The Coast News Group
More than 40 breweries and cideries were at Carlsbad Brewfest. Photo by Bill Vanderburgh
ColumnsCraft Beer in North County

Craft Beer in North County: Having a beery good time at area beer festivals

A perfect summery day helped the large crowds get the most out of the sixth annual Carlsbad Brewfest on Saturday, Sept. 7. The event, a fundraiser for the Carlsbad Hi Noon Rotary Club, was hosted, fittingly, in Holiday Park. More than 40 breweries and cideries participated, serving over 80 different beers and ciders.

Scottish bag pipers welcomed participants and announced the release of the first-ever Carlsbad Collective IPA, a collaboration brewed especially for the Brewfest by Carlsbad’s seven breweries with tasting rooms. The participating breweries were Arcana Brewing Co., Burgeon Beer Company, Culver Beer Co., Karl Strauss Brewing Carlsbad, Para Marce’s Cerveceria, Pizza Port Carlsbad Village, and Rouleur Brewing Company. Rouleur’s brewery was chosen as the brewing site and each of the breweries contributed ideas and/or materials to help bring the West Coast IPA to fruition.

In addition to adult beverages, Brewfest attendees enjoyed 10 food vendors, various games, plus musical entertainment.

If you missed the Carlsbad Brewfest, or if you attended and you just can’t wait for another like it, you are in luck: The Rancho Bernardo Sunrise Rotary Club is hosting their Rancho BEERnardo Festival from 2 to 5 p.m., Oct. 26 in Webb Park (16826 Bernardo Center Drive). It, too, raises money for rotary’s local and regional charitable causes.

The Rancho BEERnardo Festival is co-hosted this year by Urge Gastropub. For the just the second year, the festival will include a “VIP” Reception that grants purchasers entry to the festival an hour before General Admission, some rare beers and wines not available outside the VIP area, hosted heavy hors d’oeuvres, an exclusive seating area, and special parking. VIP tickets are limited and are likely to sell out. Both VIP and General Admission tickets can be purchased through The list of participating breweries General Admission ticket holders will be able to sample includes 27 companies from San Diego and beyond. Wine and non-alcoholic beverages will also be served.

Then, just a few days later, get ready for the 11th annual San Diego Beer Week. This is the San Diego Brewers Guild’s annual 10-day beer extravaganza, this year Nov. 1 through Nov. 10. Events are held at breweries, bars, and restaurants throughout San Diego County. There are two signature events of San Diego Beer Week. The first is Guild Fest, held this year at the Embarcadero Marina Park North, on the bay in downtown San Diego on Nov. 2. The second, wrapping up Beer Week, is the Beer Garden held at Torrey Pines Lodge.

The Beer Garden is this writer’s favorite beer event of the year: The setting is gorgeous and star chefs make small bites to accompany the beer.

A full list of all the San Diego Beer Week events, and tickets for the two signature events, can be found at