Kraftbeer Festival in San Jose
Set for July 21, the event will feature some 60 domestic and imported beers
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by Stett Holbrook on May 16, 2012
The Kraftbeer festival coming to downtown San Jose in July promises not to be just another keg party with porta-potties. Set for July 21 on Post Street, the event will feature some 60 domestic and imported beers, many of them obscure and hard to find. There will also be beer-centric food, a family-friendly area featuring brewed sodas and root beer floats with locally made ice cream as well as five live bands.
This is the third Kraftbrew event and the first one to be held outdoors on tiny Post Street. Organizer Chris Esparza hopes to raise the bar for beer festivals, aiming more for beer appreciation than wanton beer consumption: “We just wanted to go several steps further than it’s ever been done before.”
In an effort to appeal to the beer geek instead of the beer bonger, the festival will feature a “beer lounge” with a changing lineup of guest speakers that will include brewers, restaurateurs and others talking about the art of brewing, beer trends and all thing zymological. Elsewhere at the festival, each hour a different brewery will introduce a seasonal beer or launch a new one.
There will be a $5 entrance fee and tasting portions of beers will go for $3-$4 apiece. Avoiding an all-you-can drink atmosphere allows for a focus on the quality of the beer, not the quantity.
The list of participating breweries is growing but includes Lagunitas, Stone, Firestone, and a number of Belgian beer makers that make saison-style brews and rarer sour and lambic beers.
Several local businesses including Harry’s Hofbrau, Naglee Park Garage, Kelly’s Liquors and Original Gravity Public House will sponsor a beer tent that will feature several beers that reflect what each business offers. Original Gravity is a yet-to-open craft beer bar on South First Street in San Jose that will offer a rotating lineup of 25 craft beers and 30 kinds of artisan sausage, grilled sandwiches and duck fat fries. The place is supposed to open soon. I can’t wait. Esparza said the number of sponsored tents could “double or triple” by the time of the event.
As for music, the leading name so far is Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic. Good beer, good food, good music and minimal drunken louts. Sounds like a good time to me.