California Beer Festival
Cheers! The California Beer Festival rolls into Mission Park in Ventura on Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22.
END OF THE ROAD: Tours around a state are usually the bag of rock groups and circuses, but, on occasion, foodie and/or beverage feasts hit the highway as well. One of the best known of the movable feasts, at least here in the Golden State, is the summer-and-fall-time California Beer Festival, a fest that starts up north and makes its way to the SoCal area, with four or five stops along the way. It recently hit San Dimas with dozens of regional brews and brewmasters in tow, and now its final pin on the map is just ahead: Ventura. Mission Park in Ventura, to be exact, and the dates couldn't be more ideal for raising something amber and hearty. Those dates are Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22, which means you get to raise a glass, or a three-ounce beer sample, at least, to the coming of fall. (Are fall and foamy drinks BFF forever? We're inclined to say that, yes, they're two peas in a pod, what with their rich hues and rich flavors.)
TWO DAYS, MANY WAYS: Day one of the weekend is described as "Craft Beer Heaven." Translation? It's billed as the "Ultimate California Beer Festival Experience." A half dozen beer makers'll meet up with an equal number of restaurants for food-drink match-up magic. If you just want to go the libation-tasting route, there are 130 different suds to choose from. Yeah, it's California-big, hence the name. But here's the excellent part: The fest offers discounted designated driver tickets. Sunday, Sept. 22 is the Blues & BBQ Day. Still plenty of brews to try out, but lots of music-listening to boot.
AND... if you can't make it, fret not, foamist. California Beer Festival is taking a cruise in the spring of 2014, and the whole tour starts over again in Marin County next June.