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Craft Beer Festival comes to Oceanside

OCEANSIDE — To celebrate its fourth year in business, Breakwater Brewing Company is holding the San Diego Beer Festival at the Junior Seau Beach Amphitheater July 21. 

Fifteen breweries, six live bands and four local food vendors will make up the festival.

A ticket gets festivalgoers 10, 4-ounce tasters of beer and a commemorative glass to take home.

Most of the breweries are familiar, well-established names. Many are located in San Diego County including Ballast Point Brewing Company, Coronado Brewing Company, Pizza Port Brewing Company, Green Flash Brewing Company, Manzanita Brewing Company, Stone Brewing Company, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, and Lost Abby beers by the Port Brewing Company.

Some lesser known breweries will also be introduced.

“Latitude 33 is a small brewery,” Billy Sager, event coordinator and bar manager for the Breakwater Brewing Company, said. “OAW is a small brewery in Oceanside. Iron Fist is a new brewery in Vista.”

A few of the breweries are located in Oceanside, including the Breakwater Brewing Company located on Coast Highway 101. The Breakwater Brewing Company serves more than a dozen of its beers on tap at its brewery/restaurant. Sager describes the beers as a having a classic taste with West Coast flair.

The distinct classic taste of the beer developed by head brewer Lars Gilman has won numerous awards at the San Diego International Beer Festival.

“We make precise style beers, traditional pale ales and stouts,” Sager said.

Freshness is another distinction of the beer. After fermentation the beer is drawn right from the barrel.

“We are a seven-barrel system,” Sager said. “We don’t keg. It’s a very short draw beer. The consumer gets a lot of freshness.”

Gates at the festival open at 11 a.m. for VIP ticket holders. There will be a smaller initial crowd, festival T-shirts, and breweries will serve specialty beers the first hour.

At 12:30 p.m. all ticket holders will be admitted. The festival closes at 7 p.m. The expected crowd is 2,000 people.

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