If enjoying a smorgasbord of hand-crafted brews and helping out the elderly sound like your cup of tea, then the annual Davis BeerFest is right up your alley.
Sudwerk Brewery, located on 2001 Second Street, was the site for Davis BeerFest 2012. The event was held on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. with a $35 charge if tickets were ordered in advance and a $40 charge at the door. Additionally, designated drivers were only charged $10, which included food and soda.
All proceeds from the event went to Citizens Who Care (CWC), a private non-profit organization that serves the elderly and their family caregivers in Yolo County.
According to Joanne Bell, the executive director of CWC, the turnout at the event was phenomenal.
“We had 1,000 bracelets and tasting glasses prepared, but we completely ran out of them,” Bell said. “It was a record breaking turnout.”
Trenton Yackzan, who works in sales at Sudwerk, attributed the event’s success to a variety of factors, including increased awareness via social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, as well as through good old-fashioned word-of-mouth.
“We really hope that the BeerFest will emerge as one of Davis’ big yearly events,” Yackzan said. “Something that people will keep coming to.”
Yackzan also noted that he noticed a stronger participation of the younger crowd at the event this year, but it still remained a very diverse gathering.
Though the numbers haven’t been entirely tabulated, it’s safe to say that CWC was able to generate a hefty sum from the event.
“This is the biggest fundraiser event we put on every year,” Bell said.
CWC has worked in collaboration with Sudwerk Brewery in the hosting of the event every year.
Available activities at the event included tasting of over 100 handcrafted beers, live music, raffles, beer brat sandwiches and more. Also included in the ticket price was a commemorative tasting glass, a tour of the premises and the opportunity to interact with brew masters.
Local Davis band Tha Dirt Feeling and Sacramento-based band ZuhG provided the live music at the festival.
Beers were donated from over 50 different breweries from all over the country, according to Yackzan.
“This is the only beerfest in the entire county,” Yackzan said. “Graduates of the Master Brewer extension program at UC Davis sent in their brews from all over the country.”
If breweries were unable to send their own personnel, students currently enrolled in the UC Davis Master Brewers program volunteered to pour the beers. Beforehand, they did their own research on the brews they’d be pouring, so they could best answer any questions tasters may have. Bell noted that there was a real interest in the tasting of beers this year.
Dr. Michael Lewis, the academic coordinator of the UC Davis extension brewing programs, not only provides his students for the event, but has been a central figure for the event since its induction, according to Bell.
“Michael Lewis has really been a key player in all of these events; he’s really brought things together,” Bell said.
The event ties together many aspects of the community and the coordinators hope that it will only get stronger every year.
“We sincerely appreciate the support from the community and the students,” Bell said.
ANDREW POH can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.