Guild Fest resurfacing in Del Mar

Popular San Diego Beer Week event returning reimagined after two-year hiatus

Come Saturday, November 5, a San Diego Beer Week (SDBW) staple is set to make its return in a new locale with new features. Though held on the second day of SDBW, Guild Fest is regarded as the “official kickoff event” of the 10-day celebration of the local brewing industry and is the first of two bookend events presented by volunteer trade organization, the San Diego Brewers Guild (SDBG).

In its earliest iterations from 2005 to 2009, Guild Fest was held at Balboa Park’s WorldBeat Cultural Center before being moved to larger venues, including Liberty Station, Embarcadero North and South, and Broadway Pier, in order to accommodate increased demand. For the sixteenth edition—the first since 2019—Guild Fest is moving from downtown to Del Mar’s San Diego Surf Cup Sports Park. Formerly the polo fields, the venue is two miles east of Interstate 5 on Villa de la Valle and will provide plenty of space for scores of the SDBG’s member brewer to pour their ales and lagers.

“As we continue to reemerge from the pandemic, we felt it was time for a fresh start for our signature event,” says SDBG Executive Director Paige McWey Acers. “We have so many wonderful Guild members and their loyal followers in North County, so this finally gives them all an opportunity for a quicker commute to the event.”

For this year’s event, SDBG partnered with professional event-production company Drink.Eat.Play, a Los Angeles-based operation with experience putting on similar affairs. But that’s far from the only new riff for this classic festival.

“To my knowledge, this is the first year that we’ll be offering some beer alternatives. Our friends in San Diego wine, seltzer and more who are SDBG Allied Members will be there pouring,” says SDBG Director Tom Kiely. “We also plan to have live music and some very large entertainment areas for people who want to take a drinking break.”

Kiely also notes the unveiling of the winning beers from a homebrew competition held by local club QUAFF (Quality Ale & Fermentation Fraternity) as part of the San Diego Estate Beer Project. That initiative was established earlier this year to connect local brewers and farmers by creating beers brewed with ingredients which are or can be brewed in San Diego County. Winning recipes—which were selected during a judging session last weekend—will be brewed by local breweries and served at Guild Fest.

General-admission (1 to 4 p.m.) and early-admission (noon to 4 p.m. with specialty beers served during the first hour) tickets for Guild Fest are currently available online. The event is 21-and-up and parking will be available onsite. Designated-driver tickets will also be sold at the door for a reduced price.

Back to top button