Since I was turned 21 my junior year of college I had heard much gossip about the wonders of the Avila beerfest. I had never had much interest in it because I am not a big beer fan, and the thought of paying $75 to drink beer for a few hours didn’t sound too appealing. I was wrong. Over memorial weekend I had the privilege of returning to SLO town and photographing the Avila Beerfest. Yes, I was the official beerfest photographer. While the main reason I did it was to be reunited to my friends with a free ticket, and have something to do for the holiday weekend, it actually turned out to be heaps of fun. More fun than I had ever imagined…and I was sober!
Avila beerfest is not a beer drinking experience, like say, a wine fest would be. It’s not about trying all the beers, finding your favorite, and enjoying each taste. It’s different. I would say its more of an excuse to come back to your college roots and go nuts with everyone else that comes into town. It’s fantastic. I’d say virtually every alum I knew from college was there….ofcourse, it was so packed and crowded though, I failed in actually seeing all of them there. It’s no wonder these tickets sold out in 3 hours!
There was a grand variety of beer from breweries all over- firestone, Stone, IPA’s, you name it…I’m not beer connoisseur, but I’d say there was a very good mix of beer and virtually every varietal. My favorite part about Beerfest, besides seeing all my friends who graduated, was the music. Every band was exceptional. Special shout out to The Chiller Whales! Just imagine a perfectly hot sunny summer day, sipping on beers, and listening to reggae beets with your favorite people from college. Sounds amazing? It was. I wandered around, making friends with other volunteers pouring, taking photos of people dancing, falling over, tasting, and getting wild. Sooooooooooooooo fun! I forgot how much I loved photographing events! So next year, although I have no idea where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing, I hope I can once again return to the epic Avila beerfest; either as a photographer or maybe as a participant. The $75 ticket is not cheap; however the value in seeing old classmates, reuniting with friends, and having a seriously wonderful day in the sun, is priceless. You don’t go to beerfest to get drunk (well you do but-) you go to socialize, live, and experience a day with no worries, troubles, work, or drama….just sit back, enjoy the beer, enjoy the beats, and enjoy the memories.