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12 San Diego Uptown News | Apr. 1–14, 2011 FROM PAGE 10


is exciting, since more and more schools are cutting arts program- ming,” Hellman said. “It’s a beauti- ful thing to see a young student hold that guitar for the first time. That look makes it all worthwhile.” The festival is a perfect op- portunity for people to sample


an array of beers from some of the best breweries in San Diego, according to Jim Crute, owner of Poway-based Lightning Brewery, which has participated in the event every year and will celebrate its fifth anniversary in May. “For many people, their sole experience is drinking beer manu- factured by large breweries in the U.S., but the difference between beer by large breweries and craft beer by the San Diego microbrew community is like boxed wine versus an aged chardonnay,” he said. “This is a chance for people to experience more beer.”

At the festival, Lightning will be

serving up its Elemental Pilsner, a German pilsner that won a gold medal in 2010’s state fair, as well as its Thunderweizen Ale, a German hefeweizen that received the silver medal in the same competition. “I don’t make beer so that

people can go to a bar and have 10 beers,” he said. “I make beer for people who want to enjoy it, and where there’s enough flavor that it’s like wine tasting.”

Karl Strauss, which in 1989 opened up the city’s first craft brewery since Prohibition, also has taken part in the festival every year. This year, it plans to have on tap its Pintail Pale Ale, a seasonal American pale ale with grapefruit and citrus flavors balanced by a mix of Carapils and caramel malts, as well as its Blackball Belgian IPA, a hoppy brew with a spicy Belgian finish, according to Melody Dav- ersa, Karl Strauss’ spokesperson. “The event showcases San Di- ego craft beers in a neighborhood that has really embraced craft beer culture in recent years,” she said. “It’s a great chance to support a local cause like the San Diego Music Foundation and also a rare

opportunity to sample San Diego’s finest beers in one location.” Sean Leffler, a 29-year-old

environmental scientist who lives in Pacific Beach, is one of the hundreds of people who already bought a ticket to the festival and is counting down the days. “I’m looking forward to it be- cause I had such a good time last year,” he said. “The crowd had a really good vibe.” Leffler also appreciated that the

servers were knowledgeable about what was on tap. “The brewers and people pour- ing the beer were able to talk about the beer and how it was brewed,” he said. “It wasn’t like other festi- vals where the servers didn’t know anything about the beer.” At last year’s event, Leffler tried

more than 20 different beers, and two that stood out for him were Angel City Brewing’s Che Pale

Lager, a lighter beer with a roasted peanut flavor, and Big Sky Brewing Co.’s Moose Drool, a brown ale that was not too hoppy, he said. As long as he’s not the desig- nated driver, Leffler said he will try to beat his beer-drinking record from last year. “It’s the only true way to know if I’ve been training hard enough between festivals,” he joked. To soak up all that beer, chees-

esteaks from Gaglione Brothers, sausage sandwiches from Ma- theny’s Wagon Works as well as food from Eleven and Apertivo Italian Tapas & Wine Bar will be available.

Beer lovers are certain to turn out for the festival, but even those who are not wild about beer may want to grab a ticket. “You might think you don’t like

beer, but you just haven’t had the right beer yet,” Daversa said. The CityBeat Festival of Beers is on Sat., April 9, at 2223 El Cajon Blvd. The event is from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. for general admission ticket holders, while VIP ticket holders are allowed entrance an hour earlier. General admis- sion tickets can be purchased in advance for $32 or on the day of the event, if available, for $37. For more information, visit: citybeat-

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