Central Coast Beer Fest in North County on Saturday

NORTH COUNTY   The Central Coast Beer Fest 2019 kicks off March 30 from noon to 4 p.m. in Atascadero’s Sunken Gardens across from City Hall. The second year the benefit event for the Central Coast Brewers Guild has been held in town, Guild President Tony Grimes said they’d had a good experience last year, and the venue was perfectly located for the regional industry leaders to convene.

“We cover the most ground, square mileage, out of any of the craft guilds,” Grimes said, noting that while San Diego enjoys more membership, they pack into a small geographic area, and Atascadero is centrally located between Central Coast members “for us Atascadero has a lot to offer, we loved it last year. There’s a lot of old world charm, and the [City management] was very welcoming.”

Sold out last year, the number of tickets on sale for 2019 has upped to 2,000 guests, with the more than 40 brewers from Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey counties, donating their beverages and time to the event. The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press are sponsors of the event.

Wineries, cideries, and live music — local favorites Bear Market Riot will join the band Wall of Tom and DJ Hecktik — add to the scene this year with the VIP Session starting at noon and general admission at 1 p.m., $55 and $45, respectively.

Tickets are on sale, with a service charge, online at nightout.com or at www.centralcoastbrewersguild.com.

The Central Coast Brewers Guild is a non-profit organization with the mission of educating consumers about craft beer brewed on California’s Central Coast. Among the participating breweries are BarrelHouse Brewing Company and Firestone Walker Brewing Company of Paso and Dead Oak Brewing Co. and Tent City Beer Company in Atascadero. Grimes noted that owners of Atascadero’s newest brewery, Wild Fields, currently under construction in the building across the creek on the Centennial Footpath Bridge are pitching in with staffing for the event although their own business isn’t yet ready for prime time.

“We’re all volunteers for the Guild,” Grimes said. “It’s about getting the word out about all the great brews and unique venues we have on the Central Coast. All of the members donate their participation and any money we make goes back into marketing for the Group.”

In the future, he said they’d like to be able to pay dedicated promotional staff and organizers, but he’s learned a lot on the job as president already, “if there’s anything I’d like to pass on it’s how much the craft is taking off in our region. There are more  brewers opening than closing and the craft doesn’t have to be about just opening a brewery, it can be integrated into a food and music venue, a place that people want to come experience in their neighborhood like a corner bar.”


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