Brews to accompany the blues

Mammoth Mountain

Aug. 4-5: Mammoth's Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza enters its 11th year with more than 50 American microbreweries and a concert schedule headlined by the Robben Ford Band and Joe Louis Walker & the Bosstalkers. On Aug. 4, Bluesapalooza begins with the Shane Dwight Blues Band playing the free Kick Off the Blues show at the Plaza Stage in the Village at Mammoth. That night, Joe Louis Walker and Alvin Youngblood Hart tear up the Blues BBQ at Sam's Wood Site. Aug. 5 is the Grand Tasting, with unlimited beer tasting from noon until 5 p.m. and live blues until 9 p.m.

Venues around Mammoth. Ultimate Blues and Brews Party pass $70. Other tickets $20-$50. Children 12 and younger free with paid adult. Lodging-ticket packages available but limited. (800) 626-6684,

San Francisco

Aug. 20: The Family Winemakers' San Francisco Tasting claims to be the world's largest tasting of California wines. Sample the Golden State's rarest wines as more than 300 wineries offer tastes to the public for one day before the event closes to all but industry people on Aug. 21.

Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center, 99 Marina Blvd. Noon-4 p.m. $35 advance, $45 day of. (415) 345-7575,

Victoria, Canada

Aug. 24-Sept. 4: The Victoria Fringe Festival, now in its 20th year, brings a dramatic change to the capital of British Columbia: International comedy, drama, dance and performance art troupes invade downtown stages for more than 200 weird, wonderful performances.

Venues around Victoria. Show tickets $9 or less. (250) 383-2663,

-- Blake Hennon

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