Entertainment & Events

America’s Finest Beer Festival: Craft brews and bands at Qualcomm Stadium this weekend

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ComicCon might be the main attraction in San Diego this weekend, but if you’re looking to avoid the downtown crowds, grown adults dressed like super heroes, and you like good beer, then there is another event that might be more suitable to your interest.

Starting this Friday, July 22 through Sunday the 24th, the Qualcomm Stadium practice field will play host to the largest brew festival in Southern California, America’s Finest Beer Festival.

The Festival will feature a selection of over 120 craft beers on tap from breweries across the United States, many of which come from San Diego’s own back yard including the award-winning Karl Strauss brewery as well as Stone, Left Coast, Lost Abbey, Green Flash and Coronado breweries to name a small few.

In addition to the huge selection of craft brews, over 20 bands will take the stage to offer live music throughout each day of the festival.

Hot, sunny afternoons; cold, fresh, delicious beer and live music; what more needs to be said?

The Greyboy Allstars are scheduled to take the stage at 9:30pm as Friday’s headlining band.  Other acts that day will include local Dave Matthews cover band Stepping Feet as well as four others.

Saturday’s musical performances feature 10 different bands including local reggae/jam band Psydecar, Buck-O-Nine and Sprung Monkey before San Diego native band Pinback takes the stage at 9:30pm as the headliner.

On Sunday, John Popper will bring his harmonica to San Diego as the popular 90’s band Blues Traveler are set to close out the Festival with a show starting at 7pm.

Festivities begin at 3pm on Friday afternoon and will go until midnight, with live music starting at 3:30.  On Saturday and Sunday, the beer will start to flow at 11am and last until midnight on Saturday and 9pm on Sunday.  On both weekend days, music will begin at 11:30am.

Tickets for the event cost $49 per day and include admission to the venue, the concerts, and 12 four-ounce samplings.  Tickets are on sale for $35 per day but only include admission and the live music.  If 12 tastings don’t quench your thirst, addition tickets can be bought in sets of 10 for $20.

VIP passes are on sale for $175 a day and include unlimited beer tasting, entry into the VIP garden area with up front access to the main stage, catered food, and a chance to meet some of the brewery representatives up close.

All tickets for the brew fest can purchased from the America’s Finest Beer Festival official website.  Proceeds from the festival will go to benefit the USO of San Diego as well as the Rancho San Diego Jamul Chamber of Commerce.

Parking for the event is available in the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot for $15 however space may be limited due to the overflow of people who park at the stadium and catch the trolley down to ComicCon.  Catching the Green Line Trolley from East County or Old Town to Qualcomm may be the best bet as a round trip pass will only cost $5 and drunken driving can be avoided.

Photos courtesy of J.P.Lon via wikimedia commons, Shaggy359 via google images, and Karl Strauss Brewery

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