Three central valley craft beer festivals going on this weekend including the 5th Annual Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival now with Home Brew On Tap This Week.
On Tap This Week
A look at the future, one week at a time.
Wednesday 5/10 – Wednesday is Flights and Bites night at Moo Creamery. The pairing starts at 4 pm and goes until 9 pm. Watch for pairing announcements this week.
Saturday 5/13 – The 5th Annual Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival is this Saturday from 1 pm – 5 pm (VIP get in at 12 pm) at the CSUB Amphitheater. Tickets are available online, at Imbibe Wine and Spirits, Temblor Brewing, Dionysus Brewing, and all three Lengthwise locations. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for a chance to win tickets. Read more about it in the feature below.
The Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival, in its fifth year, is the original craft beer festival in Bakersfield and is 100% all about the beer. There’s background music, food trucks, and yard games but the star at this event is what comes out of the taps. This year’s festival will feature over 40 breweries each presenting a couple of beers and the organizers have worked hard to make sure there is lots of variety, brewery representation, and some cool surprises. There will be a selection of ciders, a homebrew tent and a substantial list of special timed-release pours to keep things interesting.
A Festival with Benefits
The Benefit Bakersfield Foundation and Imbibe Wine and Spirits present this festival not only to enhance understanding and appreciation of craft beer but for a good cause too. All of this year’s event’s proceeds will benefit Casa of Kern County and the CSUB Athletic Scholarship Fund.
Food’s Better from a Truck
Food trucks, caterers, and food popups are certainly no longer something to settle for. This restaurant subcategory has become a juggernaut in the food and service industry with some vendors putting out ridiculously tasty, creative, gourmet options. Curbside Kitchen, The Meat Waggon, Pa’l Norte and Milan’s Market will all be serving at this year’s event. That makes for a good range of variety and all delicious options to pair with a day of good beer tasting. If you need a pick me up Covenant Coffee will be pouring at the event as well.
What’s On Tap?
With beer being the focus of this event you should expect an extensive list. As of this writing, the final beer list was not available but from what I’ve seen so far there will be some pretty cool special timed-release offerings. Here’s the list of breweries participating this year:
|Local Craft Beer|
The VIP Treatment
If you decide to spend a little extra and get the VIP pass you get a nice set of perks. To start you get in an hour early at 12 pm. You also get a spot under one of the large tents at a table, a commemorative t-shirt, complimentary water, and a meal voucher good at any of the food vendors. New this year is the implantation of a fast pass for special timed-release beers. VIP’s will have 12 spots on their lanyard badge to utilize this perk. That means you don’t have to wait in line to get a pour of Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA. Just go right up to the designated area at the booth, present your VIP badge and get your pour.
Home Brew for the People
It takes a lot of effort and a bit of an investment to home brew (so I’m told). That’s why seems slightly surprising to see the rise of Home Brew booths at festivals. You would think that after putting in all that effort and cash into making your own fermented creation you would want it all to yourself and maybe to share with some friends and loved ones at the most. That’s not the case with the majority of home brewers. They want to share their creation and get honest feedback in an ongoing effort to improve and perfect their recipes to make that elusive flawless beer. I’m not a homebrewer. With the exception of a couple failed Mr. Beer ventures, I’ve left the brewing to the professionals. Recently with the help of Mash Time – A Brewing Podcast (check them out on iTunes), Temblor Brewing and their monthly homebrew meetings, and some of the individuals involved in the local homebrew scene, I’ve been spending a lot of time with home brewers and I can say without a doubt that they are one of the most open and accepting hobby communities (all be it tragically unorganized locally with the exception of recent efforts from a few dedicated individuals and organizations mentioned above) I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with.
The above experience and the overwhelmingly positive response to the Home Brew booths at the Bacon and Craft Beer Festival and the Country and Craft Beer Festival made it a no brainer to propose a Home Brew booth at the Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival (full disclosure – I’m on the Bakersfield Craft Beer Festival planning committee. I probably should have written that at the top of this feature but it’s going to stay here because copy + paste is hard). The festival organizers were on board right away and let me take the reins. After conferring with John Agee (local home brewer, co-host of Mash Time, and authority on home brew booths) a plan was formulated. We are expecting to have 12 different brews available at the booth this year representing at least 8 different styles. The full list of home brewers and beers will be posted on social media later this week. Stop by the Home Brew booth and support these local brewers sharing their craft and building up the local home brewing community.
I’ve always loved this festival for its focus on beer and ability to bring in a variety of special pours. This is the original craft beer festival in town and is really a first class professionally run event. The CSUB amphitheater is a great venue and the weather is looking to be good (so far) so if you don’t have them already, make sure you get your tickets this week online, at Imbibe Wine and Spirits, Temblor Brewing, Dionysus Brewing, or any Lengthwise location.
When: Saturday May 13th 12 – 5 pm (VIP), 1 – 5 pm (general)
Where: CSUB Amphitheater
Cost: $100 (VIP), $59 (General), $750 (VIP table for 8 guests)
Drink Like a Local
Catching up with our local breweries.
Kern River Brewing Company has fresh bottles of Long Swim DIPA and River Buddy Pale Ale at the brewery and all over town. Also, KRBC has a photo contest going on their social media for the month of May. Take your KRBC beer outside, take an interesting photo, post it on social media and hashtag #KRBCoutside for a chance to win. The winner will be announced at the end of the month and have $100 donated to the outdoors related charity of their choice.
Temblor Brewing has Rhapsody in Red available in 22oz. bombers at the brewery as well as around town at local bottle shops. Brew’s and Bites; a beer pairing dinner at the Padre Hotel is set for Wednesday 5/17 and will feature the beers of Temblor. You can get your tickets at Eventbrite.
The Juice is Real will be released in bottles this Wednesday the 10th at Local Craft Beer Tehachapi. Danky Nelson is back in the fermenter and a new version of Cali Cloud has just been brewed.
Dionysus Brewing has a new NE IPA called Perpetual Haze #1. Each batch of this beer will showcase a different hop as the numbers increase to explore the depths of hops and how they differ in this style of beer. On May 29th, Dio is releasing Berlinersfield with Black Raspberries in bottles to the public and will have it on tap. Read more about that event in the coming weeks. Also, on June 3rd, the second bottle release for Olympus Barrel Society members will be Lil Miss Passionfruit aged in French oak barrels with lots of passion fruit and guava. Bottles will only be for members but the beer will be on tap for the general public.
For Your Ears
Podcasts are the future of entertainment (said someone in 2004).
Mash Time – A Brewing Podcast – A local station for discussing home brewing and craft beer, hosted by Stuart Hoetker and John Agee out of Bakersfield CA. Episode 18 is a triple cast where I try (unsuccessfully) to fill John’s shoes as co-host and Shawn from I’m Not Kevin Podcast stops by to talk beer. Stu’s friend from the bay area calls in to discuss his first home brewing experience and some others show up that may or may not be from the podcast mentioned below (Kenny and Uncle Frank).
IPA Today Podcast – A local podcast critiquing beers and wasting time. Hosted by Kenny and Richie with frequent appearances by Uncle Frank and Joey. Episode 38 features Joey for general tomfoolery and a little bit of beer talk. Also, Episode 39 is up which is the above mentioned Tri-cast with Mash Time and I’m Not Kevin.
Bakersfield Beer Blogging
An elite society, currently consisting of two.
The Local Mash – A blog about the Author’s adventures in fermentation, beer brewing, and commercial beer reviews. Follow him on Facebook for updates. Check out his most recent post, a poignant review of local heartthrob; Long Swim DIPA by Kern River Brewing Company.
Drink all the beers, four ounces at a time.
The 2017 Central Valley Brewfest in Turlock, CA at the Stanislaus fairgrounds is on May 13th. This is the 5th year of this event and promises to have over 150 brews to sample as well as live music. The event goes from 12 – 5 pm. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.
Surf n’ Suds Beer Festival on the beach in Ventura is Saturday, May 20th from 11:30 am – 5 pm. The event features over 50 breweries, live music, vendors, outdoor games, and a bunch of food trucks. Benefiting The Young and Brave Foundation the event is rated top 10 by beeryeti.com and will sell out. Get your tickets here.
The Pizza and Craft Beer Fest at Craft Tap House is scheduled for May 21st. From 1 – 5 pm local pizza vendors will be selling slices, there will also be a pizza competition and 50 beers on tap for purchase. General admission tickets are $10 and VIP is $50. The VIP tickets come with early entry at 12 pm, a VIP shaded area with seating, a $10 drink card and pizza sampling. Tickets are available at Craft Tap House, Impact Streetwear, and True Standard Barbershop.
This year’s Tehachapi Mountain Beer and Wine Fest is scheduled for July 15th from 4 pm – 8 pm at Benz Visco Sports Park. Get your tickets for this event online and be sure to enter promo code “Local” for discounted general admission tickets or “VeryVIP” for discounted VIP tickets.
Bottles and Cans (Just Clap Your Hands)
Pictures of packaged beers in their natural habitat from the last week.
Short and Sweet (or Sour)
All the stuff I didn't include above.
Wicked Weed Brewing Company out of Asheville, NC was recently acquired by AB-InBev. This is the 10th craft brewery consumed by the giant and while I’ll hold back my judgment and opinion on what this acquisition and others like it mean for the independent craft beer industry, here’s some links to interesting articles that range from reporting the news, empathizing with the business decision and berating it.