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Refreshing Brews and Scenic Views at the California Beer Festival

We attended as a guest of the California Beer Festival.

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On September 10, 2016, at Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas, my best friend, Maria and myself joined many other craft beer enthusiasts for an afternoon filled with beer tastings, great music and delicious food. Saturday is dubbed as Craft Beer Heaven, due to the featuring of over 70 craft beers on tap.

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Entering the venue was smooth from the freeway to the parking lot, due to the vast amount of signage posted along the way. Festival goers were greeted immediately by the gorgeous view of a lake that resides at the park.

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Once we checked in and I received my 3 oz souvenir glass, I began my quest to taste as many of the craft beers as possible from a variety of breweries, such as Fullerton-based Bootleggers Brewery, Karl Strauss Brewing Company (a satellite brewery is now open in Anaheim), Lagunitas, and Stone Brewing. (A big shout-out to Maria for agreeing to be my designated driver!) Many breweries appeared to use the event as an opportunity to showcase their new releases or to pilot test potential offerings. Although my taste buds tend to gravitate towards brown ales, red ales and IPAs, I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed the Covina-based brewery, Barley Lodge’s Hibiscus Gose. Pink in hue versus the typical yellow coloring of a gose, this beer reminded me of hibiscus tea. Crisp in taste with a slight tang to it, I would definitely share this craft beer with friends who aren’t typically beer drinkers.

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The bands on Saturday performed a wide range of music, from Top 40s to country. Attendees had several options of food to purchase, including chicken tenders and garlic fries, Mexican food, and Jamaican food. Those who craved dessert could even purchase ice cream. Additionally, attendees could purchase fun items from vendors, such as engraved beer and wine glasses, t-shirts (Tustin-based Starla’s Boutique was there!), and California Beer Festival merchandise.

Shopping at the CA Beer Festival

Overall, the California Beer Festival was a fantastic day outing – perfect to attend with your significant other, family members and/or friends. If for some reason you were unable to find a babysitter, you can bring your child(ren) under the age of 12 for free. However, I personally don’t recommend bringing them to Craft Beer Heaven. The second day of the festival, known as Sunday Fun Day, is the best day to bring the entire family. Reminiscent of a concert in the park, attendees brought their chairs and blankets to listen to some incredible music, while eating picnic-style food and drinking craft beer that was available for purchase. Keep an eye out for the California Beer Festival next year if you seek to enjoy refreshing brews and appetizing food to the sounds of live music.

Information about the California Beer Festival can be found at www.CaliforniaBeerFestival.com/SanDimas.

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