Crafty kickoff: Lake Tahoe Brewfest celebrates local beer, jump-starts summer |

Crafty kickoff: Lake Tahoe Brewfest celebrates local beer, jump-starts summer

Autumn Whitney
The inaugural Lake Tahoe Brewfest will take place Saturday, June 10.
Getty Images / iStockphoto | iStockphoto

After approximately four months of prep, the inaugural Lake Tahoe Brewfest is finally here. On Saturday, June 10, a mix of local and regional breweries will take over the Swiss Chalet Village located on Lake Tahoe Boulevard for a five-hour festival that celebrates the growing craft beer movement in the area.

“Everybody involved has been amazing — from all over the lake. It’s about celebrating beer around the lake and the coming together of North and South shores. It’s all about community, beer and Lake Tahoe,” said Debbie Brown, owner of Cold Water Brewery & Grill, the main sponsor of the event.

“Even people who aren’t from the lake are excited about beer being in our scene, so it’s a great opportunity for the new breweries. It’s a summer kickoff — a cheers to us lake-wide.”

Guests can look forward to sampling beer from a total of 14 breweries: Cold Water Brewery & Grill, Fifty Fifty Brewing Co., Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co., Outbreak Brewing Co., South Lake Brewing Co., Sidellis Lake Tahoe, Alibi Ale Works, Lake Tahoe AleWorX, Auburn Alehouse, Anderson Valley Brewing Co., Lagunitas, Ninkasi Brewing, Saint Archer & Hope Valley and Modern Times Beer.

Each location will have its own booth set up in the village, which will be closed to cars throughout the course of the event, held from noon through 5 p.m.

Apart from beer, food vendors such as Cold Water Brewery & Grill, Salsa Girl Salsa, Chimayó and The Baked Bear will be at the event, in addition to arts and crafts vendors and the shops located in the village.

Local groups Ike & Martin and Sierra Gypsies will perform live music throughout the day, and lawn games such as corn hole will be set up.

“It’s going to be a fun family atmosphere, it’ll be sunny and we’re expecting the local person to ride their bike and grab some brews. There won’t be Coors Light fans — these are the real crafty beer drinkers, which is what Tahoe is known for,” said Nick Rogers, the co-owner of FNCTN, a production company that serves as one of the promoters for the event.

The inaugural Brewfest will also host a homebrewers competition — King of the Home Brew — that is open to 100 attendees and lasts throughout the day.

“The homebrew is a separate ticket along with the normal one — the reason being we can’t ask homebrewers to brew a batch for 500 people,” Rogers explained.

Those competing in King of the Home Brew battle for a cash prize. Judges from the craft brew industry determine first, second and third place, but all attendees receive a ticket to vote for a People’s Choice winner.

Pre-sale tickets are sold out, but at-the-door admission for Lake Tahoe Brewfest is offered for $25. Tickets to the homebrew competition are an additional $10.

All proceeds go to the Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe.

Can’t make it to Brewfest this year? Don’t fret — the all-ages event is expected to become an annual start-of-summer party.

“It’s an opportunity for a Tahoe-created scene, and it’s another reason to come to Tahoe. People don’t realize that tourism with beer is a huge staple and industry. Look at Colorado: There’s a brewery on nearly every corner,” Brown added.

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