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Youth Day can be celebrated in more than one way. My ideal way definitely includes music, friends, ice-cold beverages and an outing out of the city. Combine all of those things and you get the Capital Craft Beer Festival, which has become an annual celebration. Roughly 10 000 people gathered at the Pretoria National Botanical Gardens for a day of glorious fun in the sun. Yup, winter stayed away for one day - it was destiny.

With so much to do and to see and to eat and drink, the day truly flies by. With over 40 breweries on offer, beer lovers had the chance to try out new unfamiliar flavours/brands or stick to die-hard favourites. The breweries also aimed to keep everyone happy, so not only beer, but also wine, exotic cocktails and gin mixes were on offer. My taste of the day has to be Alpha Craft’s alcoholic ginger beer slushies. No words…

Photos: Stanley June

On the music front of things, there was more than enough to keep everyone going. Spread out across 3 stages, the cream of the crop entertained the eager crowds. Black Cat Bones had a great set earlier on in the day. Bassist, Chris van der Walt, has re-joined the band after touring overseas and he brought his usual ultra-energy along. Crimson House blew me away as usual with their instrumental mania. The Main Stage highlight was definitely Spoegwolf, who enticed fans with their signature on-stage craziness. Lead singer, Danie du Toit, never holds back and moved around - from climbing high up the stage railings, to balancing on cases to positioning himself right in the middle of the crowd. This band knows how to entertain!

If chilled out was what you were in search for, you’d find it in the foresty area of the gardens. This is where people truly came to listen. Janie Bay was her lovely self, while Ard Matthews wowed with his latest tunes and El Cantante (consisting of Cito and Martin Rocka) had the girls (and boys) swooning in true Spanish style. Another source of entertainment was the Comedy Stage, where the likes of Dillan Oliphant, Long John and Alfred Adriaan had the crowd in stitches.

The day slowly turned into night with an epic Springbok victory on the big screen. Definitely a day well spent! Smooth sailing event management, a great selection of food and drink and top-class entertainment - what more could a festival need? If you missed out this year, put a reminder on your calendar right away: 2019 will be the 7th Capital Craft Beer Festival and they’ll definitely have a couple of tricks up their sleeve.

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