Beer Festival Excites Kampala

Ugandans love making merry, but there are extents one would not expect them to go to.

When someone aertised the first Kampala beer festival back in August, there was enough reason to doubt it would work. Beer festivals are synonymous with western fetes such as Muumlnich’s Oktoberfest. Paying Shs10,000 to meet the brewers than enjoy the beer was quite dodgy like seriously, in some bars, that translates to four bottles.

The organizers did not help matters when they cancelled the event originally meant to happen on October 25, postponing it to November 29. The event scheduled to start at 10am had no signs of kicking off by midday it was raining, the Uganda Museum grounds were wet and it seemed like revelers, organizers and the brewers had connived to make a no-show.

Hours later, though, when the sun came out, so did people, especially tourists and expatriates who arrived in droves. What killed the vibe, though, was the fact that much as it was billed as a beer festival, it simply turned out to be another trade show. There were just beer bottles on display and to make matters worse, none of them was free.

Who pays Shs10, 000 to access some space and buy beer, when one can cut out the middleman by directly entering a bar?

Besides the Heineken and Skol tents, where samples were on offer, all the beer at the festival was for sale. The whole theory of Kampalans drowning in booze was a myth if one entered the Museum grounds broke. According to Max Adii, the creative Director, Bored Digital, the festival organizers, the do was meant to celebrate different beer brands on the market.

“It is a chance for people to interact with their brewers, get to understand the process,” he said.

He said next year they want to make the festival bigger with more international brewers on board. The festival continued until midnight with revellers enjoying discounts, winning beer goodies and DJ Aludah’s video mixes.

Source : The Observer

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