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Beer festival on tap in Aptos

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 6th, 2014

Brandon Keck, Johnny Miller and Nich Martinez enjoy sampling beers with their pretzel necklaces at the 2013 California Beer Festival in Aptos. (File photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

APTOS If Disneyland was for beer enthusiasts, it would probably look something like the California Beer Festival.

"We are the Disneyland of craft beer," said Vincenzo Giammanco, president of the festival.

The fourth annual California Beer Festival will make its way to Aptos Village Park, 100 Aptos Creek Road, Saturday and Sunday.

The festival continues to expand yearly, according to Giammanco, with more than 40 breweries from across the state being represented and more than 100 craft beers on tap.

"Our main goal is to shine a light on the craft beer movement," he said.

Saturday is "Craft Beer Heaven," when guests will have the opportunity to sample beer as well as enjoy live music, food and other activities.

New this year, the festival will expand an additional day on Sunday. Giammanco said the day is designated as the "Hamburger & Hops Music Festival," a more family-oriented day that features hamburgers and gourmet and fusion sliders. Beer will be available for purchase but not for sampling.

Live entertainment, referred to as a "tribute to the tributes," Giammanco said, will feature bands such as the Unauthorized Rolling Stones, Petty Theft San Francisco Tribute to Tom Petty, and Foreverland, a 14-piece tribute to Michael Jackson.

Aptos is one of four stops for the California Beer Festival, which will also be held in San Dimas on Sept. 6, Ventura on Sept. 20-21 and Marin on June 27, 2015.

Each location has its own unique taste, Giammanco said, with different regional breweries.

But it's Aptos Village Park's forest-like setting that gives this festival a flair that none of the other locations have, he said.

"Aptos is my favorite event, just because of the park setting, the environment," Giammanco said.

The event typically sees an attendance of 3,000, according to Giammanco.

A portion of the proceeds benefit the Gen Giammanco Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides financial support to student athletes to assist in their pursuit of both scholastic and athletic success in Santa Cruz County.

The California Beer Festival runs Saturday from 12:30-5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is $45 for Saturday and $10 for Sunday. Children 12 and under are free Sunday only.

For information, visit www.californiabeerfestival.com.

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