It’s that time of year again; temperatures heat up, the Sacramento River gets busy, concerts kick into high gear and festivals abound. One of the more popular festivals in the region has been around since 2000, and has evolved into one of the biggest and most attended brew festivals in Sacramento.
The first West Coast Brew Festival attracted only 350 attendees. Founder and producer, Matson Breaky, said that festival lost a lot of money, but he stayed on course and has seen it grow more and more every year. Last year, 2,000 people were admitted and the gates had to be shut as capacity was reached.
Last year Raley Field announced that their brew festival was going to occur on the very same day as the West Coast Brew Festival. Breaky scrambled to avoid a clash. Two brew festivals held on the same day in the same city would have caused local beer distributors a major headache. The collision course was averted and the two festivals now are held on separate days.
While writing this article, I posted a question on my Facebook wall asking friends to chime in with comments about why they are going to the West Coast Brew Festival this weekend. A quite well establisehd restuaranteur from El Dorado Hills said,
"I am going this year because it sounds like a fun Saturday afternoon and I am bringing a friend, who enjoys beer like me! I found out about WCB from you! Hopefully, we will run into each other." – Karoline C.P. (LO (Land and Ocean) New American Steakhouse.
Sacramento locals seem to enjoy the close proximity of the brew fest to midtown as can be witnessed by the hordes of bicycles. The brew festival requires some 100 volunteers including 40 to staff the beer booths and 10 for the bike locker area. The first volunteers will arrive around 7 a.m., and when it’s all done and said, the last volunteers will wrap up at 7 p.m. General admission opens at 1pm and VIP ticket purchasers will be allowed in at noon to partake in the brewers BBQ and get a large commemorative mug.
General Admission is $40 at the door and the gates open at 1 p.m. Discount tickets are available online.
Unlike most Brewers Festivals, the WCBF has a sanctioned Commercial Craft Competition two weeks prior to the festival where certified beer judges will conduct a double-blind tasting over 18 different categories to determine their favorites among the hundreds of beers that are entered. Ribbons will be awarded and the breweries will proudly display their prizes at the Brew Fest.
The WCBF is a fundraiser for the Make-A-Difference Project, in cooperation with the Sacramento Urban League.
Here are some key points helping to make the West Coast Brew Fest one of the best in the region:
- Giant oak trees provide ample shade as temperatures reach into the 90s
- No tokens needed, once you’re in, it’s open taps all day
- Your pets (dogs) welcome, but should be socialized and on a leash
- Bicycle friendly with a bicycle parking lot in the works as of writing this article, courtesy Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates
- Live music by – Bob Woods Band (Rockabilly), the Jonny Mojo Trio (Grateful Dead Style Rock), SFK’s Rock Revue (Classic Rock), and The Pyronauts (Surf Music).
- Kids are welcome too; no they may not drink the beer
- Picnic chairs good, picnic baskets or ice chests not allowed as there are plenty of vendors providing great food including BBQ, Mexican Food, Sausages, and Philly Steak Sandwiches.
- Ins-and-Outs are acceptable
- ATM on site
Brewers participating and showcasing:
1. 21st Amendment Brewery, San Francisco, CA
2. Abita Brewing Co., Abita Springs, LA
3. Alaskan Brewing Co., Juneau, AK
4. American River Brewing, Rancho Cordova, CA
5. Beer Valley Brewing Co., Ontario, OR
6. Black Boss, Witnica, Poland
7. Black Star Brewing Co., Whitefish, MT
8. Blue Moon Brewing Co, Golden, CO
9. Boston Beer Co., Boston, MA
10. Boulder Brewing Co., Boulder, CO
11. Carlsberg Brewery, Copenhagen, Denmark
12. Crabbies Ginger Beer Co.,Leith, Scotland
13. Crazy Mountain Brewing Co.,Vail Valley, CO
14. Crispin Cider Co., Minneapolis, MN
15. Deschutes Brewery, Bend, OR
16. Dust Bowl Brewing Co., Turlock, CA
17. Erdinger, Privatbrauerei, Erding, Bavaria
18. Feather Falls Casino Brewing Co., Oroville, CA
19. Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Pasa Robles, CA
20. Flat Tail Brewing, Corvallis, OR
21. Fox Barrel Cider Co., Colfax, CA
22. Gold Country Brewers Association, Sacramento, CA
23. Grand Teton Brewing Co., Victor, ID
24. Grand, Browar Amber, Kolbudy, Poland
25. Grimbergen, Alken, Belgium
26. Guiness, St. James’s Gate Brewery, Dublin, Ireland
27. High Water Brewing, San Leandro & Belmont, CA
28. Hoppy Brewing Co., Sacramento, CA
29. Humboldt Brewery, Arcata, CA
30. Knee Deep Brewing Co., Lincoln, CA
31. Kronenbourg Brewery, Strasbourg, France
32. Left Coast Brewery, San Clemente, CA
33. Leinenkugel Brewing Co., Chippewa Falls, WI
34. Lockdown Brewing Co., Folsom, CA
35. Loomis Basin Brewing Co., Loomis, CA
36. Lost Coast Brewery, Eureka, CA
37. Mendocino Brewing Co., Ukiah, CA
38. New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, CA
39. North Coast Brewing Co, Fort Bragg, CA
40. Old Hangtown Beer Works, Placerville, CA
41. Primator, Náchod, Czech Republic
42. Red Stripe, Kingston, Jamaica
43. River City Brewing Co., Sacramento, CA
44. Roseville Brewing Co., Roseville, CA
45. Seadog Brewing Co., Portland, ME
46. Sequoia Brewing Co., Fresno, CA
47. Shipyard Brewing Co., Portland, ME
48. Shock Top Brewing Co., Fairfeild, CA
49. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, CA
50. Snowshoe Brewing Co., Arnold, CA
51. Strangford Lough Brewing Co., Killyleagh, Northern Ireland
52. Sudwerk Brewery, Davis, CA
53. Tail Gate Beer, San Diego, CA
54. The California Cider Co., Sebastopol, CA
55. Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co., Fresno, CA
56. Track 7 Brewing Co., Sacramento, CA
57. Triple Voodoo Brewing Co., San Francisco, CA (VIP Only)
58. Uncommon Brewers, Santa Cruz, CA
59. Vermont Hard Cider Co., Middlebury, VT
60. Wyder’s Cider Co., Middlebury, VT
61. And More!