New Breweries, a change in location, and additional events slated for the annual event

California Festival of Beers

The California Festival of Beers will take place Friday through Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27, 2012. Long held at the Avila Beach Golf Resort, the location of the festival has been moved to the outdoor section of The Madonna Expo Center, to allow for the significant growth experienced by the benefit festival in recent years. Tickets are now available for the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday festivities, as well as a VIP option for those wanting to experience all three weekend events. 

Friday's festivities will feature 22 breweries, including local favorites TapIt, Central Coast Brewing, Firestone, and SLO Brew. Rounding out Friday's selection are California cult favorites Lagunitas, Stone Brewing, Heretic, 21st Amendment, and Cismontane. Breweries will be showcasing their rare release and special edition brews at an intimate Tasting Dinner from 5-8pm. Local restaurants such as Full of Life Flatbread, The Lido, and SLO Brew will be showcasing specially paired tapas meant to enhance the brews available that evening. Dr. Bill Syzak, Ciserone and world renowned beer expert will be providing cigar pairings as well. Entertainment for the night will be provided by the Tipsy Gypsies. Tickets are $50 and include unlimited tastings, food, and entertainment. 

Saturday's Grand Tasting tickets sold out in one day this year, although an additional limited amount of tickets have been released, and can be purchased at Boo Boo Records and Vallitix online. Local bands Dan Curcio of Still Time, and the The JD Project will rock the Beach Butlerz Stage; while attendees will taste among 70 brewers, and enjoy 2 Beer Gardens with mystery taps.

The festival will end on Sunday with an AHA sanctioned Home Brewing Competition. The judge's panel consists of representatives from multiple breweries including Sierra Nevada, Firestone, The Brewhouse, and Creekside. Attendees will have the opportunity to taste the winning entries. There will also be a Brewer Q & A panel with breweries including Firestone, Tap-It, Lagunitas, Sudwerk, Cismontane, and Speakeasy; as well as Symposium Sessions designed to educate Beer Aficionados, and those interested in enhancing their palate.

VIP ticket holders will enjoy all 3 days of the Festival, access to the Tap-It VIP lounge where they will relax in style, and enjoy free food, non-alcoholic beverages, and parking on Saturday. 

Holly Todd, Event Director for the California Festival of Beers states, "We are excited by the positive response to the change in venue, and addition of more breweries than past years. This festival is a key fundraiser for Hospice SLO, and it is because of this event that our services remain free to the public."

California Festival of Beer