By DOUGLAS W. MOTLEY
The 13th annual Brewfest, held lakeside at Tavern Bay Beach Club on Saturday, Sept. 9, played host to hundreds of craft beer, stout, ale, pilsner and lager connoisseurs. Although a final tally of ticket sales was not available at press time, it appeared to be a full house.
The event, which kicked off at 12 noon and wrapped up at 5 p.m. was put on by the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce, Lake Arrowhead Brewing Company and the Mountain Brew Club. Unlimited tastings were available to ticketholders from one winery and 14 breweries from throughout Southern and Central California, as well as three distributors from as far away as Maryland (RaR Brewing – Chesapeake Bay, Md.) and Florida (Spanish Marie Brewery – Miami, Fla.)
Southern California breweries included Lake Arrowhead Brewing Company, Kings Brewing Co. from Rancho Cucamonga, Luchador Brewing Co. from Chino Hills, Ritual and Our Brewing Companies, both from Redlands, Euryale Brewing Co. from Riverside, Malibu Brewing Co., BottleLogic, Noble Ale Works and Brewery X, all from Anaheim, Lone Wolf Brewing Co. from Yorba Linda, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. and Seek Beer Co., both from San Diego, and Local Craft Beer from Tehachapi.
Hosting the VIP tent was Crestline-based Sycamore Ranch Vineyard and Winery, which provided unlimited beverage sampling, catered sandwiches, sides and refreshments in an intimate setting with comfortable seating.
Adriana from Tustin, who was sampling a Mexican lager, was attending the festival for the first time. When she was asked how she learned about the event, she responded, “I looked up Lake Arrowhead Brewing Company and saw an ad for the Brewfest.”
Entertaining on the Brewfest stage was a band featuring local musicians Dave Bennett, Angela Riggio and vocalist Shannon Bizzy, who also performs with the Speakeasy Jazz Band. Their selection of rock ‘n roll classics encouraged many couples to dance the afternoon away. Especially poignant and well-received was their rendition of “Margaritaville,” which they performed as a tribute to Jimmy Buffet.
In addition to the many breweries there were food vendors from the Lake Arrowhead Tap Room, Jetties Lakefront Kitchen and the Flying Squirrel Kitchen from the Twin Peaks Farmer’s Market, as well as the Bombswag Gift Shop.
This reporter sampled the Lake Daze IPA, brewed by Lake Arrowhead Brewing Company. It was light and refreshing. A brewery employee explained to the Alpine Mountaineer that this particular IPA is made from flake wheat, pilsner and malt, that it has a 7.7-percent alcohol content and a citrusy flavor. Indeed, it does.
Sarah Resavento, who hails from Apple Valley, was attending Brewfest for the fourth time in as many years. “My husband and I are both members of the High Desert Home Brewers Anonymous. Would you like to try some of our American Strong Ale?” she asked. “No thanks,” I politely declined, since I tend to prefer a lighter beer or ale, and I was scheduled to volunteer to check IDs at the entrance gate at 2:30 to make sure no one under the age of 21 was admitted.