Outside Lands not only showcases the biggest names in music this weekend, but will serve some of the Bay Area’s finest food and drink as well. This year's Beer Lands is bigger than ever, with almost twice as many California breweries as last year. We sat down with Dave McLean, Brewmaster/Owner of Magnolia Brewery and the BeerLands curator, to ask him a few questions about this year's selections.
It's great to see a lot more more brewers and taps this year. How did that happen?
When Beer Lands moved to the Polo Field last year, it became possible to add a second tent. But that came well after the time when we could add more breweries. This year we knew how much space we were working with from the beginning so it created a great opportunity to bring in some more breweries. Beer Lands has been a great success so it makes sense to grow it and add to the experience.
I see there are a few brewers from Southern California this year. Why the change?
I've always been working from an all-California starting point with as much emphasis on SF and Bay Area breweries as possible, since the festival does such an amazing job of celebrating a sense of place in Golden Gate Park and the City. The food vendors reflect this and I wanted Beer Lands to help amplify that message. But, the first year, we did have Firestone Walker and The Bruery from SoCal and with more brewery spots available this year, I was able to work in a few more from outside of Northern California.
Any other changes people should be aware of?
Nothing else as big as the massive increase in breweries from 16 to 30. That's the thing I'm most excited about. I think the other things are more behind the scenes stuff that will help things run more smoothly, for example, only two beers per brewery so there won't be any mid-festival beer changes.
Any bands you're looking forward to seeing this year?
I think Tom Petty is at the top of my list. I'm kind of surprised to realize I've never seen him despite growing up hearing his music so much.
How is the new Magnolia Brewery and Smokestack going?
Awesome! We start lunch service on Wednesday (August 6). And we just got some new toys to play with in the brewery and are hoping to add more tanks soon.