Gauteng / 21 May 2018, 8:00pm / Debashine Thangevelo
At the airport, holidaymakers are easily identified by their unbridled excitement coupled with their impatience to get to their destination or head back home with a plethora of stories to share with family and friends.
But the journey can evolve into a frustrating one when flights are delayed and the layovers longer than preferable. Shopping (or window shopping), grabbing a bite or indulging in a quick spa pamper session become default time-passing activities.
Reclusive travellers simply drown out the noise of the crowd by cranking up their iPods.
For tourists who find themselves staying at InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport, with time to spare, they have an option they can drink to, literally - a Curated Experience to the Airport Craft Brewers.
The tourism event, which is short enough to slot into itineraries but long enough to enjoy, includes a personal tour of the brewery, beer tasting with specifically paired canapés, a sample beer cocktail designed to impress and a gift pack to take home as a souvenir.
InterContinental Hotel’s James Britchford - who is the vice-president of sales and marketing India, Middle East and Africa - shed light on the Curated Experience.
“In line with the concept, InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport has created an authentic and sophisticated Curated Experience at the only operational brewery inside an airport in the southern hemisphere. Beer in South Africa has a long history dating from the early 20th century, and, today, the beer culture in the country is strong with a growing emphasis on microbreweries.
“The experience brings together the popular beer culture of the city at an exclusive location, giving guests a true taste of Johannesburg.”
Who is the target market?
“The experience is exclusively designed for our guests staying at the hotel, who are looking for authentic and immersive travel experiences,” Britchford said.
Since its launch two months ago, the Curated Experience has been well received by tourists. Brewmaster Sibusiso Khumalo of Airport Craft Brewers, which launched in 2014, gave some insight into what is on offer.
“Airport Craft Brewers offers eight brews - seven beers and a cider. We offer a Blonde, Weizen, English IPA, Red, Porter, Country Ale and Pilsner. Visitors can try a tasting tray featuring samples of all eight brews, or try one of our signature beer cocktails.
“The turnaround time for brewing our beers is around three weeks, from start to bottling. The brewing process itself takes eight to 10 hours and starts early in the morning with milling on-site, through cooking and brewing and then being pumped into tanks before bottling a few weeks later.”
Ingredients are key to producing the right taste.
“All ingredients that go into our brews are sourced locally, from hops to malt,” Khumalo said. “We’re proud to be the only airport-based brewery in Africa, and only the second in the world, which also makes our beers unique.”