Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza returns for its 25th year on Thursday August 5th, 2021 with four days of world-class live blues music and a two-day beer festival under the pines in the heart of Mammoth.
The beer festival goes down Saturday, August 7th and Sunday, August 8th featuring unlimited pours of 200+ beers from 80+ craft breweries, and is one of the most unique and anticipated beer festivals in California.
We were super stoked to see Bluesapalooza come back after a 1-year, pandemic-induced hiatus and want to give you all the chance to grab tickets and save a few bucks while doing so!
Use promo code HOP21 to get 10% off tickets, several ticket options available. Browse the brewery list and get your tickets now.
If you don’t know much about the awesomeness that is Bluesapalooza, we chatted with Sean Turner, CEO of Mammoth Brewing Co. to learn more about the fest and what it’s all about. Check it out.
Gary Magnone: For people who aren’t familiar, what is the Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza, and what is it all about?
Sean Turner: The festival is a one-of-a-kind blues and brews weekend with four days of incredible music on two stages and over 80 of the best craft breweries in the country in Mammoth Lakes, California, a beautiful mountain resort located near Yosemite National Park in the Eastern High Sierra, and just a five-hour drive north on Highway 395 from Los Angeles.
GM: There’s a rich history behind this event. Tell us more about how it all got started and evolved to what it is today.
ST: The event started 25 years ago in Mammoth Lakes in the parking lot of the Whiskey Creek Restaurant with just ten breweries and a handful of beer lovers. With BBQ ribs on the grill, and a local garage band playing from the roof of the restaurant, it was a fun beginning. The idea behind the event was simple – have some fun and introduce Mammoth locals to the joys of handcrafted beers. The second year, we threw in some real blues bands and a lot more breweries, and we’ve never looked back. From these humble beginnings, we’re proud to be one of the first craft beer and blues festivals in the West and held at 8,000 feet. Fun has always been our top priority, and kept the festival going and growing.
GM: Let’s talk more about the beer fest side of things – what is the layout and logistics of the fest and what is the overall festival experience like?
ST: The festival is held at The Woods at Mammoth Lakes, a 10-acre forested site that sits right in the middle of town. Until we bring in a 50’ stage, LED Walls and colorful vendor and brewery booths, there’s literally no infrastructure on the property but a tiny yellow fire hydrant. Once inside the gate, Festgoers enjoy that they can meander with their 4 oz tasting glass among 80 craft breweries dotted around the site and under the pines, and taste from over 200 distinctive beers, ciders, seltzers, meads, and hard kombuchas. Great tastes also extend to the amazing array of food vendors. Added to the experience is looking out to the festival main stage and hearing a variety of legendary blues performers and emerging artists. (This year, our headliners feature Robert Cray, Larkin Poe, and The Record Company – 22 bands in all on two stages.) Attendees bring their beach chairs and blankets and listen and dance to the music. But I think the best part of the festival is that the entire venue is an amazing, massive beer garden (no interior fencing) where you can explore and enjoy unlimited hand-crafted beers in an awesome outdoor location along with the fresh scent of tall pines, wood chips, and blue skies. We say, “welcome to altitude.”
GM: What’s the difference between the Saturday beer fest vs the Sunday beer fest?
ST: The unlimited Grand Tasting on Saturday is from 12pm-5pm and on Sunday, it’s 12pm-4pm.
Many breweries are pouring both days, but we have some breweries only pouring on a single day. You can find out what breweries are featured per day at our festival website: https://mammothbluesbrewsfest.com/breweries/
GM: What is the process like for choosing the participating breweries and/or the beers they pour? Is there a method to the madness?
ST: Breweries apply to the festival and the selection process is determined upon their beer selection and what makes them unique. A big part of selecting the California breweries is that they are a member of the California Craft Brewers Association, the nonprofit sponsor and beneficiary of the festival. Over the years, we know that this is a special event for the brewers. The night before the Tasting weekend, we hold a Friday night reception where brewers can mix and mingle and talk shop. For 25 years in this beautiful mountain resort setting, this is the festival brewers like to return to year to year.
GM: Are there any breweries that you’re personally excited about trying that you don’t get a chance to have very often?
ST: Honestly, I have too many favorites to list, and each year, there always seems to be a few sleepers in the mix that everyone raves about. I always look forward to that. Plus, I’m very excited about showcasing some of our new beers and old favorites with Mammoth Brewing Company, like our Summer Triple Belgian Style Ale, the Epic IPA, and our award-winning Double Nut Brown.
GM: Mammoth is an incredibly unique place to hold a festival of this magnitude – why Mammoth and what about the location makes this event so special for attendees?
ST: At 8,000 feet, Mammoth Lakes is such a beautiful mountain resort and an outdoor enthusiast’s retreat. It’s full of active people looking for outdoor adventures: winter skiing, golfing, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, fishing, hiking, camping and features world-class resort facilities. This is Mammoth Brewing’s culture. We live the great outdoors. What better location than Mammoth to spend a blues and brews summer weekend.