Do you suffer from cenosillicaphobia, the fear of having an empty glass? Not to worry San Diegans, we have just the answer for your thirst for fun.
June 24-26, the San Diego County Fair will host the 5th Annual San Diego International Beer Festival where over 150 breweries will showcase more than 350 beers from around the globe. This festival is one of the largest in the country, with 15 states and 22 countries participating in last year’s celebration.
When the impatient crowds and never ending displays of fried foods take a toll on your personal sanity, make your way over to the Chevrolet Del Mar Arena where there will be four different sessions over the span of the weekend to experience the International Beer Festival. Tickets are available online through Ticketmaster and run $45 per day, which includes general admission to the fair. But really, how can you put a price on unlimited one-ounce samplings of everything from Ales to Stouts? The variety of beers will make you feel like a kid in a candy shop and take you back to those oh-so-responsible college days where beer was a staple in your food pyramid.
VIP Brewer’s Lounge: If you consider yourself a beer aficionado, make sure to reserve your spot at the new VIP “Brewer’s Lounge” where guests can overlook the festival from a private lounge and mingle with the brewers. At this point, you may be asking why you would dole out extra cash when unlimited beer is a perk of the general admission ticket. Patience, my friends, I have just the answer you are looking for. The VIP lounge allows you, the beer god or goddess that you are, entrance into the event a half an hour before your thirsty friends lined up outside the gate. If you are serious about your alcohol, you know this extra half an hour is just about as euphoric as the feeling you get after consuming a piece of bread after a month on the Atkins Diet. Speaking of food, the “Brewer’s Lounge” also features various food stations that aid in food/beer pairings and offer ideas on how to cook with beer. You sure won’t have the munchies, but your unfortunate friends still outside will, so be considerate and give them your free pretzel necklace you will receive upon exiting. It’s the least you can do as you brag about your VIP experience!
Best International Beers: Now that we have your attention and taste buds on overdrive, let’s get to know a few of the breweries attending this year’s brew bash. Of course many of our local breweries such as Karl Strauss, Stone Brewing Co., and Oggi’s will be showcasing their delicious creations, but there are many other brew masters worthy of mention as well. Epic Brewing Company, a microbrewery that originated in Salt Lake City, is responsible for the production of beers with names from “Smoked & Oaked,” a smoked cherry wood malt, to “Sour Apple Saison” which is a sweet and tart ale. Tailgate Beer is another San Diego establishment that prides itself on being “The first craft beer from SD in a can!” Whether it be from a beer or a can, nothing is as refreshing as a cold beer on a sizzling summer day at the San Diego County Fair!
The International Beer Festival takes place June 24 – 26 at the San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. For more information and a complete list of this year’s breweries, visit sdfair.com and be sure to mark your calendars for this celebration of the world’s third most popular drink (after water and tea of course).
Insider Tip: The 2011 San Diego County Fair runs Friday, June 10 through Monday, July 4, and will be open daily at 11 am on Tuesday through Friday, and 10 am on Saturday through Monday. Entrance is priced at $13 for adults, $7 for ages 6-12 and 62 + and free for kids under the age of 5. Get more details here.
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