Heading into its seventh iteration, the weeklong celebration of craft brewing culture in Los Angeles is moving from September to June, and the signature kickoff festival hosted by the L.A. Brewers Guild will move from Chinatown to Exposition Park.
It’s been a tumultuous few years for L.A. Beer Week; in 2014 the Los Angeles Brewers Guild took over organizational responsibilities for the grassroots movement focused on craft beer education. The Guild reworked the signature beer festival, moving it from the last day of beer week to the first and from Union Station to Chinatown’s central plaza, and even more changes are in store for 2015
Beer Week will now run from June 20 through June 28, with the expanded Exposition Park festival bringing even more local and guest breweries together to get things started on June 20. Some presale tickets to the kickoff will go on sale on April 3, and the general ticket sales begin on May 1. See www.labeerweek.com for more details on tickets.
The announcement comes after the successful, but stressful, 2014 edition of L.A. Beer Week. The L.A. Brewers Guild — largely responsible for organizing and coordinating the nine days of events — says that scheduling beer week three months earlier will mean many of the participating craft breweries and associated businesses can now dedicate more time and energy to the events.
Beer Week’s previous September schedule fell toward the end of the busy summer events season, and just before major industry conference The Great American Beer Festival. This tight scheduling made it difficult for many local breweries and businesses to dedicate resources to the Beer Week celebrations, says L.A. Beer Week committee Chairman Thomas Kelley of El Segundo Brewing Co.
“It is always so darn hot in September,” says Smog City Brewery founder Laurie Porter, who also sits on the L.A. Beer Week Committee. “At least we’ll have some June gloom now.”
Any Beer Week festival attendees who remember the sweltering afternoon on the Union Station patios in 2012, or the oppressive stuffiness of the (admittedly awesome) Ticketing Hall in 2013 should welcome the shift to balmy mid-June and breezy Exposition Park.
Organizers expect over 200 events citywide during Beer Week 2015, from marquee Brewers Guild-organized events like The Meeting of the Guilds and the opening festival to simple tap takeovers and beer dinners at local craft-focused establishments. The L.A. Beer Week organizers will be announcing further details on their Twitter and Facebook pages in coming weeks. Until then, mark your calendars for June 20 and dust off those pretzel necklaces; It’s only four months until we’ll be toasting how far Los Angeles craft beer has come in the shadow of the Coliseum.