By Ted AYALA
Cheer up, Oktoberfest fans! If you’re ale-ing (pun intended) because the region’s largest event is still a solid three months away, there’s good news. The Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce (MVCCC) is preparing to unfurl a new summer celebration that will give beer fans a taste of what is coming in October – literally.
The first annual Brewfest is scheduled by the MVCCC on Sunday, July 27 from noon to 4 p.m. Like its older sibling, beer is the new event’s center of gravity. Like Oktoberfest, Brewfest will be held on Honolulu Avenue, in the 2200 block. But unlike Oktoberfest, Brewfest promises to be a far more low-key affair.
“We’re taking a cue from wine tasting,” said Scott Trulik of Oceanview Investments Group, the event’s chairperson and former MVCCC president. “It’s going to be a beer-tasting.”
Held in beer garden style, the Brewfest is targeting a more select group than the chamber’s more famous event. While an average Oktoberfest can attract upwards of 30,000 celebrants, the new event will be taking in only 1,500. Its focus will also differ, with the event’s sights trained on local craft beers. Participating brewers include Eagle Rock Brewing Co., Hangar 24, Golden Road, and San Diego based Stone Brewing Co.
“We want to keep it limited in scope for now while we’re still getting a feel for it,” Trulik said. “But the response has already been positive. Many local businesses are asking us to expand if we hold the event next year.”
Among the local businesses participating are New Moon Restaurant, Sake, Basin 141, Schreiner’s Fine Sausages and Montrose Bakery.
The MVCCC is also hoping that their event can attract a different demographic from Oktoberfest.
“Oktoberfest tends to be a kind of local family reunion,” Trulik said. “With Brewfest, we want to do things a little differently. We want to attract people who have never heard of Montrose before. We want those people to discover our little gem up in the Foothills, stop by for a moment, and get to know the businesses and people up here.”
While the event is a fundraiser for the MVCCC and its scholarship program, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to local charities. Glendale Fire (GFD), the Glendale Police Dept. Explorers’ Program and the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Support Group (CVSSG) will each be receiving a $1,000 donation from the chamber.
For Trulik, who serves as a board member on the CVSSG, it’s a cause that is deeply important.
“We have so many charitable organizations in the area that tend to get overlooked,” he said. “These are worthy ones that deserve more attention. I’m hoping that next year, we can donate even more.”
To obtain tickets and more information about Brewfest, go online to www.montrosebrewfest.com. You may also call the MVCCC office Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at (818) 249-7171.