Those lushes in Long Beach might be saving all of L.A. a slog to San Diego and the price of a hotel this weekend. While Stone Brewing Co. is gearing up for its 15th Anniversary bash this Saturday in Escondido, complete with over 40 breweries and 10 samples per person, Taste of Brews is also planned for this Saturday at Shoreline Aquatic Park. Not only is this event a good deal closer to our homes, but Taste of Brews promises even more breweries (so far 50 are scheduled) and tastings are unlimited once you buy a $40-45 ticket (Stone's is also $40, while both offer VIP tickets as well). So which to attend?
Both offer live music and free munchies, and we are super intrigued by Stone's "rare beer tent," but the brewer's in attendance in Long Beach are nothing to dismiss themselves, with planned participation by brew co.'s like Anderson Valley, Alaskan, Green Flash, Grand Teton, and Wychwood, along with a few more corporate offerings. Stone's selection, meanwhile, is pure indie and very Cali-centered.
In the end, this probably breaks down to how big a beer fanatic you are. No doubt, Stone's fete is like the Sturgis/Freaknik/Mecca of the genre, while anyone who wants to make itthis sudsy Saturday in a day-trip, maybe at the cost of a few unique swills, will find just enough beer they enjoy in Long beach this weekend. See the lineup for both Stone and the Taste of Brews events online and tell us which you think is the better beer festival in our comments.