On Saturday, locals will flock to beautiful Lodi Lake for an afternoon of socializing, dancing, snacking and sampling more than 100 craft beers.
The Lodi Craft Beer Festival is an annual event hosted by the Lodi Tokay Rotary Club. It has a double mission: to bring quality brewers to Lodi for an afternoon of fun, and to raise money for local nonprofits.
“It’s really cool that we are able to do this. It’s the biggest fundraiser we’ve ever had,” said Rotary member JoEllen Flemmer, who helps organize the yearly festival.
Thanks to the event, the Lodi Tokay Rotary has been able to support local organizations like Lodi House and the Lodi branch of the Salvation Army, along with international projects. Part of the funds also go toward preserving Lodi Lake.
This year, more than 50 breweries will be offering tasting of their beers, including Altamont Beer Works, Green Flash Brewing Co., Lagunitas and Firestone Walker. New this year are Boochcraft Hard Kombucha, Knee Deep Brewing and Seismic Brewing Co.
All of the local breweries will be in attendance: Lodi Beer Company, Dancing Fox Winery and Brewery, IDOL Beer Works, Five Window Beer Company, High Water Brewing, Scotto’s Wine & Cider and River Rock Brewing.
The big brewers always draw a line, Flemmer said, but people always ask about smaller craft brewers like Heretic Brewing Co. and Track 7 Brewing.
“Those are all big draws for these craft brew festivals, because you can’t get those everywhere,” she said.
There will also be five home brewers this year.
Drinkers will want to keep well fed with on-site food trucks Taco Fiesta, Go Falafel, Squeeze Inn and Costa’s Finest Kettle Corn. Stogie’s will sell cigars, and there will be traditional pretzel necklaces.
There will be fun and games in the form of bean bag toss, Yard Yahtzee, Giant Connect 4 and Giant Jenga lawn games, and Donnie and the Wayrads will provide live music.
“People love their lineup of music. A lot of people are dancing at the end,” Flemmer said.
The Lodi Tokay Rotary will be selling commemorative T-shirts with the Lodi Craft Beer Festival’s logo and a list of this year’s breweries. Attendees will also get a commemorative glass with their admission.
“We added the year on the glasses this time, so people can save them,” Flemmer said.
To help guests keep safe, Bike Lodi will provide free bike valet service at the corner of Turner Road and Laurel Avenue, and there will be two dedicated spaces for Uber and Lyft to drop off and pick up passengers. Complimentary parking will be at the Water Treatment Plan on Mills Avenue north of Turner, and a shuttle will ferry guests to and from the parking area.
Guests who want to camp in an RV can contact Flemmer via the festival’s website. The cost is $16.
The organizers and the other 120 volunteers who make the festival happen hope a good crowd will come out to the event.
“The weather’s going to be nice too, I think,” Flemmer said.