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Central Coast Craft Beer Week is back, this time with even more breweries

The Central Coast beer scene is the focus of the inaugural Craft Beer Tasting and Awards, July 25 at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles.
The Central Coast beer scene is the focus of the inaugural Craft Beer Tasting and Awards, July 25 at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

After a one-year hiatus, Central Coast Craft Beer Week is back, putting the spotlight on the region’s craft brewers over 10 days of events spanning from Paso Robles to Ventura.

The Central Coast Beer Trail, which is organizing the festivities, has more than doubled in size in just a couple of years, with 34 breweries compared with 14 in 2015. Started in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties as the Central Coast Brewers Consortium, the rebranded group is now expanding into Monterey and Ventura counties as well.

“The growth of the beer trail along the Central Coast is a direct result of consumers’ demand for local craft beer,” Beer Trail President Kady Fleckenstein said. “Consumers want variety with a focus on community pride, and we’re proud to have such a wide variety of beer styles and establishments ranging from tasting rooms to brew pubs to full production facilities.”

The nonprofit group held the first Central Coast Craft Beer Week in 2014 but skipped last year as it reorganized and rebranded, including building a new website, interactive and printable maps and social media feeds.

The March 24-April 2 celebration kicks off Friday afternoon at Tap It Brewing Co. in San Luis Obispo with beer specials, live music, food trucks and giveaways. The event continues Saturday with Central Coast Brewing Co.’s 19th anniversary party at its Monterey Street brewery.

Beers from more than 30 trail breweries will be available at the Central Coast Beer Trail Tap Takeover from 6 to 9 p.m. on March 31 at Libertine Brewing Co.’s new San Luis Obispo taproom. That event is a fundraiser for the nonprofit beer trail, as is the Best of the Central Coast Beer Trail that will cap off the week’s festivities in Santa Barbara on April 2.

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.’s Arroyo Grande taproom is offering a “funk ’n bitter” special all week, pairing cheeses with its hoppy beers. Other events include a sour and wild ale release party at BarrelHouse Brewing Co., a klask tournament (a fast-paced game similar to air hockey) at Earth and Fire Brewing Co., as well as beer pairing menus, special releases, tap takeovers and educational seminars around the region. Find the full schedule of events at centralcoastbeertrail.com.

Sally Buffalo writes about wine, beer and spirits. Reach her at sallybuffalo@gmail.com or on Twitter@sallybuffalo.

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