Sixty-three breweries, cideries, wineries, and other businesses participated in this year’s Beer Fest

ATASCADERO — Two-thousand people headed out to the Sunken Gardens on Saturday, Mar. 26, for the 4th Annual Central Coast Craft Beer Festival. The Beer Fest, last held on Oct. 23, 2021, was back to its regularly scheduled March date this year.

“It was a fast turnaround. There were still a lot of people that had vouchers from 2020; in 2020…when we canceled that event, people could get a refund, or they could hold on to their tickets, and use them for 2021 or 2022. So there were still over 100 ticket buyers from 2020 that joined us this year using those vouchers. It was just good to see that people, even from back in 2020, were still joining us this year,” said Andres Nuno of En Fuego Events.

The Central Coast Craft Beer Festival is sponsored by The City of Atascadero, with En Fuego Events managing the event in conjunction with the Central Coast Brewers Guild.

Getting through this together, Atascadero

Sixty-three breweries, cideries, wineries, and other hard-alcohol businesses participated in the Beer Fest. On top of food trucks and street faire vendors. A selection of the participants were new to the Fest this year.

“We’re always looking to invite some new people. There’s always new breweries opening up. Anytime that happens, it’s just an additional bonus for us to be able to have them out there,” added Nuno. “There was one called Santa Barbara Brewing Society. It’s a local home-brewers club out of Santa Barbara. They made the trek all the way up here. We do have some of those types of people that come out that don’t have their own breweries because a lot of these guys, that’s where they start. They start with home-brew clubs. We’re very supportive of having them on sight as well, and trying their beers, so that was nice to see them.”

The Central Coast Craft Beer Fest also provided attendees with live entertainment from Wordsauce, Ghost Monster, and sets from DJ Hecktick. As well as lawn games like cornhole and an oversized version of beer pong.

“It was a great turnout, beautiful weather, great ticket sales,” said Atascadero Deputy City Manager, Terrie Banish. “A lot of people coming out from the Central Valley, the Bay Area, Southern California. I think I’ve talked to people from all over… and that’s what we want. We want these events to pull people into our city and have an opportunity for them to stay here, shop at our stores, go to our restaurants, visit our breweries. It’s a win/win.”

It wasn’t just local breweries that participated in the Central Coast Craft Beer Fest. Pizza Port from San Diego came out for the Fest, and Sierra Nevada came from Chico for the first time this year. 

“Those are both two big breweries, and for them to want to come to Atascadero to join the Guild at their festival is pretty telling that it’s a pretty significant beer festival for the Central Coast,” stated Nuno.

Over 100 people showed up on Friday night for a Brewer’s Party, which the event hosts the night before the Festival. This year it was hosted at Wild Fields Brewhouse, which also participated in the Beer Fest.

“The town always embraces this event. I mean, all the breweries, restaurants, the hotels, and the craft beer bars like Raconteur Room and Ancient Owl they’re just so accommodating to these breweries. And I think the breweries make a point to stop by and support local businesses because they are there all weekend,” said Nuno. 

The Central Coast Craft Beer Festival will be back in March 2023.