Cheers! Prost! Salud! Dude? An ascendant craft-beer culture is brewing in Southern California. If there was any doubt about that after the rise of Father’s Office, Lucky Baldwin’s and their ilk, now the Los Angeles area has two (count 'em, suds sippers, two) beer festivals taking microbrews macro over the next two months.
The first, the L.A. Beer Festival, raises its glass this Saturday and Sunday afternoons at Sony Studios in Culver City. Then, on May 9, the Los Angeles Craft and Artisanal Beer Appreciation League’s (LA CABAL) Craft Beer Fest L.A. pops its tops at the Echoplex.
The two first-time events developed independently of each other. “I had no idea [Craft Beer Fest L.A.] even existed,” said L.A. Beer Festival organizer Dan Silberstein. LA CABAL member Kevin Kansky, of craft-beer boutique distributor Artisan Ales, said his group scheduled its festival before it heard of the other event, but he isn’t worried. “I don’t think there’s going to be beer festival overload,” he said.
This weekend’s L.A. Beer Festival involves more than 50 breweries. Each day’s $40 admission covers unlimited four-ounce tastings and live music (tribute bands rule the weekend: Petty Cash -- that’s right, Tom Petty and Johnny Cash -- plays Saturday, and Hollywood U2 gets epic on Sunday). Food items -- including wings and other finger foods from Wolfgang Puck Catering, and pulled pork sandwiches, Italian sausages and meatball skewers from Cannoli Kings Catering, plus desserts by 2008 Cupcake Challenge “best original” winner Sugar Jones-- will be in the $5 to $10 range, Silberstein said.