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The inaugural Davis Beer Week

With over 50 local, state and international independent breweries in attendance, the inaugural Davis Beer Week promises a little bit of everything for craft beer connoisseurs. Besides highlighting regional craft brews, this seven-day citywide event, August 19–25, will also spotlight the college town’s thriving restaurant and bicycling scenes.

“Beer culture in Davis is huge,” says event founder Henry de Vere White of local de Vere’s Irish Pub, who modeled Davis Beer Week after similar events taking place in cities such as San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento. “They’re really focused on family, friends and community here, and I think nothing goes better than sitting around a table with a couple of great beers and chatting.”

“Davis has the potential to become a Mecca for beer,” says Trenton Yackzan, who organized Davis Beer Week along with de Vere White. Yackzan is part owner of Sudwerk’s Brewery, which was founded in Davis in 1989.

“If you want to learn about beer, come to Davis,” says Yackzan. UC Davis offers extension classes in the science of beer brewing, and, as Yackzan explains, “Northern California is a hotbed for craft beer right now.”

A local beer festival seemed only natural. Adds de Vere White: “We just wanted to give something back to the community.”

That “something” included wrangling participation from beer brewing luminaries such as Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada and Samual Adams, as well as local craft breweries such as Track 7, New Helvetia Brewing Co., and Ruhstaller (to name but a very, very few).

As a precursor to Davis Beer Week, de Vere’s Irish Pub will host Ballast Point Tasting: Bites & Flights Part One, a “tap takeover” happening August 17 and 18. Patrons can sample four specialty beers by San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing Company, including the Fathom IPL, Sculpin IPA, Reef Rye Brown, and the Sea Monster Imperial Stout.

From there, Davis Beer Week segues into a plethora of beer-based events such as all-day happy hours, “keep the glass” pint nights and special cask sampling events—all taking place at pubs and restaurants around town.

Beyond fostering community spirit for local libations, all proceeds from Davis Beer Week will go directly to the United States Bicycle Hall of Fame, which, by no coincidence, is located in Davis’ Central Park.

The United States Bicycling Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving bicycling culture from the 1880s to now—not just for today’s cyclists, but for future generations as well. “Obviously, bike culture is huge in Davis,” notes de Vere White.

With that in mind, Davis Beer Week culminates with The Bike and Brew Fest on August 24th. The family-friendly party takes place in Central Park. It will feature a kids’ town playground and carousel, and it will offer moms and dads the opportunity to relax and sample craft brews from around the region. Special VIP tasting rooms will be set up inside the U.S. Bicycle Hall of Fame.

Food vendors, like Uncle Vito’s and Bistro 33, as well as food trucks such as Wicked ’Wich and The Streets of London’s Big Red Bus, will be serving their signature grub all day. Regional wineries like Bogle and Helwig will also be on hand. Adding to the festivities, The Silent Comedy, Elements of Soul and Tha Dirt Feeling will play live music.

No designated driver? The Sactown Hopper, which departs from de Vere’s Sacramento location, is a safe and affordable bus service that provides roundtrip service between Davis and Sacramento during the event. Amtrak, Yolo County busses, and local cabs also provide smart transportation alternatives.

“I want this to be a great experience for everyone in our community,” says de Vere White. “Even if people aren’t from Davis, I hope they can show up and appreciate what a great town this is.” Davis Beer Week is one more reason to do just that.

For more information on Davis Beer Week—including event times, complete vendor lists and ticket prices—please visit www.davisbeerweek.com

Editor’s note: Every Thursday we deliver a local event guide straight to your inbox, right on time to make your weekend plans. Sign me up.

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