Live Review & Photos: The Heavy Guilt, Hit Dog Hollar, and Neighbors to the North at CityBeat Festival of Beers, April 19, 2014

The Heavy Guilt by Alex Matthews
Photos by Alex Matthews

The seventh annual CityBeat Festival of Beers was held last weekend in front of the Lafayette Hotel on El Cajon Blvd.

The festival featured 60+ awesome local breweries serving up unlimited two-ounce samples of their finest beers. The sold-out crowd was big but very mellow, with tons of room for everyone to walk around tasting all the delicious craft brews. Pretzel necklaces were worn in abundance, and there were also tons of great food vendors and various local companies offering up delectable goodies.

Highlights of the beer selection included local breweries like Stone, Karl Strauss, Coronado Brewing Co., and Ballast Point, but the Monkey Paw 16th and F Saison was the clear winner of the day. It was flavorful and hoppy with a smooth finish and was served deliciously cold. It’s truly fun to be able to taste this many beers at once, especially without driving all over town. San Diego’s craft beer industry is clearly booming, and there are some very talented brewmasters living among us.

The event also included a concert with three fantastic local bands. The Heavy Guilt, Hit Dog Hollar, and Neighbors to the North all played hour-long, rocking sets that fit the mood of the fest perfectly.

The Heavy Guilt played laid-back, grooving rock that made you want to dance and drink: perfect for this type of event. Hit Dog Hollar’s set was a standout and included a ridiculously catchy song called “The Battle of San Pasqual.” Frontman Austin Prince was a killer guitar player and vocalist, also playing a lap slide guitar and banjo at various points in the set. Neighbors to the North, an exciting uptempo rock band, were super energetic and intense, and their performance was fun to watch.

As it was last year, the 2014 CityBeat Festival of Beers was a blast. If you get the opportunity, be sure to check it out next year.

Photos: CityBeat Festival of Beers 2014

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