Riding the wave of craft beer is San Jose’s Summer Kraftbrew Beer Fest. The celebration of good beer is now in its second year and will hold its first outdoor event July 21 in downtown San Jose.

Organizer Chris Esparza says he is committed to making the event more than a giant kegger. With a meet-the-brewer atmosphere and technical sessions about the finer points of brewing, he wants to elevate Kraftbrew into something, dare I say, more sober, but still fun. “This will not be a typical all-you-can-drink fest,” he says.

The downtown event will offer attendees a taste of a wide range of domestic and international beers along with beer education, live music and good food from local vendors. The festival will feature more than 60 beers as well as artisan draft sodas. In an effort to appeal to beer aficionados, the festival will include a “beer lounge” with a changing lineup of guest speakers. Not to mention some fine live music. 

The list of participating breweries includes Lagunitas, Stone, Firestone and a number of Belgian beers. In addition to draft beer, there will be a “launch booth” with 15 breweries that will be releasing limited quantities of new or seasonal beers each hour. Some of the beers to look for include Shipyard Brewing Co.‘s barrel-aged “double thumper,” Uinta Brewing’s “Detour double IPA” and Allagash Brewing Co.‘s “bourbon black.”

Several local businesses among them Naglee Park Garage, Harry’s Hofbrau, Kelly’s Liquors, and Original Gravity Public House will also participate. Food choice will be available, such as sausage from Nagle Park Garage, beer-braised short ribs from Harry’s Hofbrau and specialty offerings from various food trucks.

Entry is $5, and tasting portions of beers will go for $3-$4. The event runs from noon to 8pm at the corner of Post and Lightson streets in downtown San Jose. (Metro is a sponsor of the event.)