10th annual Microbrew, Craft Beer & Chili Cook-off

One of spring’s most popular events returns to Pechanga Resort and Casino next week and, this year, Pechanga’s Microbrew, Craft Beer & Chili Cook-off festival brings more craft beers to enjoy, more gourmet chili to savor, plenty of live music and a silent auction for charity.

Slated for Saturday, June 9, from 1 to 5 p.m., the 10th annual festival offers connoisseurs of American craft beer — and those who are new to the scene — an opportunity to try a wide range of handcrafted brews under one roof.

This year’s festival includes suds from microbreweries coast-to-coast including, from the Temecula Valley, Refuge Brewery, Wiens Brewing and Ballast Point Brewing Temecula.

Belching Beaver, Mason Jar, Firestone Walker and Indian Joe are among the 17 craft breweries that, early on, announced participation in the festival. Ciara Green, director of public relations for Pechanga, anticipates more than thirty craft breweries will ultimately sign on for the event.

Crafted from high-quality ingredients and offering more refined and experimental flavors, handcrafted brews afford guests an opportunity to expand their palettes beyond legacy beer brands. “You get a very different product depending on the region,” said Green.

VIP admission ticket holders avoid the crowds with early festival entry and the opportunity to chat with brewers to learn about production techniques and about what goes into each beer. “It’s a much more personalized experience,” said Green.

Gourmet chili will also be front and center as fifteen of Pechanga’s chefs create what Green described as “signature brands of chili.”

The chefs will compete to create an award-winning bowl, while last year’s winner — Chef Kiyo Ikeda of Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar, who presented a sake-glazed Kobe beef chili — will fight to keep his Chili Champion title. Ticket holders cast votes for their favorites.

Each year, proceeds from the Pechanga Microbrew, Craft Beer & Chili Cook-off benefit Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley, whose programs include neighborhood revitalization and homebuilding, home improvements for veterans, and free Healthy Homes and Financial Wellness workshops. Habitat also runs two ReStore locations (Temecula and Lake Elsinore) with proceeds supporting the nonprofit’s programs.

Four levels of admission are offered, costing from $30-$65. Included with the cost of admission is a two-ounce souvenir glass for sampling beers, and unlimited chili and beer tastings. Last year, all 1,500 tickets offered were snapped up resulting in a sold-out event.

Pechanga’s Microbrew, Craft Beer & Chili Cook-off is for guests 21 years and older; a valid government-issued ID must be presented prior to admission.

For information and tickets, call the box office at (888) 810-8871 or visit Pechanga.com.

If you go

When: Saturday, June 9

Where: Pechanga Resort and Casino, 45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula.

Cost: The general admission ticket costs $50, with event hours from 1 to 5 p.m. V.I.P. admission grants early admission and costs $65, with event hours from noon to 5 p.m. A general admission “designated driver” ticket costs $30 and includes chili samples, but no alcoholic beverages; a VIP designated driver ticket costs $40.

Phone: (888) 810-8871

Online: Pechanga.com

temecula@sduniontribune.com

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