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Cheers to the Blonde, the cocktail beer of choice

For many people, if you were to ask them what words come up when they think of the airport: chaos, traffic and anxiety would top the list, while fun and relaxation would rarely feature.

I must admit to being one of those who are always in a hurry to get to my next destination, never stopping for a meal or a bit of shopping. Airports are not my favourite place to be.

So I was intrigued when I received an invitation from the InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport hotel for a "curated experience" at the Airport Craft Brewers.

The hotel has partnered with the bar/restaurant to give guests a chance “to experience the destination in a unique way that is not seen in your typical travel guides on South Africa or Johannesburg”, according to James Britchford, vice-president sales & marketing India, Middle East & Africa, IHG.

So what was this "curated experience?" -  craft beer and food pairing, guided by an on-site brewer.

Our kind host took us through the brewing process, speaking passionately as he explained each step from the cooking to the brewing and finally pumping the finished product into tanks. By the end of the tour, we couldn’t wait to give our taste buds the much-awaited treat.

The final stop was our reserved table which was already decked with tasting trays featuring samples of all brews for each of us.

The brews are Blonde, Weizen, English IPA, Red, Porter, Country Ale and Pilsner. We also had the option of sampling the signature beer cocktail.

Each beer was paired with a delicious food item. For example, the strong dark brown porter was paired with sweet, sticky mini-ribs, while the hoppy and moderately strong English IPA was paired with Jalapeno rissole to spice-up the taste.

In the end, the Blonde brew came out as a clear favourite for those gathered at the table. The beer cocktail was an instant hit for the regular beer drinkers.

So the next time you are stuck at the airport with friends, trying to find a way to pass the time, I suggest you pop in to the Airport Craft Brewers, you won’t regret it.

The brewery experience is  also available to InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo guests exclusively until the end of 2018.

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