The Active 20-30 Club has hit its stride with its Country & Craft Beer Festival, a popular gathering featuring lots of live country music, dozens of breweries, award-winning barbecue and a super-sized photo op and yard games.

Event chairman Vance Elmore said all the classic components combine for a great time.

He wrote in an email, "I love walking through the crowd and seeing people enjoying beer, speaking to the reps, eating local food from our amazing restaurants, and also seeing our bands tear it up on the main stage."

That good time starts with beverages from more than 50 breweries and small bites from 20-plus local eateries.

Award-winning barbecue champ PorkChop & Bubba's BBQ will cater the meal in the VIP area and offer some samples to folks in the general admission area. Everyone will have access to the other vendors that include Lino's Greenhorn Grill, Padre Hotel, Lengthwise, Sonder, Eureka!, Michelangelo's Wood Fired Pizza, The BLVD, Ajua Cocina Mexicana, Centro 18 Latin Steakhouse and more. Sweets will definitely be provided by Nothing Bundt Cakes, Sno Shack and Gino's Gelato.

In the VIP area, there will be timed releases of brews from Russian River and New Glory Brewing Co. Temblor Brewing will also offer special pours for VIPs, with options in the general admission area. 

Also on tap in the main thoroughfare will be selections from local spots Lengthwise, Westlane Brewing from Tehachapi, Kern River Brewing, Great Change, Crusader and Dionysus. Other breweries include Deschutes, Lagunitas, Stone Brewing, Saint Archer, Dogfish Head, Belching Beaver, Golden Road, Ballast Point and Sierra Nevada.

Along with beers, there will be ciders and other adult beverages from Angry Orchard, Crispin Cider, Cutwater Spirits, Not Your Father's (made by Small Town Brewery) and Henry's Hard Soda.

The home brewers tent also returns this year with a dozen brewers coordinated by Bakersfield F.O.A.M., a local home brew club.

With country music a signature component of the festival, five bands will perform. Truxton Mile and the Scotty Mac Band return along with newcomer The Bar Room Riot in the main area while The Black Stripes and Imperial Stout will entertain a smaller crowd in the VIP area.

Attendance is expected to again hit 1,500, the sweet spot that festival organizers determined for the space. Despite the popularity of the sold-out event, the team has no plans to move from the park.

Elmore wrote, "We love it there! If we really feel the need to grow the festival, we would consider moving."

Along with a good time, the festival is focused on a good cause: raising funds for a variety of local children's charities that benefit from the festival.

The club has consistently hit its goal of raising around $50,000 for local children's groups.

Past beneficiaries have included Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County, Bakersfield Police Activities League and MARE as well as the Active 20-30 Club's own Children's Shopping Spree (for back-to-school shopping) and Christmas Experience.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

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