In early October, on a bright sunny Saturday afternoon, BAM Fest brought together breweries, artists, and musicians in a unique outdoor festival. Held annually in Santa Monica, the event raises money for the 18th Street Arts Center (website here), a non-profit that supports local artists. This year the event was a record breaking success raising over $50,000 for the local artist community.
The first BAM Fest was held 2010 as a new way for the Arts Center to reach out to the community, share what they are about, and raise money by bringing people together over two things nearly universally loved: beer and music.
In 2010, when the LA craft beer scene was still in its early stages, BAM Fest featured 20 breweries. While a few of those were local, the festival had to draw heavily from breweries in the San Diego and Northern California regions. My, how times have changed! This year the event featured over 35 breweries, and while a good number of those were still well known regional and national breweries from outside the LA area, a tremendous number of local LA and Orange County breweries were in attendance. I counted at least 15 local breweries (nearly 50% of breweries in attendance!). If you’ve followed the LA beer scene, you know that this is a major accomplishment and speaks well for LA’s beer future.
Thai Tea Soda
Bierkast, just off our success of pouring Thai Tea soda at the LA Beer Week Union Station event, was once again able to team up with the local homebrew club, Pacific Gravity, and pour soda at the festival. We showcased the Thai Tea soda and the response from festival goers was overwhelmingly positive. The soda booth was a hit as the non-alcoholic options proved to be too tantalizing in the afternoon heat. The bright orange color of the Thai Tea soda was at first glance often mistaken for an orange soda. As we educated people about this unique soda, many, even those that don’t enjoy traditional Thai Iced Tea, were instant fans. We had repeat customers all day long. Brett was there helping serve at the Pacific Gravity table, and he took pics of the happy Thai Tea soda fans (included below)!
For a recap on the creation of the Thai Tea soda, Kip talks about the recipe here.
Thanks to Martin Svab for helping 18th Street Arts Center put on an amazing beer festival. Check out additional BAM Fest photos from Friends of Local Beer. Be sure to follow BAM Fest on facebook and twitter for information about next year’s festival.