The 2019 edition of Stone’s annual invitational beer festival, which begins today, is a transcontinental affair. With events at the company’s breweries in Escondido, San Diego’s Liberty Station and Richmond, Va., it literally extends from coast to coast.
Today, rare and vintage beers will be served at Stone’s tap rooms in those locations, as well as Napa, Pasadena, Oceanside, and the San Diego outlets in East Village and on Kettner Avenue.
“This opens up an additional experience for local fans,” said Lizzie Younkin, Stone’s senior manager for public relations, “including those who can’t commit to a ticketed event.”
Those include Saturday’s Rare Beer Festival, featuring more than 100 beers from 50 independent breweries, including Hawaii’s Maui Brewing, Colorado’s Crooked Stave and Pennsylvania’s Victory. Held at Stone World Brewing Bistro & Gardens — Escondido, 1999 Citracado Parkway, the event runs from 7 to 10 p.m.
Guitarist Jimmy Patton and percussionist Enrique Platas, Jimmy & Enrique, will play from 7 to 10 p.m. on the outdoor stage; soul singer Christian Taylor will perform from 7 to 9 p.m. inside.
Tickets, $99, are available online at stonebrewing.com.
This will be followed Sunday by the Grand Celebration, 3 to 6 p.m., at the grassy promenade of Stone World Brewing & Bistro — Liberty Station, 2816 Historic Decatur Road, San Diego. More than 50 breweries, from Oregon’s Cascade to Maine’s Allagash, will pour their brews. 40 Oz To Freedom, a Sublime cover band, will play from 4 to 6 p.m.
Tickets, $35, are also available at stonebrewing.com.
At every event, Stone’s 23rd anniversary beer will be available. A double IPA from Kris Ketcham, senior manager of brewing and innovation at Liberty Station, it uses nine hops.
While this is one of the oldest Southern California beer festivals, Younkin was unsure if it’s the largest.
“But it’s surely helped inspire and propel the momentum of other festivals and craft beer in general,” she said. “It’s also an awesome display of that craft beer camaraderie that the industry is so well known for. We get to celebrate alongside our friends in craft, while fans get to explore new styles, breweries and beers.”
It’s also been a fundraiser for local charities. This year’s beneficiaries are the Surfrider Foundation, the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos, the YMCA of San Diego County and Fight ALD.