Mardi Gras Corks & Hops a huge success
By DOUGLAS W. MOTLEY
The Mardi Gras Corks & Hops held on Saturday, Feb. 18 was declared a huge success by its promoters, the Crestline Chamber of Commerce, and its premier sponsors, the team of Paul Steffen and Debby Baker from Wheeler-Steffen Sotheby’s International Realty, Lake Gregory Company, Goodwin & Sons market, all participating breweries and wineries, the Little Bear Bottle Shop and all the volunteers who helped out.
This wintertime event, the first of its kind ever held at Crestline’s historic San Moritz Lodge, attracted over 300 wine and craft beer aficionados from throughout Southern California, many of whom were dressed in colorful New Orleans Mardi Gras-style attire and masks.
Inside the 5 to 9 p.m. event at the San Moritz Lodge there were eight wine and craft beer tasting stations, live music provided by the Speakeasy Jazz Quartet, classic rock tunes played by Hilary Watson on her acoustic guitar, as well as food and pop-up craft and jewelry vendors, while outdoor food vendors included Buddy’s BBQ and Cousins Maine Lobster.
Among the participating wineries and craft beer vendors were Los Angeles-based Decatur Wine and Beer Distribution Company, which featured four varieties of sparkling wine, along with several red and white wines, all of which were bottled in Colorado, with grapes that were also grown in Colorado, as well as canned stout and ale. The distributor’s representative, Chris, said their products are available at Little Bear Bottle Shop in Skyforest. MCV Vineyard from Paso Robles featured several Italian wines that were bottled in New York City; Lake Arrowhead Brewing Company and Coronado Brewing Company had tasting stations, as did Three Marm Brewing and Sycamore Ranch, both located in Crestline.
Trisha Hoen from Monrovia, who learned about the event from her mom, was enjoying MCV’s Royal Blonde Ale. “It’s quite nice, not at all bitter. I like it a lot.”
A jewelry vendor brought her twin daughters, 5-year-old Isabella and Scarlet Troupe, both of whom are in Mrs. Dosey’s kindergarten class at Valley of Enchantment Elementary School. Isabella said she was having fun helping her mom.
There were many familiar faces seated at tables enjoying various beverages in the lodge’s great room, including Dirk Rinker from Crestline and Dr. Paul from Lake Arrowhead, who were listening to the Speakeasy Jazz Quartet playing jazz favorites, such as Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” and George and Ira Gershwin’s “Embraceable You,” sung by Shannon Bizzy from Crestline’s Bizzyland Garden and concert venue in Crestline.
Meanwhile, over on the other side of the lodge, in the barroom, local magician Zac Swan was wowing crowds, including this reporter, with his seemingly impossible feats of magic. As an example, Swan scrawled an X mark on the palm of his left hand, waved it over my clenched left hand and, what do you know, when I opened my clenched fist, there it was, smack dab in the middle of my left palm.
Swan, who has been performing magic tricks around the mountain communities since he was in high school, amazed others with his card tricks. Local teacher Stephanie Plemons, who at first was skeptical, signed her name on the 9 of hearts and handed it back to Swan, who shuffled the cards and immediately pulled the 9 of hearts from his front pocket. Many feel that Swan could even fool Las Vegas magicians Penn and Teller.
Near the end of the event, Vicky Vargas from Designed by Faith announced the winning door prize raffle ticket numbers with prizes ranging from a two-night stay at Lake Arrowhead Resort and a Duffy Boat excursion from the Lake Gregory Company to gift baskets from Little Bear Bottle Shop, Goodwin’s Market, Hearth & Sage and Designed by Faith.
Crestline’s Corks & Hops is slated to return to its usual locations on Lake Drive in Crestline and on Crest Forest Drive in Top Town Crestline on Saturdays, June 3, July 8 and Aug. 5. Check the Crestline Corks & Hops website, https://corksnhops.com/, for information and to purchase tickets.
Shannon Bizzy’s powerful voice accentuated many of the jazz classics performed by the Speakeasy Jazz Quartet. (Photo by Douglas W. Motley)
Trisha Hoen (R) from Monrovia enjoying a cup of MCV’s Royal Blonde Ale. (Photo by Douglas W. Motley)