Tahoe Brewfest is back: 2nd annual event bigger, better than 2017 debut | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe Brewfest is back: 2nd annual event bigger, better than 2017 debut

Autumn Whitney | awhitney@tahoedailytribune.com

Tahoe Brewfest is nearly here, and set to kick off summer on South Shore.

Coming off its debut's success last year, the beer-focused event arrives bigger and better in 2018.

"Everything's different — nothing is the same except the name and sampling beer," said Nicole Marsel, event coordinator and development manager for Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe. "Last year there were punch cards, and you had to punch the card after every sample. This year you buy a ticket, and once you're in the event you can sample as many times as you want."

Tahoe Brewfest has grown exponentially in more ways than one. The event, which took place at Swiss Chalet Village in 2017, now takes over Heavenly Mountain Resort's California Lodge parking lot on Saturday, June 2. Whether you're looking to try local drinks from basin-based breweries, or sample regional offerings, Tahoe Brewfest has something for your palate.

According to Marsel, people walked away from the inaugural festival with four desires for its return: more beer, more food, more space and more restrooms. And she listened.

"We have all of that, plus seating areas, shade — there's really a lot to experience within the event even beyond sampling craft beer," Marsel said, adding that the new venue offers approximately 150,000 square feet of space.

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Last year's event faced a challenge when the participants ran out of beer, but Marsel doesn't foresee that being an issue at the second annual Brewfest. Over 30 breweries will be featured this year, a number that is more than double of the inaugural event.

"Each brewery brings two kegs, so 30 gallons, minimum. Beyond that, they can bring as many kegs as they want," Marsel noted.

She also has implemented regulations to control the size of pours, and will limit the amount of people who can attend.

"Four thousand is my cap — after that I don't have glasses," Marsel said, adding, "When I run out of glasses, I'm not letting anyone else in."

Tahoe Brewfest is fun for the whole family: Aside from the beer, it also offers attendees the opportunity to sample ciders, craft root beer and kombucha, play games like cornhole and giant Jenga, listen to live music from local groups Sierra Gypsies and Ike & Martin, and enjoy food from local vendors.

There also will be a silent disco (grab headphones and tune into the channel of your choice), a variety of merchandise, facepainting and more. Guests can shop from local retailers such as Tahoe Heartbeat, Tahoe Grown and South Tahoe Craft Co., among others.

A variety of tickets are available, but each offers unlimited tastings: General admission tickets ($35) grant access to Tahoe Brewfest from 1-4 p.m., and purchases include a 5-oz. commemorative tasting cup; VIP tickets ($50) grant access to the event from noon through 4 p.m., and include a commemorative stainless steel pint glass; guests under the age of 21 can buy $10 tickets, and children 5 years old and younger enter for free.

Proceeds benefit Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe, a nonprofit that provides children and teens with a safe environment for enhancing their education and life experiences.

Learn more about Tahoe Brewfest and purchase tickets at http://www.tahoebrewfest.com.