International Craft Beer Festival Comes to Crafted This Weekend
A photo from The Festival 2012. (photo: courtesy Shelton Brothers)
For the first time in the history of Los Angeles, the famous Shelton Brothers are bringing their annual signature international beer festival to the West Coast the weekend of November 8-9.
Massachusetts-based distributors of fine and well-crafted beers, the Shelton Brothers (Dan, Joel, and Will), previously held their festival on the East Coast. Needing to expand festival space in a unique venue to host 10,000 expected “hopivores” (beer lovers, beer drinkers, and beer makers) for the two-day event, the Shelton Brothers are thrilled to partner with local brewmaster and San Pedro native, Brian Mercer.
Mercer, founder of the upcoming Brouwerij West (pronounced “brewery” by Mercer but “brow-rye” by the Flemish) found a home for his 15,000-barrel brewery headquarters in a World War II-era abandoned warehouse at the Port of Los Angeles. Inspired by the small production and high quality breweries in Belgium, Mercer partnered with former lawyer and beer enthusiast Dave Holop to bring the spirits of Belgium to San Pedro.
“These brewers have a sort of celebrity status – in many cases, the hand-brewed beer is so rare and hard to get (because of extremely small production), that people fly in from all over the country just for those breweries.”
Boasting over 27,000 square feet, plans for the state-of-the-art production and bottling facility include an open kitchen gastro pub by highly acclaimed Michelin Chef, Brendan Collins, an expansive courtyard, loading-dock turned patio, and a communal tasting bar.
“It’s a dream project and it’s something magnetic that will bring many people from all over,” says Holop while standing over the property designs that include the adaptive reuse of port shipping containers. With ongoing exploratory construction in hopes to tap beers and open their doors in late March 2015, their neighbors at Crafted offered to host the festival while Brouwerij West continues building. Bringing arts and crafts together, Rachel Waugh, executive director of Crafted, says: “We are excited to bring the global craft beer scene to Los Angeles and give nods to San Pedro.”
Highlighting regional, craft, and international brews, the Shelton brothers have personally selected a world-class variety of lagers, ales, and ciders for beer enthusiasts to taste the top of the hops. Dan Shelton, a modern day pint pilgrim, travels the globe discovering new breweries specifically for the event. Unlike many national beer festivals, the Shelton Brothers have brought in sought-after brewers from all over the world to personally pour their beers.
“These brewers have a sort of celebrity status – in many cases, the hand-brewed beer is so rare and hard to get (because of extremely small production), that people fly in from all over the country just for those breweries,” says Jordan DeFrank, the festival’s director, in regards to the list of top-tier breweries.
Featuring more than 70 breweries from around the world, guests can enjoy many select breweries, particularly from Japan and the United Kingdom, that have rarely or never been seen in the U.S. before. Excited about the chance to taste so many new beers and hop varieties, Mercer says: “This will be a great event for Los Angeles beer fans. People can taste beers they can’t taste anywhere else but at this festival.” In addition to showcasing the world’s best brews, many notable domestic and local California breweries, such as San Pedro Brewing Company, Firestone Walker, Sante Adairius, The Bruery, and of course, Brouwerij West, will also be in attendance.
While sipping on suds, festivalgoers can also enjoy beer-friendly bites from popular and often elusive food trucks. Tacos Punta Cabras will be providing organic and sustainable Mexican food while pizza lovers can enjoy wood-fired artisan flatbreads by Vella Pizza. For non-beer drinkers and the designated drivers, local iced coffee and fresh kombucha (a lightly effervescent fermented drink of sweetened black and/or green tea) will also be available for purchase.
Sponsored by Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine and in collaboration with local non-profit partner Sharefest, 100 percent of all drink ticket sales are being donated back to the community to support developing programs and initiatives which provide services to meet the needs of families, giving beer fans another reason to feel warm and buzzy.
Tickets to the festival include a signature sampling glass, and the opportunity to shake hands with some of the best beer, cider, and mead makers in the world. Split between two sessions spanning over two days, guests can purchase either one-day or two-day passes. Tickets start at $45 per person with additional drink tickets available for $1.
The Festival 2014 located at CRAFTED and Brouwerij West
112. E 22nd St. #10. San Pedro, CA 90731
Session 1: Saturday, November 8, Noon to 4 p.m.
Session 2: Saturday, November 8, 5 to 9 p.m.
Session 3: Sunday, November 9, Noon to 4 p.m.
Session 4: Sunday, November 9, 5 to 9 p.m.
For more information on ticket pricing, and a complete list of participating breweries, visit www.sheltonbrothers.com/festival.