By DOUGLAS W. MOTLEY – Senior Writer
This Saturday’s Corks & Hops craft beer and wine walk in Crestline, which kicks off at 3 p.m. and concludes at 8 p.m., is the fourth in a series of six such events slated for this year’s summer season, with the final walk scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7.
According to Crestline Chamber of Commerce Office Manager Tiffany Millburn, Saturday’s event is expected to draw over 400 participants.
“The first Corks & Hops in May drew 377 participants, which is two more than last year. The most we ever had was 450 but, overall, we’ve been averaging over 400 at each event,” Millburn said, adding, “Our goal is to bring more people up the mountain, because it helps our businesses stay profitable.”
Most local merchants were quite pleased with the turnout and the boost in sales in May, which had been sluggish of late, due to continuing winter-like foggy and drizzly weather throughout the month. The recent return of blue sky and sunshine, with afternoon temperatures ranging in the mid-80s, bodes well for this Saturday’s event and it should encourage local residents and tourists to venture outdoors to the streets of Crestline.
Concurring with Millburn is Encompass Antiques owner Louis Boehle, who told the Alpine Mountaineer, “Corks & Hops, now in its sixth year, has become a beloved staple in our community and a great attraction for tourists. Many retailers, including bars, restaurants and Airbnbs, have told me that the first Saturday of each (summertime) month has resulted in the biggest sales volume of the month.”
Boehle added, “Another one of our goals is to give local musicians and artisans a chance to share their talents with the public. This has become a labor of love for our volunteers who want to see our community grow and thrive.”
New this year are the required wristbands, which now have 10 peel-off tags, each good for one pour of craft beer or wine, instead of the punch-card previously used at each of 10 pour stations located along the Lake Drive business district and the west end of Crest Forest Drive in Top Town Crestline. This new feature has proven to speed up the wait time at each of the 10 pour stations.
Mountain Transit’s free weekend shuttle service will again be ferrying participants and other pedestrians back and forth between Top Town and Crestline’s Lake Drive business district on a loop running approximately every 15 minutes. Shuttle service ends at 9 p.m.
Event check-in is at Arrowhead Credit Union on Lake Drive, where ticketholders can get their peel-off-tag wrist bracelet, as well as purchase a ticket, if they haven’t done so already. The basic ticket, which provides 10 beer/wine tastings, free shuttle service and live music, is just $40 in advance or $50 at the door.
The All You Can Get ticket, which provides two extra full-size pours, is available for $55 or $65 at the door. Tickets can be purchased in advance by logging onto www.corksnhops.com.
This year’s pour stations are located at Arrowhead Credit Union, Molly’s Art Gallery, Crestline Café, Ace Garden Center, Stockade Grub & Whiskey, Bizzyland, B&L Liquor, Trinket Trader, Encompass Antiques and Flying Squirrel Vintage , all located on Lake Drive, and at The Old Rustic Cottage and Hearth & Sage in Top Town Crestline.
The premier event sponsor is Debbie Baker, Realtor at Wheeler-Steffen/Sotheby’s International Realty. Past craft beer and wine vendors have included High Noon Sun Sips, Ritual Brewing Co., Inland Empire Brewing Co., Stone Brewing, Three Marm Brewing Co. and Sycamore Ranch Vineyard and Winery.