CRAFTY STUFF: Snethemba Hlela, The Independent on Saturday’s marketing officer, Christine Standeaven of Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market, stallholders Rose Renney and Gabriella Westergreen, holding her granddaughter Hannah Weyer, guitarist Tristan Boltman, Bronwyn Fynn, Independent’s national events  manager, and stall holder Michael Thompson, enjoy a dress rehearsal for CraftFest 2018 at Durban’s Botanic Gardens this week. Pictures: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)
CRAFTY STUFF: Snethemba Hlela, The Independent on Saturday’s marketing officer, Christine Standeaven of Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market, stallholders Rose Renney and Gabriella Westergreen, holding her granddaughter Hannah Weyer, guitarist Tristan Boltman, Bronwyn Fynn, Independent’s national events manager, and stall holder Michael Thompson, enjoy a dress rehearsal for CraftFest 2018 at Durban’s Botanic Gardens this week. Pictures: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)
JUST THE TONIC: Christine Standeaven with some of the beers and gin products that will be available at CraftFest. Pictures: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)
JUST THE TONIC: Christine Standeaven with some of the beers and gin products that will be available at CraftFest. Pictures: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

DURBAN - There are more than 15 stands specialising in hand-crafted beers, funky cocktails and mocktails and gin and tonic on tap. So expect unusual ales, stouts and porters, with the odd pilsner or wheat beer thrown in.

Shaun Standeaven of the Standeaven Brewery likes to brew up an interesting mix for every festival.

At last weekend’s Clarence Festival it was a coconut porter which was a real hit. He remains tight-lipped about what he’s brewing up for CraftFest though.

If beer’s not your thing, the craft gin trend may entice, while you can also enjoy the products of some of KZN’s top distilleries.

From gins with home-made tonics or interesting arrays of fresh herbs, to elegant pink drinks celebrating cranberry tonic or locally produced bitters, there will be plenty of new and interesting taste sensations. The Gin Co will also have its gin and tonic on-tap.

No CraftFest would be complete without top local food producers offering an array of artisan products to munch on while you’re enjoying that craft beer.

JUST THE TONIC: Christine Standeaven with some of the beers and gin products that will be available at CraftFest. Pictures: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

From home-made Turkish flatbreads with an array of Mediterranean toppings, to pulled pork and brisket rolls and spicy chicken wings - or even bacon and egg muffins made to order, CraftFest has it all. Debbie Rich’s Out To Lunch even celebrates vegan food.

Prominent local musicians will entertain the crowds. Already on board is Tristan Boltman, lead singer and guitarist of In Deep, an outfit that scooped ECR’s BeTheBand2017 competition. A matric pupil at St Henry’s Marist College, he’s already opened for Ladysmith Black Mambazo and is a Shongweni regular.

Durban pop sensation Majozi will be the headline act.

“With CraftFest we are trying to gather like-minded people who appreciate the craft of good beers, spirits and gourmet food,” said Christine Standeaven of the Shongweni Farmers and Craft market.

“It’s a great day out together where you can have fun with your friends. You have a table to sit at while you enjoy good food and spirits. The children are safe, your cars are safe and the destination is safe.

“The quality is going to be awesome and the return on your ticket price is absolutely awesome. Last year we were overwhelmed by the response of the public, so this year we have made sure there are eight ticket gates operated by Quicket for people coming into the market. Queues will not be a problem,” she said.

“It is with great delight that we announce the second year of CraftFest - bigger and better than the enormously well-received inaugural festival last year,” said The Independent on Saturday acting editor, Lindsay Slogrove.

“The collaboration between Shongweni Farmers Market and The Independent on Saturday is a perfect fit - CraftFest is a day of leisure and pleasure in the fresh air, in beautiful settings with only the best of drinks, food, crafts, entertainment and family activities on offer,” said Slogrove.

“It’s a brilliant opportunity for friends and families to gather and sample an array of food and drink in a safe environment. The weather at this time of the year is usually perfect for a day in the ‘country’ that’s right on our doorstep.

“Learning from our first CraftFest, we have expanded the area for exhibitors. This will reduce queues. Exhibitors will also have far more stock on hand.

“With most people watching their budgets, we have kept entry costs the same, making CraftFest affordable for families.

“The Independent on Saturday and Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market look forward to welcoming you to an entertaining and special day,” she said.

Diarise the date:

CraftFest on April29 from 10am to 4pm at the Shongweni Farmers and Craft market. Tickets are R100 pre-booked, and R120 at the gate through Quicket. Children 12-17 enter for R50 and children under 12 free. Entry includes a tasting glass. Pre-booking is advised.

See www.quicket.co.za