Warm day, cold beer, hot cause: San Diego Festival of Beer battles cancer


Beer is great; life is greater. That explains the San Diego Festival of Beer’s passionate supporters, volunteers like Kalani Creutzburg.

A member of San Diego Professionals Against Cancer, the nonprofit behind this annual event, Creutzburg still mourns his grandmother who died of lung cancer.

“I was young and really didn’t have a say in the matter,” said Creutzburg, a certified public accountant and former Marine. “Being able to do something like this really helps. I do have a say and I want to be part of the solution.”

Now in its 25th year, the county’s oldest beer festival returns to the Broadway Pier, 1000 N. Harbor Drive, on Sept. 25. With all the beer supplied free of charge and all the work performed by volunteers, every dollar raised here is donated to cancer treatment and research. As of last year, the total surpassed $700,000.

Among those pouring this year are veteran San Diego breweries (AleSmith, Alpine, Ballast Point, Coronado, Green Flash, Karl Strauss and others), plus some relative newcomers (Burning Beard, Longship, OB and more).

As a veteran, Creutzberg was heartened to see two breweries with military connections — Mira Mesa’s Protector, run by retired Navy SEALs, and Chula Vista, whose co-founder also served in the Navy — enlist. “They jumped on this opportunity to expand beyond the veterans community,” Creutzburg said, “and help the greater cause.”

VIP admission, noon to 5 p.m., is $75; general admission, 1 to 5 p.m., $50. Expect a good, well-attended, time.

“We have every confidence in the world that this year’s turnout will be bigger than ever,” Creutzburg said.