As Plumas Arts prepares for the eighth incarnation of its Mountain Harvest Festival fundraiser Saturday, October 15, 2011, organizers are trying to balance the best of the old with the new.
To that end, beer lovers can expect longtime favorites like Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. from Chico and Great Basin Brewing Co. of Reno along with newcomers like Loomis Basin Brewing Co., High Water Brewing from Redding and Feather Falls Casino Brewing Co. Beer makers from as far away as Ireland and Nova Scotia and as close as Blairsden will be pouring samples at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds (map) from 1 to 5 p.m. The gates open at Noon.
The festival “promotes itself,” said Keith Linford, known as “The Beer Guy” for the event. “But we try not to get complacent. We try to do something new.
“It’s a great time for changing beers,” he noted. He expects brewers to bring some seasonal beers, like Oktoberfests.
“There’s always a surprise, always something unique,” Linford promised.
One new trend tasters will spot at the fest is the move back to canned beers. New technology — a special lining that keeps the beer from touching the aluminum, thereby avoiding any “metallic” taste — will be showcased by Buckbean Brewing out of Sparks.
Other benefits of canned beer, according to Buckbean: Cans offer 100 percent protection from light and oxygen, which keeps the beer from going flat; cans are quicker to chill than bottles; cans aren’t prohibited at beaches, swimming pools, golf courses and outdoor events; cans are lighter, more compact and easier to transport; cans don’t break like bottles; and, perhaps most important, cans come in a full pint (16 ounces).
Another trend, toward hyperlocal and organic brews, will be on tap from Blairsden-based Under Cover Ale Works. The brainchild of Susan Duniphin and Rich DeLano, Undercover is currently under construction.
As important as the brews themselves is the vibe of the Mountain Harvest Festival. Part Oktoberfest, part Halloween celebration, the event attracts folks in costume as well as food vendors like German Mike from Sparks, who serves up homemade sausages.
The set-up of the event contributes to the overall feeling. “We’re unique,” said Linford, “in that we set up randomly. Whereas other events are kind of linear, we have lots of room to roam.”
And, of course, Plumas County’s rightly famous fall color provides a spectacular backdrop. (The outdoor event has enjoyed good weather throughout its history.) Adding even more color this year, students from Feather River College’s barn quilt class will display their recently completed works. (For more on other activities at the festival, see “Beyond the brews.”)
All in all, that’s a combo worth drinking to.
Event admission at the gate is $7 for adults. Plumas Arts members pay $5. To join, go online to plumasarts.org, call 283-3402 or stop by the office gallery at 372 Main St. in Quincy.
Beer and/or wine tasting passes include event admission and a souvenir tasting glass. They cost $35 advance sale or $30 for Plumas Arts members, advance sale only through the Plumas Arts office or plumasarts.org. At the gate all tasting passes are $40.
Overnight camping is available for an additional $15 per site. RV hook-ups are $20.
Questions? Call Plumas Arts at 530-283-3402.
The Mountain Harvest Festival event takes place Saturday, October 15, 2011 at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds from Noon to 5 p.m.
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