This was the Fest’s highest selling year to date
ATASCADERO — Lovers of craft beer and good times headed out to the Sunken Gardens on Saturday, March 25, from noon to 4 p.m. for the 5th Annual Central Coast Craft Beer Fest (CCCBF).
“It was awesome. It was the best Central Coast Craft Beer Festival for the Brewers Guild to date,” stated Owner of En Fuego Events and Event Director Andres Nuno.
This year festivities kicked off for the Brewers participating in the Beer Fest with the first-ever Annual Central Coast Craft Beer Fest Disc Golf Tournament. Twenty brewers joined in the game at Heilmann Park at noon on Friday, March 24.
“That brought some other breweries in a little early so they could enjoy that,” stated Nuno.
The fun for the Beer Fest brewers continued that night at Wild Fields Brewhouse, where over 110 guests were in attendance.
“Jacque and Ryan Fields were great. They do a wonderful job of turning their home into our home for the weekend and making everyone feel like it’s just another day at one of their breweries. It was really fun,” added Nuno.
He went on to say this was a record-breaking year for ticket sales, with over 2,000 tickets being sold.
“We sold nearly 1,000 VIP tickets, which is bizarre. That’s not normal,” Nuno continued.
Last year the CCCBF sold 800 VIP tickets, but some of those were carried over from the 2020 fest, which was held virtually. With everyone working the event, there were between 2,300 and 2,500 people at the Beer Fest in total.
“It felt that way. It felt like there were a lot more bodies in there walking around. It’s such a big field, it doesn’t seem like, ‘oh my god, this is too many people,’ but you just noticeably felt it buzzing a little bit more around the event. Again this is the largest dollar amount of sales we’ve ever done, which is incredible coming off of 2020,” Nuno said.
This year they also had more vendors participating than in years past. And the break in the rain provided the perfect weather.
“It was just a really good day. It was smooth from load-in through the event. It seemed like everyone had a really good time, and I know a lot of people afterward spent some time downtown walking around or eating or visiting another place to have a drink or two,” stated Nuno.
There were 59 alcohol vendors at CCCBF. Next year’s goal is to bring in over 60 independently owned and Brewer’s Guild-accepted breweries.
In addition to local vendors and craft breweries, wineries, ciders, and kombuchas, this year’s entertainment was also really special. The lineup included two bands, Dad Religion and Moondawgs, as well as vinyl DJ sets put together by Atascadero’s very own Traffic Records.
“This year, both bands, The Moondawgs and Dad Religion, both had members from Breweries that are part of the Guild and were up there actually pouring beer,” Nuno added. “So that was just a really cool tie-in for the entertainment that we probably can’t duplicate ever again.”
Hop On Tours helped the Beer Fest out with shuttles from partnering hotels and rides to and from Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo.
“We always love coming to Atascadero and doing this event. We appreciate the support from the local community and the city itself,” Nuno said. “The city is a big part of us being able to do this in the capacity that we do. Terrie Banish is awesome and really helpful, and her whole team is. They’re all wonderful. We appreciate the support, and we love coming back.”
The Central Coast Craft Beer Fest will return for its sixth year on Saturday, March 23, 2024.
“We’ll be back again, and just thank you for everybody for coming out and having a great time, and we’re looking forward to seeing everybody again next year,” concluded Nuno.
Photos by Rick Evans / ATN