The NorCal Beer Geeks group has grown to nearly 600 members. In the past the group would select a local brewery, taproom or restaurant and partake in a tasting. Past events have featured food and beer pairings, blind tastings and bottle shares.

With nine events in the books, the NorCal Beer Geeks will be celebrating the tenth gathering with the first ever NorCal Beer Geeks Beer Festival presented by Palooza Gastropub. The event will take place on Saturday, November 22 from 1pm to 5pm.

Before going in to the details of the event, I want to take a moment and disclose my involvement. I am the administrator of the NorCal Beer Geeks and one of the organizers of the upcoming event. In honor of Veterans Day, we have decided to donate a portion of the proceeds to a local veterans program, Sonoma County Vet Connect. Vet Connect is a veterans-helping-veterans group formed to assist veterans in locating the services that they have earned during their military service.

The event will take place at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, located at 1351 Maple Ave.  In addition, a coat drive will be held the day before the festival at the same location.  Anyone willing to bring a used coat, blanket or tarp to help homeless or at-risk veterans will receive an official beer festival t-shirt in exchange.

The cost of admission will be $35 unless you wait until the day of the event when the price goes up to $45, if there are any tickets available. Those attending will receive unlimited beer tastings, a tasting glass, music and an automatic entry into a raffle. Palooza Gastropub will be offering food for a fee.

Many of the local favorite breweries will be in attendance along with some popular guest breweries from other parts of the state. Bear Republic, 101 North, HenHouse, Ruth McGowan’s, Warped, Firestone, Hangar 24, Baeltane, Carneros Brewing, Out of Bounds and Cider Brothers are just a few of the breweries that will be in attendance with others joining daily.

For more information regarding the festival, coat drive and Sonoma County Vet Connect go to http://www.norcalbeergeeks.com/events.html

– Peter Lopez