Two-Day California Beer Festival Features Craft Beers, BBQ Contest, Big-Name Blues Acts

Written by on August 23, 2012 in August 23, 2012, Gigs / Tours / Events, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Two-Day California Beer Festival Features Craft Beers, BBQ Contest, Big-Name Blues Acts

California Beer Festival

(VENTURA, Calif.) – The 2-day California Beer Festival, taking place September 15 and 16 in Ventura’s Mission Park, is one of the year’s biggest entertainment events featuring everyone’s favorite three B’s: Beer, Barbeque and the Blues!

Saturday, September 15 from 12:30-5:00 p.m. features a Craft Beer Festival offering a veritable smorgasbord of over 130 varieties of specialty beers on tap along with 70 microbreweries, great food and live music by the highly-regarded 14-piece Michael Jackson tribute group, Foreverland. “California Beer Festival’s main goal is to shine a light on the Craft Beer Movement and celebrate great beer,” states CBR promoter/organizer, Vincenzo Giammanco.

Sunday, September 16 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.  is a Blues Brews, & BBQ Blues Festival, with fifteen barbeque teams competing for a $3,000 first-place cash prize as well as 15 craft beers on tap. Sunday also features non-stop music by some of the biggest names in the world of blues – namely, Kim Wilson and The Fabulous Thunderbirds (known for their hits “Tuff Enuf,” “Wrap It Up,” and “She’s Tuff,” among others); a Tribute To Stevie Ray Vaughan with the band, Crossfire; blues-rock guitarist extraordinaire, Walter Trout; longtime SoCal blues standout harpist-vocalist, Rod Piazza And the Mighty Flyers; Northern California guitar ace, Chris Cain; and Simi Valley’s blues stalwarts, Michael John & the Bottom Line. There will be two stages adjacent to one another that day – when one band finishes their set on one stage, the next band immediately starts playing on the other stage!

All Access Magazine (AAM) recently conducted a brief interview with California Beer Festival President and Founder, Vincenzo Giammanco (VG).

California Beer Festival

AAM:  How and when did the California Beer Festival first get started?

VG:  The California Beer Festival was established in 2009 at the time of the worst recession the U. S. economy has ever scene. I had a vision to create and produce an original Signature Beer Festival that, in turn, will create a huge Economic Boom in the local economy, raise money for great Non Profit’s and Shine a light on the Craft Beer movement!

AAM: What ignited your interest in beer so much?

VG: There is more to beer then just Budweiser and Coors; with the craft beer boom there is an art to beer even more then wine and we wanted to share this with the general public.

AAM: Is there a “check list” you can offer for Festival attendees (what to bring, etc.)?

VG:  On Saturday bring an open mind and be ready to learn about some great craft brews! On Sunday bring a Blues Chair dancing shoes and an empty stomach!

AAM: The California Beer Festival has a terrific musical lineup, with both great blues bands as well as some top-notch tribute bands. How did you decide on what acts to book?

VG: When booking for the California Beer Festival it’s always about the vibe and great music. Booking this lineup was no different – we want our guest to be able to relax and sample some great barbeque while you get marinated by the best All-Star Blues line up Ventura County has ever seen!

AAM: There is also a 5K Run on the Festival’s first day. What is that about?

VG: The 2012 California Beer Festival 5K is a great primer to the California Beer Festival Blues, Brews, and BBQ Blues Festival on Sunday September 16.  This incredibly scenic, fast 5K course will have you running through the streets and along the oceanfront of Ventura and crossing the finish line right inside the fun of the festival at Mission Park in downtown Ventura. The race entry includes the  5K Run, (1) CBF Souvenir Pint Glass and a ticket into the Blues, Brews, and BBQ Blues Festival. (Blues Ticket $30 value!). Sample great barbeque from the Blue Moon Barbeque Cook-off while you get marinated by an All-Star Blues Line up.

AAM: Looking ahead five years from now, to what level do you wish to grow the California Beer Festival brand?

VG: We just want to be the best, we want our guesst to be able to sample the best Craft Beer the industry has to offer all while celebrating life and listing to great music.

Tickets for the California Beer Festival are priced at $50. on Saturday and $30. on Sunday (children 5 and under are free on Sunday only). There’s also a special Saturday-only “V.I.P. Meet The Brewer” ticket priced at $70. Tickets available in advance by logging on to Event proceeds benefit DARC (Dyslexia Awareness And Resource Center) and the Gen Giammaco Foundation. Buy your tickets now, as space is limited! For more information call (805) 323-5691 or email:

Mission Park is located at 36 Figueroa Street in downtown Ventura.