It might be about time to flip the calendar pages to September, but summer is still in full swing for the San Diego craft beer scene. While many summer weekends are usually occupied with at least one brewery-sponsored event, this last Saturday in August manages to pack four major festivals and one grand opening into its 24 short hours. In the interest of helping you make up your mind on which party to attend, here’s what’s happening around town.
Treasure Chest Fest
Now in its fifth year of raising a glass for a cure, Green Flash’s annual breast cancer fundraising festival returns to the Mira Mesa brewery for an afternoon of rare beer and food pairings. This event also marks the debut of Treasure Chest 2015, which is an IPA brewed with grapefruit, prickly pear juice and hibiscus flowers. Along with the consumables, artisans from Ironside Oyster House, Venissimo Cheese and True Gentleman’s Jerky will conduct demonstrations about their specialties. Early bird tickets are available for $40 throughout the day on Friday, and the price goes up to $50 on the day of the event.
Del Mar Beer Fest
The second of two beer festivals at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club brings more than 100 different craft brews to the Seaside Concert Area at the racetrack. In addition to these offerings, a special beer brewed for the event by Ballast Point and local jockey Aaron Gryder will be available as long as the eight kegs last. The brew –known as Double Jockey—is a citrus IPA created at the brewery’s Little Italy research and development location. Entry to the event is free with track admission, but a bracelet with five seven-ounce taster tabs will cost $20.
Cork and Draft Classic
Sponsored by local social club VAVi, this event brings beer and wine together for one party at Embarcadero Marino North. Admission includes unlimited samples from 20 breweries and a dozen vineyards, and attendees get a DoublerCup that has openings at both sides to accommodate pours of either beverage. Limited general admission tickets are available for $60, and proceeds go to the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
Brew and Food Festival
Created by professional festival organizers Motley Brews, this event brings beers from more than 50 different breweries to Waterfront Park for an afternoon of food and beverage pairing. With Stone Brewing’s master pairing expert “Dr.” Bill Sysak at the helm, the flavor experiences at this gathering are sure to be top-notch. Proceeds benefit San Diego Coastkeeper, and tickets are available starting at $45 in advance and $50 at the gate.