3rd annual Tahoe Brewfest to bring over 40 brewers to Lake Tahoe
Editor’s note: Mike Peron, the founder of the company producing Tahoe Brewfest, was recently hired by Lake Tahoe Action’s parent company, Sierra Nevada Media Group. Lake Tahoe Action is covering Tahoe Brewfest in the same fashion it has the previous two years prior to Peron joining Sierra Nevada Media Group.
When Tahoe Brewfest started in 2017, organizers weren’t quite sure how the event would be received. It didn’t take long to realize they had concocted a practically perfect event unlike any other in the basin.
“It was way beyond our expectations … year one,” said Mike Peron, founder of the company that organizes the event, Function Productions.
The crowd overwhelmed the event, which was hosted that first year in the parking lot of Cold Water Brewery and Grill. People were packed in, there were lines for the bathroom and the participating breweries ran out of beer.
It was clear they needed to find a larger space. The next year, they found a perfect location.
“(In) year two we were very fortunate to get the space at (Heavenly Mountain Resort California Lodge),” Peron said prior to crediting the resort for providing the space free of charge.
Approximately 3,300 people attended Tahoe Brewfest which raises money for a local nonprofit, in its second year.
The change of venue allowed organizers to add more activities and more breweries — a trend that will continue Saturday, June 1, for the third annual Tahoe Brewfest.
According to Peron, this year’s event will have over 40 brewers on site, with both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, an expanded area for kids and plenty of food vendors.
Here’s what you need to know for enjoying the 2019 Tahoe Brewfest.
The event runs from noon to 4 p.m. for VIP ticket holders and 1-4 p.m. for general admission. As of publication, VIP tickets were sold out. General admission tickets can be purchased online at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/tahoe-brewfest-tickets for $35 (plus a $3.77 fee). Admission gets you tastings from all the brewers on site.
Tickets for those who aren’t old enough to enjoy alcoholic beverages are $10 (plus a $2.24 fee). Children 5 and younger get in for free.
Heavenly’s Cal Lodge, located at 3860 Saddle Road in South Lake Tahoe, is hosting the event for a second year in a row. With a slightly snow-covered Face at the top of Gunbarrel overlooking the event site and views of a snow-covered Tallac, Peron says Cal Lodge is the ultimate Tahoe-springtime location.
There will be plenty of on-site parking if you have a designated driver in the crew. For those who don’t want to force the sorry sap in your friend group to abstain from alcohol at a BEER TASTING EVENT, take a Lyft or Uber.
Looking to go the environmentally friendly route? Ride your bike — racks will be available at the Cal Lode. You can really show off how extreme you are by biking straight up Ski Run Boulevard, rather than taking the easy route up Needle Peak Road to Wildwood Avenue.
More games, more beer, more fun
Tahoe Brewfest has amassed an impressive list of participants for this year’s event. They include pretty much every Lake Tahoe brewery (at least all of our favorites), regional breweries like Revision Brewing Company in Reno and more widely distributed beer makers like Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Founders Brewing.
But the roster isn’t limited to beer. There also will be ciders (like Pitsnogled Hard Cider in Folsom), kombuchas (including FOLK Brewing Company here at Tahoe) and root beers (such as Parker Brothers Root Beer from Cold Water Brewery and Grill).
New this year: each brewer is bringing three different brews, as opposed to two last year.
With more than 40 brewers participating, that totals more than 120 drinks to sample.
Peron said all the participants were asked to bring a variety of beverages so attendees have the opportunity to sample a diverse array of drinks.
And for the little one, this year’s event will have an expanded kids area with activities like life-size Jenga and more.
It’s not a festival without live music.
Tahoe’s own Ike & Martin (an acoustic pop duo consisting of Ike Marr and Martin Shears) will kick things off at noon. The two have been playing together for 17 years and have the wonderfully simplistic description of: “Live. Acoustic. Kickass.” Says it all, doesn’t it?
They’ll perform until 2 p.m.
Dirty Cello will bring it all home Saturday after Ike & Martin. The San Francisco-based band specializes in blues and bluegrass with some rock mixed in. As the name might suggest, the cello (played by Rebecca Roudman) is what gives Dirty Cello a wonderfully distinct sound in the world of bluegrass.
If you’re feeling on the fence, check them out on YouTube — they have a killer version of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads.”
Dirty Cello performs from 2:15-4 p.m.
If that weren’t enough, Brewfest will have a silent disco featuring DJ Clayon Mirander.
For a good cause
Perhaps the best part about Tahoe Brewfest is it benefits a good cause.
Proceeds from the event go to the Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe, a nonprofit offering South Shore’s youth a safe, fun and educational environment.
Peron, who serves on the nonprofit’s board, said the idea came about early on when he and Debbie Brown, owner of Cold Water Brewery, hatched the initial idea for the event years ago.
Peron said they came up with a basic question: “Who could we help?” They landed on the Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe.
Last year’s event, which drew roughly 3,300 people, raised approximately $68,000 for the Club. This year Peron said they are hoping to double the attendance number and raise over $100,000 for the Club.
The recipe of good drinks, friends, a beautiful setting and raising money for a good cause, according to Peron, all amounts to quintessential Tahoe.
“That’s Tahoe in a nutshell.”