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20-30 Club's annual Brewfest returns

By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Journal Features Editor
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It’s all-you-can-drink Saturday at the Auburn Brewfest, where more than 20 craft breweries will be pouring throughout a six-hour party.

And the weather is looking to cooperate, according to Danny Miller, who remembers the first Brewfest where temperatures broke 100 degrees. This year’s event will see temperatures in the 80s, but organizers promise plenty of shade and fun at the Gold Country Fairgrounds.

Miller is president of the Auburn 20-30 Club, which puts on the event as a fundraiser for its charitable activities. The event has grown since that hot day four years ago into an anticipated Auburn event that sees nearly 400 attendees. And because there’s no limit on drinks, beer enthusiasts can hop from one brewery to the next, trying new names and microbrew styles.

“It’s all craft brew,” Miller said. “Budweiser, Miller and Coors will not be there.”

One of those breweries is Mad River Brewing Company out of Blue Lake, which will pour its Jamaica Red and IPA beers along with its signature Steelhead Extra Pale Ale. California sales representative Brian Mitchell described the Steelhead as light-bodied, with a smooth finish and “little bit of citrus on the nose.” That’s a favorite, Mitchell said, and is often liked by even those people who say they don’t like beer at all.

“They’ll have that and they’ll realize that it’s just certain flavors in beer that they don’t like … that extra pale really helps to kind of open their minds.”

Attendees get a wristband and commemorative Brewfest cup, and then make their way to whatever breweries’ offerings they’d like to sample.

“It’s a 6-ounce cup, so it’s half a beer, and it’s a six-hour-long event,” said Joe Steer, 20-30 Club vice president. “If you wanted to, and had the stomach for it, you could go and taste every single beer once, or you could taste the one beer that you like 15 times.”

For those not in it just for the brews, food will be for sale throughout the evening, including pizza from Round Table Pizza and bratwurst and tri-tip from Knights of Columbus. Auburn teenager Joshua Sweat will have a booth at the event, where he’ll sell popcorn, wristbands and other items to raise money to purchase a diabetic alert dog.

People under 21 may attend as designated drivers, but they must have valid ID showing they are old enough to drive.

Four bands will play live music at the event: Velvet Tongue, Groovin’ High, 5South and The Infamous Swanks.

Brewfest proceeds go toward the 20-30 Club’s  annual Easter egg hunt, Cub Scout pack sponsorship and Christmas shopping spree, where hundreds of underprivileged kids get a personal shopping trip with a club member to buy necessities and toys for the season.

“It’s pretty amazing to do something like that,” said Joe Steer, vice president. “You get to take these kids that have had nothing and you go and get stuff, and to see their eyes light up when they’re getting new socks or a pair of shoes that aren’t hand-me-downs, or a pair of pants that are going to go all the way down to their shoes.”

Reach Krissi Khokhobashvili at krissik@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter, @AuburnJournalAE.

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Auburn Brewfest

When: 4-10 p.m. Saturday, June 9

Where: Farrell Wrenn Park, Gold Country Fairgrounds, Auburn

Cost: $25 in advance, $35 at the door; designated drivers $5; 10-pack $200

Tickets and info: www.auburnbrewfest.com (online sales close at 6 p.m. June 8); Sierra Saw Power Equipment Center, 170 Borland Ave., Auburn; Auburn Car Tunes, 3910 Grass Valley Highway, Auburn; First Northern Bank, 390 Elm Ave., Auburn

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Participating breweries

Ace Ciders

Beer Valley Brewing Company

Bison Brewing

Boulder Beer Company

•  Caldera Brewing

Crazy Mountain Brewery

Dust Bowl Brewing

Full Sail Brewing

Grand Teton Brewing Company

High Water Brewing

Hoppy Brewing Company

Left Coast Brewery

Lagunitas Brewing Company

Mad River Brewing Company

Mammoth Brewing Company

Mendocino Brewing Company

Rubicon Brewing Company

Snowshoe Brewing Company

 

Stone Brewing Company

 

TailGate Beer