This Saturday afternoon the California Beer Festival barrels into Santa Cruz. The event will be showcasing over 60 craft brews, offering food from local eateries, and hosting four bands. What makes this particular event special is that it's the best place to sample the variety of beers brewed in Santa Cruz and the surrounding area; many of these beers are not distributed outside the area and some are only available on tap. Even a dedicated pub crawler would have little chance of sampling this many SC brews outside of the festival.
Proceeds will benefit the Gen Giammanco Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides financial support to student athletes to assist in their pursuit of both scholastic and athletic success in Santa Cruz County.
In addition to the more widely distributed beers from Kona, Firestone, Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, Mendocino, Speakeasy, Stone, Ninkasi, Widmer, and Sudwerk, the festival will include beers from these local breweries:
- Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery – This all organic brewery has a lot of solid offerings; look for their Olallieberry Cream Ale as well as their signature brew, the Organic Amber Ale.
- Seabright Brewery (Santa Cruz) – Well known and highly decorated Santa Cruz brewery. Their Oatmeal Stout is a standout.
- Hermitage Brewing (San Jose) – Known for their 8% ABV brews, look for their Maltopia Double Scotch Ale and the Ale of the 2 TUN, an Imperial Stout.
- EJ Phair Brewing Co (Pittsburg) – Should be pouring their English IPA.
- Santa Cruz Ale Works – Relatively new brewery that’s been popping up on the festival circuit.
- Corralitos Brewing Company (Santa Cruz) – Another relatively new brewery.
The festival is in the 10-acre Aptos Village Park; organizers expect to sell out so buy your tickets at the festival’s web site before heading down there. The event runs from 12:30 to 5:00.