Long Beach beer enthusiasts will have the chance to indulge in dozens of tastings right here at the Beach on Oct. 15.
Sponsored by the 49er Shops in support of CSULB’s Hospitality Management program, the Long Beach Craft Beer Festival will be taking over the Jack Rose Track and Field Stadium from 2 – 5 p.m.
The event will feature over 50 local and corporate breweries, a variety of food trucks and games such as giant Jenga and Twister. Beer samplings will be unlimited and will be poured in two-ounce souvenir glasses, included in the price of ticket.
According to Kiersten Stickney, the director of marketing and communication for the 49er Shops, the proceeds from the festival will be allocated to building facilities for the Hospitality Management Program, since the program does not have its own building.
The idea for festival came from Don Penrod, CEO of the 49er Shops. Stickney said that Penrod wanted to help the Hospitality Management program, specifically with its the educational growth and development.
Stickney said that students from the program have been working on planning and promoting the event by getting local breweries and restaurants to participate.
Some of the southern California breweries participating are Karl Strauss, Belmont Brewing Company and Beachwood Brewing Company. Food will be provided by Legends Sports Bar and Naples Rib Company, along with food trucks such as the Grilled Cheese Truck and the Ragin’ Cajun Cafe.
Additionally, students have formed a “street team” where they table on and off campus and sell event tickets prior to the beer fest.
One such on-campus tabling event is the Tap Takeovers, happening every Thursday night at the Nugget Grill and Pub. Each Tap Takeover features a different brewery that will be at the festival itself. Stickney said that it’s a way for the breweries to introduce their craft to students before the festival.
At each Tap Takeover, there are a limited number of $25 beer fest tickets for sale, marked down from $49 for the basic entrance ticket. VIP packages are available and CSULB students are eligible for a $10 discount when purchasing any ticket online.
According to the beer fest website, there are about 500 students who are either majoring in or minoring in hospitality management. Students who graduate from this program typically go onto work in places such as the restaurant, hotel and airline industries.
While the beer fest is a university approved event, there were some groups on campus who were initially wary of promoting alcohol on campus, according to Stickney.
She said that although she didn’t want to single anyone out, there was some resistance coming from the Human Resource department.
However, according to Scott Apel, associate vice president of Human Resource Management, his department has had very few interactions with the 49er Shops regarding the event.
Apel said the only dealing they had was when the Vice President of Administration and Finance, Mary Stevens, was asked if she would like to purchase a table at the Chartroom beer pairing the night before the beer fest. Apel said he advised Stevens that it would be inappropriate for them to purchase a table, as it could encourage employee drinking on campus.
Stickney credits the school’s policy of being a “dry campus” to past apprehensions to promote the event.
“Historically, [the 49er Shops] have not been able to advertise alcohol on on campus, even though we have the Nugget and the Outpost… we can’t promote a happy hour at all, and that just goes back to our contract with campus.”
Yet, Stickney said that now the 49er Shops has received support for the event across campus.
“Now everybody has been pretty supportive and embraced this festival… because it is an event that is really helping one of our departments on campus.”
Stickney said that so far around 1,000 tickets have been sold and over 200 students from the hospitality management and various student organizations have signed up to volunteered to help at the event.
The day before the beer fest there will be a craft beer pairing at the Chartroom where each course will be paired with a different, rare craft beer. Those who purchase tickets for the pairing will also have the option to go next door to the Nugget for “hoppy hour,” an event geared towards the vendors and brewers as a thank you for their participation.