Paul Bittick

This weekend you are invited to a magical land where bands are playing for your entertainment, the ocean breeze fills every breath, the sun soaks into your pores and beer flows like wine. Lots and lots of beer. Mmm.

No, this is not an illusion. It’s just time for the annual California Festival of Beers at the Avila Beach Golf Resort.

This Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., beer lovers can enjoy the ocean views while tasting endless beers supplied by 67 different breweries and listening to live music from the bands The New Longview and Joose.

“Some people like to hit as many different breweries as possible where as others will hang out at a few for a while,” said Heather Phillippe, a recreation administration senior.

Phillippe is in charge of marketing for the event. This is her second year involved with the Festival and she has made this year’s involvment part of her senior project.

“It is unlimited tasting but responsible tasting,” she said.

This is the 20th annual “beer fest” hosted by the Hospice of San Luis Obispo County and has already sold-out all 3,000 tickets as of Wednesday morning.

Breweries such as Firestone, Sierra Nevada, Kona Brew, Newcastle, Coors and Pyramid will have booths set up and are prepared to pour endless beers throughout the afternoon. There will be 167 different types of beers altogether.

Cal Poly’s Brew Crew will be present to pour their home-brewed Cal Poly beer for all to enjoy. Timely named “School’s out for- Summer Ale,” drinkers can expect to sip on a nice, raspberry tasting brew, completely made by Cal Poly students.

Chris Aho, who is the development director and in charge of fundraising for the event, said that he was very happy and surprised that the festival had sold out so quickly. Last year, the event sold out on the actual day, but now with a day to go, people are left scrambling for tickets.

“This year has been a great year. We thought last year was good, but this has turned out better,” Aho said.

Event-goers will receive tasting cups when they enter the festival that are four and three-quarter ounce glasses and the brewers will pour between one or two ounces of beer – this is a “tasting” festival, remember. Booths will be under two separate tents and food will also be available for an optional purchase.

For those who were unable to purchase tickets in time, don’t fret over it too much – there’s always next year! For other weekend activities, don’t forget about the Strawberry Festival in Arroyo Grande held Saturday and Sunday.

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