2014-BAMFESTThe festivities surrounding the venerable 18th Street Arts Center’s 25th Anniversary Weekend continued with the 5th annual BAM Fest, which of course means beer, art and music. Could there be any better combination?

The crowds were out on a beautiful afternoon for this raucous event, which supports the Arts Center, which fosters dialogue between the public and local, national and international artists.

Saatchi Art Gallery had a group show, including pieces by Laddie Hohn Dill and Mike Mollett’s “Issue of Remembrance: A Woven Archaeology.” (See right) All were for sale to benefit the Center.

Also, Saatchi presented short informational presentations called Crash Courses” given by artisanal beer, wine and spirits makers, along with samples of several craft brewers, including wines by ‘Wine Enthusiast’ and and home-brewed sodas by “Maltese Falcons.”

In the main area, more than 40 breweries offered delicious samples, including the exceptional beers of Santa Monica Brew Works, House Beer, and Venice Duck Brewing.

Santa Monica Brew Works offered several tasty brews…WIT, XPA (Extra Pale Ale), PCH, WET HOP PALE ALE, CHILI PEPPER XPA, and COFFEE DRY STOUT.

BamFest-BEERPresident & CEO (Santa Monica Brew Works), Scott Francis said, “We started the company as a result of our love for the City of Santa Monica and the fact that there was no local beer company in the City. All of the founders of the company live (or have lived) in Santa Monica. Our goal was to build a craft brewery located in the City, and create a great line of beers that celebrates the City. We are not simply using the name of the City – – our brewery is located in the heart of Santa Monica.”

Francis went on to say that the reaction from the community has been remarkable. “Business owners and beer lovers have welcomed us with open arms. First, because we are true to our name. They love to hear that our beer is brewed locally. Many breweries simply use the name of a geographical area, and brew their beer elsewhere. Not us. Second, because people love the taste of our different styles of beer – – we have something for everyone. Third, the business owners appreciate us because we provide a great service to them – – there is no middleman delivering our beer. We service our business customers ourselves.”

Founder Lynne Weaver of Three Weavers Brewery Company had an idea to build a community through beer and brought in brewmaster Alexandra Nowell. A new tasting room recently opened in Inglewood.

Fsm-2014-BAMFEST-ThreeWeavers-ChrisGonazalezrom left to right Jared Gonzales (volunteer) and Chris Gonzales (brewer) – photo courtesy of LA Art Party

“The response to our beer has been amazing,” said brewer, Chris Gonzales who was on hand at the event. Two tasty beers were available…a session IPA, named Stateside and an Imperial Stout, named Midnight Flight.

Additionally, Mama’s Boy’s Infusions offered a kick ass Spicy Chili Tequila, unlike anything I have ever tasted. Golden Coast Meade has perfected the somewhat rare concoction. Yum! Also, Hangar 24 Craft Brewery offered their seasonal beers, such as Ocktoberfest, and the Brother Thelonius Belgium Style Abbey Ale featured a lovely dark, rich ale. Venice Duck Brewery poured their Lucky Duck, Stoner Duck and Dogtown Duck locally crafted beers.

Michael W. Barnard, a visual artist, filmmaker and musician was one of many who opened his studio for interaction with the attendees. Yujun Ye, from Taiwan also presented her eery, clever comment on contemporary culture, east to west.

Musically, the BAM fest presented three wonderfully eclectic acts:…the growly, soulful folk of Nick Shattuck, KoTolan, a wildly multiculturally influenced jazz and funk band and some pure pop with environmentally aware lyrics from Trapdoor Social.

See BAMFEST-image: BAM Fest, photo by Bernie Wire

Each of these interesting acts got the large crowd moving!

Of course, no festival would be complete without food trucks: Dogtown Dogs, Cousins Maine Lobster, and, where science meets sweet, Nitropod, a liquid nitrogen ice cream truck!

One could also purchase beer and art themed t-shirts, hats, coasters, pins, jewelry, stickers- you name it, even a breathalyzer!

Another great success for 18th Street Arts Center! To find out about next year’s Bam Fest, 18th Street Arts Center visit http://18thstreet.org/.