The world celebrated International Beer Day on the fourth of August and Stellenbosch residents couldn’t have asked for better weather to enjoy one of South Africa’s favourite drinks.
The annual global celebration of beer always takes place on the first Friday of August and is celebrated in over 200 cities globally since it first started in 2008.
Stellenbosch has no shortage of delicious beer and venues to enjoy it, and those working with the cherished drink were happy to celebrate the day.
Anton Thomas Kruger, an employee at Bohemia, says beer is among the bar’s best-selling drinks, and with regards to the growing craft beer movement said: “It was never that popular until about two or three years ago because it’s something different, so that’s why it sort of exploded.”
Jess Theart, a bartender at The Happy Oak, was asked why he thinks students love beer so much. He laughed and replied: “Because it’s cheap.”
Pieter Smith, a bartender at Craft Wheat & Hops, was asked the same question and simply replied: “It just tastes nice.”
Louis van Wyk, the marketing and event manager at Stellenbrau Brewery, was asked about the rise in popularity of other products, such as craft gin, and their possible effect on beer sales.
“I think beer will always be there. I think these movements are just educating people more. I’ve always known about gin, but now with the craft gin movement it’s informing me more about what gin is and what it has to offer, but I’m still going to go to a bar and drink a beer.”
When asked why he thinks South Africans love beer, van Wyk said: “I think because of the weather, a beer is something you can drink a lot of and it’s refreshing. And I think it’s a part of the culture, although we can still grow that culture. If you look at European countries they drink beer right through the year whether it’s snowing or hailing outside or whether it’s minus degrees they still drink beer because it’s a culture.”
Chanelle Paulse, an employee at the Cape Brewing Company in Paarl, said: “Beer is easy drinking and this is South Africa! Everyone loves beer, especially with the weather. On a hot summer day what are you going to drink? You’re going to drink a beer.” – Tegan Mouton