in advance to avoid disappointment, but if you end up in a gem like we did at the Rustigheid Cottage, you come back feeling refreshed and happy!
This week we will be in the trade again until Friday evening when Laborie will be hosting an evening market (18h00 – 21h00) to introduce the winter venue to the public. The normal weekly Lazy Days Market will continue on Saturday, so there is no excuse to let the wet weather get you down. In fact, I think it’s going to be pretty cosy and a lot of fun, so come and join us, either for a cold beer or a warming spirit!