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It might come as a surprise to people that there are internationally recognised styles of beer, as one would find in wine.  Therefore, if you ask for a lager in Johannesburg or New York, chances are you will get two beers sufficiently similar to call brothers, but with distinct nuances that comes from the brewer’s own take on the style, to make them each unique.  Whilst wines are categorised according to variety or cultivar of grape, beer is categorised according to flavour, colour, aroma, mouth feel and taste, amongst others.  Although the systematic study of beer styles is a modern phenomenon, the practice of distinguishing between different varieties of beer is ancient, dating to at least 2000 BC and local customs and names have been and are taken into consideration in the international style guide, which evolves all the time are brewers get more and more innovative. There are 23 styles of beer with several sub-styles to each and those inclined to want to know them all can look them up on www.bjcp.org. In terms of the festival we can broadly categorise the beers on offer in Light beers, English style beers, Hoppy beers, Dark beers, Weiss beers,  and  Belgian style beers.  What you should expect from each style is described in terms of Aroma, Appearance, Flavour,  Finish / Mouth feel, Occasion and an Example that can be found at the festival. The best approach would be to taste the beers presented within the style you are interested in from those brewers offering it, and then start again with the next style since some have very overpowering hop characters that can render your taste buds useless!  Light style beers: Aroma light malty, medium hop.  Appearance: light yellow to deep gold and very clear. Flavour :   soft malty sweetness with some toast / biscuit / wheat  and light hop   Finish / Mouth feel: medium finish towards sweet   Occasion:  easily approachable, easy drinking beer.  Example:  Darling's Slow Brew English style beers: Aroma malty with caramel quality, moderate fruitiness, moderate hop.  Appearance: medium gold to copper; good clarity. Flavour: Medium bitterness with low fruitiness, moderate hop. Finish / Mouth feel: medium finish towards dry Occasion: refreshing session beer. Example: Flat Dog's Brew Shed Red Irish Ale Hoppy style beers: Aroma moderate to strong hop aroma. Appearance: pale golden to deep amber; good clarity. Flavour: moderate to high hop, often citrusy. Clean malt flavour.. Finish / Mouth feel: medium finish towards dry Occasion: refreshing and hoppy with a distinct following. Example: Cockpit Brewhouse Mustang Pale Ale and the ever-popular Clarens Red Dark beers: Aroma rich and complex with roastiness and maltiness. Appearance: very dark reddish brown to jet-black. Flavour: rich, deep, complex and intense. Roasted malts with low hop bitterns Finish / Mouth feel: full bodied and chewy Occasion: Big and bold single occasion or meal end Example: Mtunzini Brewery Russian Imperial Stout Weiss beers: Aroma Fruity and spicy (banana / Clove). Low hop, light wheat.  Appearance: Light to dark gold. Flavour : moderate banana and clove, soft grainy flavour Finish / Mouth feel: medium light Occasion:.Effervescent, quaffable Example: Chameleon Brewhouse Weiss Belgian Style beers : Aroma light earthy or spicy, sweet malt, subtle yet complex. Appearance: Pale straw to dark gold. Flavour : Smooth light malt sweetness, medium hop Finish / Mouth feel: medium high, medium body Occasion: .Subtle complexity single occasion or aperitif Example: De Garve Jolly Nun Clarens News:  January
“Clarens has a parking problem”, they say. Nonsense! I say: Clarens only has a perceived parking inconvenience. During the busiest weekend of the year, ie. Easter, cars are parked in Roos and Church streets to just south of their respective crossings with Naudé and just north with van der Merwe street. See map below, indicated in red. This situation recurs about four times per year, during long weekends, the beer festival and MTN-Classic. For the rest of the year, most is quiet on the western front. From the furthest parking, it is about 300m walking distance to the edge of the square. The Town planner’s technical ‘bible’ (Guidelines for Human Settlement Planning and Design, 2000, CSIR, Pretoria), states that the maximum convenient walking distance to be planned for varies between 400 and 500m, or about 7minutes walking time (pp. 5.1.10 and 5.2.1). I rest my case, your Honour… I have never, in my 17 years in Clarens, heard a visitor complain about the distance they had to walk from parking to the action. I guess the real complainants are locals who cannot find parking in front of the shops during busy weekends. Because of this perceived inconvenience, some have proposed change to our square for the sake of more parking. Let’s look at the facts and their implications: - Main, Church and Roos Streets’ reserves are 70 Cape feet or 22.039885 metres wide, from erf boundary to erf boundary…. let’s say 22m. - The square’s dimensions are 210 x 420 Cape feet, or 66.119655m x 132.23931m – let’s say: 66 x 132m. - The existing roadway (tarmac) width around the square is 11.5m. - Buildings such as the brewery abuts directly on the street boundary, with a 6m sidewalk between building and kerb. - The square’s grassed and treed surface encroaches about 4.5m into the road reserve - Currently, based on the markings next to the shop-side kerbs, 16 to 17 parallel parking spaces are available on each side of Main street(s) around the square. If one ignores the entrance ways and encroach a bit onto each corner, one would be able to squeeze in 19 parallel spaces on each side of the street. So, the square could currently ‘park’ between 16 x 4 =64 and 19 x 4 = 76 vehicles along both sides of Main Street (I am not including Market or Van Zyl Streets in this argument). Now, if we change the current parking arrangement to the proposal mentioned earlier, which is: - make traffic flow one-way around the square; and - provide echelon parking (45̊)… …the following would be the result (see figure 2): - echelon parking would only be possible on one side of either of the streets around the square, because - required parking bay depth is 6m, plus - four metre ‘free’ or  manoeuvring space, - which gives 10 m, plus a 6.1m roadway width = 16.1m, plus - 2.8 m width for parallel parking on the other side = 18.9m, - which leaves a 3.1m sidewalk on the shopping side, within the road reserve. This can be done within the existing road reserve but with the sacrifice of  3m sidewalk on the Brewery (and Valley Cats) side and 4.5m of grass and trees on the square. Even so, what do we gain? With echelon parking, about 30 parking spaces could be squeezed into 132m of square length. So we win 30 – 19 = 11 parking spaces on each side = 22 extra parking spaces. $    If we feel that we really need echelon parking on both sides of the streets, we’ll have to take 7.3m more off the square on either side and voila!  23.6m (7.3+7.3+4.5+4.5) narrower is our square. Go measure 11.8 metres from each kerbside and see for yourself what we would lose. I would venture, in terms of character, quite a lot. $    Added to this is another drawback of the proposal: when traffic flow is changed from two-way to a one-way system, traffic speed invariably increases. Our square and ‘its’ streets is a de facto pedestrian zone during busy weekends. It is not easy to negotiate a car around the square then, which is good. This happy chaos adds to the festive atmosphere. $    The third drawback of a one-way system is that it will criminalize current law-full behaviour: say if Diana Reed wants to go play tennis, she will have to  – coming up van Zyl street – drive left around the square in stead of just continuing straight on. So, would a one-way-echelon parking ‘solution’ really be worth the effort? I propose that we leave well be and divert such funds as would be needed for cutting up perfectly adequate existing parallel parking spaces, to rather build head-on parking (90̊) in Roos and Church streets. During the MTN-Classic weekend, I counted between 21 and 26 vehicles parked on either side of Church and Roos streets, between Market and van Zyl streets. With head-on parking, one can construct at least 40 parking spaces in the 132m block length, with the same spatial requirements as for echelon parking (6m x 2.8m plus 4m ‘free’ space ). So, let’s leave the square be and rather formalise parking half a block away either side in Church and Roos streets. In that way, we retain the square’s existing parallel parking and we add 40 x 2 = 80 head-on formal spaces plus 2 x 19 formal parallel spaces = 38. So, in total, we can add 118 new, formal parking spaces, or, 34 more than with the current informal setup. And we retain our square, intact, to be redesigned at a later stage… Louw van Biljon, 9 May
Department of Agricuture: Project on Vegetable Growing Letter from Tsepiso Mosia Dear Clarens/Kgubetswana Community It is a pleasure to inform you that the Senior Agriculture Officials and Hlasela TV Crew are coming to our village tomorrow to inspect and film the households,schools,churches,creches,clinic and projects that have registered and prepared their gardens for planting. Remember the aim of the project is to teach the people to grow and eat their own vegetables FRESH FROM THE GARDEN  and we will have healthy community. The good news is that the Clarens Primary School learners have been provided with vegetables seeds packets on 28 August 2013.We ask their parents to help them to prepare the soil so that they can plant the seeds.It is so nice to see that there are people who have vegetables gardens like Mr Daan who lives at 302 Market Street South. I would like to thank the Clarens Fire Association and WoF Team for the great job that they are doing in making fire breaks and responding quickly to veld fires that occur in our entire valley.This saves our Department and farmers millions of rands by saving Ha from burning.Keep up the good work.Lastly i would like to congradulate Golden Gate National Park on their coming Birthday. Tsepiso MosiaDepartment of Agriculture & Rural Development Ph: 710791332E-  email:mosiatsepiso@yahoo
We at the News are also thrilled to announce that a box of yellowing scraps of paper which was handed to us, has turned out to be the journal of Lady Piltdown, wife of Lord Henry Piltdown, one of the earliest pioneers of the Package Tour holiday. They joined up with the first Tour operators in 1835 going from Cape Town to Graaf Reniet, and then onwards in something that would come to be known as The Great Trek. Apparantly this journal was discovered in the foundations of a local farmhouse undergoing renovations, but the exact address has been withheld to avoid unnessecary publicity for the owners of the farmhouse, who wish to retain their privacy in what will no doubt come to be a major international heritage site. An excerpt: "Many of our fellow travellors exhibit signs of a fundamental lack of understanding of the finer points of etiquette. Only last night Harold was trying to place the spittoon within spitting distance of one of our new friends (whose tobacco chewing would not be half so problematic if he would only do it with his mouth closed). Every time he placed it where Johannes had just released a stream of brown fluid, and the man would then aim his next eruption to the other side of the table from the recepticle. After Henry had moved the object no less than five times, our esteemed colleague leaned over and growled in heavily accented English "Listen my friend, if you move that thing one more time I swear I will spit in it..." Later in the comfort of our own wagon Henry confided his sense of elation at having finally been called 'my friend' by this gruff fellow..." October
1st February 2014 Hi Folks Please see attached up-to-date Events Calendar for 2014. There are still some dates outstanding – if any of you can supply the definite dates for the corresponding events, please let me have them by return. The CTF will be manning an ‘Info Table’ at the Clarens Craft Beer Festival 21 – 23 February and would like to have some brochures/marketing materials to hand-out. This facility was extremely popular and busy last year and the same is expected this year. Please drop-off your brochures at either Mountain Odyssey or Clarens Destinations. Also, if you would like to assist at the table, please indicate so by return – assistance required on Friday 21st between 12h00 – 20h00 and on Saturday between 10h00 – 19h00. 2014 Has kicked off with a bang!!! New things happening for Clarens. The CTF had their 1st Committee Meeting for the year – Chairperson Mr Victor Mokoena together with his newly appointed deputy Mr Ollie Esplin has implemented a ‘Time for Action’ policy. A Clarens ‘brochure/map’ is being planned, the appointed sub-committee has already had their 1st meeting. All CTF Members will be presented with an annual certificate indicating their support for the marketing and promotion of Clarens through the CTF, who will again be attending the various shows and expo’s throughout the year, i.e. Beeld Holiday Show, International Travel Indaba, Outdoor Expo and The Getaway Show. Here again your marketing material will be displayed and handed out to visitors to the exhibition stand. The statistics for these shows indicate a greater interest in domestic travel and Clarens features as one of the most sort after destinations in the country. Clarens has also been invited to participate in a ‘speed-marketing’ presentation at the Indaba in May – another stunning opportunity to showcase this valley. The CTF welcomes the launching of the Greater Clarens Chamber of Commerce. Best wishes to the elected directors for the success and the natural progression which will result in greater prosperity for Clarens. An appeal to all to give this initiative the support it deserves. There are now 5 associations in place all working towards a common goal – making Clarens the number 1 Country Destination. With this in mind please diarise the next Combined Community Braai Challenge on Sunday 9th March 2014 at 14h00. More details to follow! Please folks, if anyone out there would like to become involved in assisting in any project/s, please indicate so by return mail. Thank you all for your continued support, Regards Tammy Clarens Tourism Forum www.clarenssa.c
I would like to extend a warm invite to all bird watchers of Clarens and The Eastern Free State. The SANPARKS HONORARY Rangers of the Free State host a birding weekend in Golden Gate every year during the 2nd weekend of February. This year the event were attended by 64 guests. They spotted 132 species during the weekend. Rick Nuttal a past president of Birdlife S.A and CEO of the National Museum in Bloemfontein and other birdlife experts normally take the guests on guided walks or drives through the park. Rick is also responsible for verifying the sytings. We as Honorary Ranger will very much welcome some participation from our local birdwatchers. Our next event will be the 2nd weekend of February 2015. The Honorary Rangers were also responsible for the building of the Vulture Hide in the park. This is the first vulture hide in a national park in S.A. There are still a challenge to help the park with the management of the hide. There is also a great need for farmers in the Clarens area to donate carcasses to the park to keep the hide functioning. Anyone who wants more information can contact me, Div Bosman, on this e-mail address or phone me on the number 0824576743. We would very much like the Clarens group to participate. Thank you to the editor of Clarens News who keeps  us updated on all the events and your interest in plants and wildlife. Regards Div Bosman Chairperson of The Free State SANPARKS Honorary Rang
  In the East End of London it appeared to me that there were standard yet somewhat obscure answers to some things.  On one occasion I was waiting in a reception area to see someone, and I asked the lady at the desk when the person would be able to see me.  “When he’s ready”, she said. The photograph this week is taken on a roadside in Clarens.  About a year ago I had returned from a very hot walk around the back of Clarens in the vicinity of the dam.  Coming back through town I came upon this wilful migration of flowers that had expanded beyond the garden fence, out into the public domain of the pavement.  I set my daypack down and got busy photographing. This morning, on opening my front door, I noticed for the first time a bank of green wispy-leafed stems taking over the flowerbed.  For a moment I wasn’t sure, then it struck me.  Of course, it’s December.  Cosmos! They’re a long way off flowering.  The stems must first grow tall and thicken, and the secondary shoots must multiply and fill out, giving the stand a denseness and height.  Then early in the new year the buds will appear, sparsely at first, opening one by one, until they all seem to fling themselves open in a great orchestrated burst of colour and radiance. But I question my knowledge of this.  How would I be sure when it is that the first buds will open?  I recall in London the tradition of looking for the first daffodils in March.  When the first flowers appear, the first day of spring is declared.  While some claim that the daffodils have it accurately timed to almost the same day each year, my own experience of London daffodils was that the arrival of spring fluctuated considerably from year to year. Nature always has us confounded.  Human inventions concerning time and seasons have a rigid clock and calendar around which we make our plans and have our expectations.  Yet all our attempts to control the things that surround our lives have little impact on the events of nature.  The first rains have their own timing.  We might see the signs of weather building, the wind, the heat and dust; then it dissipates again for weeks.  Somewhere in the biorhythms of nature the answers to these mysteries lie, well concealed from intellect, inconsistent in our understanding of their timing. One thing is for sure, though.  The banks of cosmos will break into flower.  But only when they’re ready. Our own lives, too, if we go a little deeper than the mechanical activities of our day, have a rhythm of their own.  But we seek to control every aspect of our passage through life.  We plan, diarise, budget, set dates, programme, establish goals, have agendas, work out steps and procedures, do check lists.  We need certainty, both about what to expect, and when to expect it. Yet we yearn for the unprogrammed.  We look for it in books, in films, in fantasy.  Underneath our surface runs a current as independent as the rhythms in nature are of our Swiss-made clocks.  How often we decide to do something, but are emotionally hell-bent on doing something else completely contrary.  Is this not our connectivity to our source, to our Mother Earth, to a greater spirit, in some similar way that the flowers are connected, and respond?  How completely insipid and uninspiring life would be if it were to unfold in a manner entirely conceived in our human intellect. Sometimes it seems as if, no matter how hard you try to do something, or to bring about something, or even to prevent something, your efforts are in vain.  The wilting young shoot of the first spring growth waits in anguish for the rain, but the rain doesn’t come.  Not till it is ready.  There are times that I too wait in anguish for something I most want.  And I too must leave it to the rhythms, like the young shoot, and know that what’s to be will come.  But only when it’s ready. The picture insert features in the 2014 calendar produced by and sold in aid of Cluny Animal Trust.  Calendars can be purchased at Clarens Gallery, Clementines Restaurant and the Old Stone Bottle Store, in Clarens.  Alternatively they can be ordered from Katherine on 0827886287, Jan on 0782462553, Helen on 0582230918 or by email to jansander22@gmail.com . &n
A farm called "Leliehoek" (English: Lily Corner) was bought from Mr. Hermanus Steyn in 1910, and in 1911 Mr. Piet de Villiers sold his farm "Naauwpoort" (situated near the Titanic rock) to a company wanting to establish a village there. These two farms were divided into erven and sold for fifty pounds each. A commission was appointed in 1912 to finalize negotiations, and a decision was made to name the village "Clarens" in honour of President Paul Kruger’s influence in the area. This came about in the following way - During the Free State-Basotho War of 1865 - 1866, five "burghers" from the Transvaal were murdered in the Eastern Free State, and as a result war was declared between the Transvaal and the Basotho leader, Moshoeshoe. Paul Kruger, together with a commando of burghers, defeated the Basotho at the Battle of Naauwpoortnek (near Titanic rock). President Paul Kruger spent his last days as a voluntary exile in the attractive village of Clarens in Switzerland, and thus Clarens was named for this Swiss town. A monument was erected on the farm "Ararat" just outside Clarens, in honour of the five burghers murdered by the Basotho on the 29th of September 1865, during the siege of Naauwpoort. This monument was later moved to Clarens placed in the central town square, where it stands to this day.   (Extract from information on Clarens on the  FreestateToursim.org. website)   Further reading Click here for more articles on the History of Clarens &n
Hi there Firstly, season’s greetings to all and if you are travelling over the holidays, drive carefully. The Numbering of Clarens’ Properties in line with the South African Protocol is now complete, i.e., approved by Province and is being handed over to the Municipality for inclusion in their billing system; so you should see your new house number next year on your Municipal Account.  Thanks Ralph and Rodney for your had work on this. It is time to call on you for your support by either renewing your membership or, if you are not already a member, joining these three associations.  The cost of subscriptions is as follows: Village R300.00 per annum for each household, with a 50% reduction for pensioners Housing Estates R120.00 per annum As most of you are aware, the funds are shared as follows – 50% to the CVC, 25% to the CRA and 25% to the CVFA, with top-ups from the CRA to the CVC and/or the CVFA as required throughout the year.  We have to pay our Rangers and of course, we want to keep them, so please dig into your hard earned cash and join us.  Of course should you wish to donate more that the subscription amount, any sum will be most gratefully received.   Click here for Membership Form and Bank Details  (Please let me know if you require an invoice) Many thanks.