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Suds Up in Santa Monica: 4th Annual Beer Fest Brings the BAM! (Beer, Art, Music)

BAM, it's the 4th Annual Santa Monica Beer Festival, the Southland's tribute of Octoberfest
BAM, it's the 4th Annual Santa Monica Beer Festival, the Southland's tribute of Octoberfest
John Blanchette

An Octoberfest for the Arts, Saturday the 5th, 18th Street Arts Center, 1639 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA

It's time to get BAMed by Beer, Art and Music at the 4th Annual Beer Fest in Santa Monica. What better way to celebrate the Octoberfest season and raise funds for the arts than by pounding some artisanal cold ones while listening to four of the best bands on the Westside and strolling through rows of art and installations displayed in the galleries and studios of the 18th Street Art Center, 1639 18th Street in Santa Monica, while dinning on gourmet cuisine provided by a variety of food trucks. When you need a little something to soak up all the brews there is a diverse selection of six food trucks that should keep your grumbling stomach at bay. With the marriage of beer, art and music, BAM Fest has brewed a one-of-a-kind fundraising event.

Record breaking crowds are expected to enjoy the afternoon with estimates of 1,500 in attendance. And what really makes this event special for the crowd is that they know it is a culturally infused event for a great cause, all proceeds benefiting the 18th Street Arts Center, a 25-year old, influential non-profit arts organization in Santa Monica.

This year 18th Street has teamed up with artisanal drink, food and cultural event planner, Nicole Gordillo Schimpf of Tap & Cheer Events as well as Martin Svab, co-founder of the small batch beer endeavor Phantom Carriage, to help produce this multifaceted event.

Participating breweries have been carefully selected by the team and represent the best of the craft beer industry. The 40+ breweries range from big to small, including the popular and widely known Sierra Nevada Brewing and Stone Brewing Companies to newly launched breweries like Los Angeles Ale Works, who got their start through a recent Kickstarter campaign. The diverse craft beer offerings at 18th Street’s Beer, Art and Music Festival present a range of styles for tasting enjoyment.

For the beer connoisseur, this year’s BAM Fest is showcasing limited release seasonal beers such as Anchor Brewing’s Big Leaf Maple Autumn Red, hoppy treats like Nihilist DIPA from The Brewery at Abigaile, which is brewed with just a touch of British caramel malt and Maris Otter base malt for complexity. The Dudes’ Brewing Company will be showcasing unique brews such as Grandma’s Pecan Brown and Grinning Face Porter.

A special bonus for this year’s BAM Fest attendees will be the opportunity to participate in 20-minute mini-educational sessions called Crash Courses by experts such as Christina Perozzi of The Beer Chicks and Goose Island Brewery and Alex P. Davis, Certified Cicerone and General Manager of Library Alehouse. These fun and engaging classes cover a wide range of topics such as how to pick out food flavors from different beers or how flavor and palate weight doesn’t necessarily correlate to a craft beer’s color.

And for those who prefer fermented grapes to hops there will also be an area to sample some of Southern California’s finest wines as well as home non-alcoholic brewed sodas by LA Ale Works.

The music lined up for BAM Fest is just as diverse as the beer samples. From the Latin infused rhythmic sounds of KoTolàn whose songs, celebrating cultural diversity, are sung in Japanese, Spanish and English to the dance-inducing soulful funk of Cory Phillips and the Groove Orchestra, the featured music at 18th Street’s festival is sure to make attendees move. Brandishing some lyrical weaponry with a unique style, Ben Bateman and his pop trio will also create upbeat tunes rooted in rock and folk that pulsate with energy. Raul Pacheco of the famed Los Angeles-based Ozomatli brings his side project The Immaculate Conception to BAM Fest. A mix of rock, country, and ballads in both English and Spanish will take attendees on a musical tour.

BAM Fest guests also have the special opportunity to explore a dynamic installation by 18th Street’s Artist Lab Resident, Adrià Julià. Incorporating film, video, and photographic installations Adrià Julià embarks on a new project that focuses on the relationship between the camera and the bodies that operate it, such as in cinematographers. Delving into the layers of translation between the moving image, industrial design, and ergonomics, Julià’s work analyzes the structure and function of commercially produced cameras and the biochemical systems of the body.

In addition, the resident artists who create daily at 18th Street Arts Center open their studios for attendees to experience works in progress. Current artists and art organizations whose studios will be open include Cheryl Walker, Yvette Gellis, California Lawyers for the Arts, Otis MFA in Public Practice program, Highways Performance Space and EZTV.

Don’t want to drive? There will also be a FREE Bike Valet, so cruise on down! Or get to and from the festivities with Taxi Magic, the #1 taxi app. User the promo code BAMFest13 and get $10 off your first ride.

Tickets are on sale at:, for $50 a person. A list of current participating Breweries follows. For more information about BAM Fest 2013 and 18th Street Arts Center visit:

Participating Craft Breweries:

Ale Industries
Anchor Brewing Company
Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Angel City Brewing Company
Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing Company
Boston Beer Company
Bootlegger's Brewery Co.
Brasserie d'Achouffe
Brewery at Abigaile, The
Brewery Ommegang
The Bruery
Deschutes Brewery Company
Dogfish Head Brewery
Drake's Brewing Company
The Dudes’ Brewing Company
El Segundo Brewing Company
Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Golden Road Brewing Company
Hangar 24 Brewing Company
Haven Brewing Co.
Kinetic Brewing
Los Angeles Ale Works
Ladyface Ale Companie
Lagunitas Brewing
Monkish Brewing Company
Noble Ale Works
North Coast Brewing
Phantom Carriage
Pizza Port, Carlsbad
Port Town Brewing Company
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
Smog City Brewing Company
Speakeasy Ales and Lager
Stone Brewing Company
Strand Brewing Company
Surf Brewery

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