By Andrea Verdin
San Diegans showed that a little moisture and clouds weren’t going to keep them from having a good time, and flocked to the San Diego Brewers Guild’s annual San Diego Rhythm and Brews Festival. Music, craft beer, and delicious local cuisine were enjoyed by all, with many dancing away as they discovered new favorite brews.
The event was held in the historic downtown Vista Village, which was right in the heart of the Hop Highway. Guests were able to sample brand new barrel-aged brews, saisons, and sour ales along with their longtime favorites. San Diego’s top breweries were also joined by home brewers who competed for ‘Best of Show’ in the popular homebrew contest, sponsored by Mother Earth Brewing Co.
“We are thrilled to offer craft beer fans another opportunity, in addition to Beer Week, to access their favorite breweries,” says San Diego Brewers Guild president Kevin Hopkins. “Rhythm & Brews grows larger each year- and this year will be no exception.”
To complement the wide selection of brews from San Diego and beyond, the San Diego Rhythm and Brews Festival featured continuous live performances on two stages by seven popular local bands, including the Bill Magee Blues Band, voted the “Best Blues Band in San Diego” by the San Diego Music Association, Ben Powell, whose most recent album was nominated by the San Diego Music Association for ‘Best Blues Album’ in 2014, and renowned band leader Bubba McCoy. The Tighten Ups started up the festival, and crowds continued to dance their afternoon away.
Celebrations were made with good conscience, as a portion of the San Diego Rhythm and Brews Festival ticket sale proceeds benefit Fight ALD, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing education about adrenoleukodystrophy. Fight ALD was founded by a Vista, CA couple who tragically lost their young son, Sawyer, to the deadly genetic disorder. In addition, the event benefited the San Diego Brewers Guild to facilitate the organization’s efforts to bring attention to San Diego’s innovative brewing community and to elevate the craft as a whole on a national level.
Community events, including Rhythm & Brews, are representative of the Guild’s tradition of bringing craft beer to the masses, and offer local brewers needed visibility and opportunity for continued success. According to a recent study, the economic impact of San Diego’s craft brewing enterprise continues to grow substantially— doubling in the last three years to reach an estimated $600 million in 2014. Beer tourism has been an important component of that growth as millions of visitors explore the region to experience our county’s nearly 100 craft breweries. At Rhythm & Brews, a San Diego Brewers Guild premier event – the other being San Diego Beer Week – craft beer devotees can familiarize themselves with the best of San Diego’s brewing culture all in one place.
For more information about the San Diego Brewers Guild’s upcoming events, please visit www.sandiegobrewersguild.com, the Guild’s Facebook page, or follow @sdbrewers on Twitter.