If a locavore is someone who preferentially eats food grown within a 100 mile radius of their home, then a locabibber should be the drinking equivalent. Or should that be locatippler? Locabibbing is no hardship for denizens of Cape Town or the Winelands but the economic heart of the country is excluded from membership of the fermented grape juice division of this cozy club. Cane would have to service Durban as the barley and hops used to brew beer come from down South. Johannesburg doesn’t even have sugar cane so locabibber beer would have to be made from mielies, as some brews reputedly already are.

lo Locabibbers

Of course the 100 mile radius is purely arbitrary, having been thought up by San Francisco greenies for whom 100 miles is a large distance. Adopt an African perspective and 1000 miles seems more suitable, which opens up the serious delights of fermented grape juice and its distilled brother, brandy.

The current economic meltdown seems to have achieved what counting carbon footprints couldn’t. While SA is (historically) the 5th largest export market for whisky, sales of top-end Scottish stuff seem to have all but stopped according to my deep throat at the liquor store. Which could explain the plethora of glossy brochures from major supermarket chains punting single malts you’ve never heard of.

Signing up as a locabibber is a great face saving device. You’ve swapped sipping Old Crusty 27 year old for Van Ryn 12 YO not because you can no longer afford the former (which you can’t), nor even because it was voted best brandy at the recent International Spirits Challenge (which it was) but because it is distilled from Robertson, Worcester, Slanghoek and even Orange River grapes and is hence locabibber friendly.