Get ready for the foam to hit the fan as beer drinkers turn out for the 20th annual Battle of the Brews on Saturday, April 9, 2016.
The main event, from 4-8p.m., pits more than 50 brews — both local and national — head to head for the coveted “People’s Choice” vote. Attendees line up in spectacular queues at each brewery with hopes for a taste of their newest releases, awarding their favorites with votes tallied before the event ends. Among the 2016 breweries: Third Street Aleworks, 101 North Brewing, Anderson Valley Brewing, Bison Organic, Firestone Walker, Hangar 24, Kona Brewing, Lagunitas, Lost Coast, Rogue Brewing, Speakeasy, Widmer Brothers and Old Redwood Brewing. A panel of industry judges will name their winners for both the Battle of the Brews main event and the earlier Craft Cup match.
To soak up all those suds, more than a dozen local restaurants will serve up hearty pub grub, pizza and barbecue. Among them, restaurant newcomers Bibi’s Burger Bar, KinSmoke, Pieology and Sauced BBQ and Spirits in Petaluma.
The Craft Cup, from 1-4p.m., is one of two VIP events open to only 800 ticket holders earlier in the day. Described as Sonoma County’s largest juried microbrew competition, smaller, often lesser known beers compete for both professional and people’s choice votes. The Sonoma County Sandwich Showdown is also part of Craft Cup, where 16 chefs will compete to construct the ultimate carbohydrate-protein-carbohydrate creation. Among the competitors: BBQ Smokehouse & Catering, Belly Left Coast Kitchen, Earth’s Bounty Kitchen and Wine Bar, Fogbelt Brewing, former winners John Ash & Co., The Farmer’s Wife and La Rosa Tequileria, as well as Palooza Catering and Sprenger’s Tap Room. Tickets for the VIP event are $95, which includes entrance to the main event. Tickets to participate in the main event are $50, and will likely sell out.
The event is presented by the Active 20-30 Club of Santa Rosa #50, a service organization for young male professionals, with all proceeds going to area children in need. The Battle of the Brews has raised nearly $1 million for the group’s Youth Benevolent Fund, benefitting Santa Rosa Boy’s and Girls Club, Children’s Village, shopping and Christmas events and Kid Street Learning Center.
Details about the event online at battleofthebrews.com.