Sun City Craft Beer Fest, a brewing ground for new culture.

Jaime Quesada

Jaime Quesada, Contributor

The first-ever Sun City Craft Beer Fest, held Sept. 28, was a considered a success by  the crowd of festival-goers. The event featured more than 200 hundred craft beers, live rock music and food trucks from all over El Paso.

The craft beers were set up under seven tents throughout the area. After a 15 to 20-minute wait, people could select the different beers described on posters with alcohol percentages and small descriptions for each individual beer.

The lines seemed to be daunting and at times it seemed like there was a wall of people, but the crowd didn’t seem to mind the wait.

“I’m still having a lot of fun trying new beers like the MOA Imperial Stout and enjoying some familiar ones like Bitburger,” said Mark Martinez, junior civil engineering  major. “I can’t wait to see what they do next year!”

Held at Cleveland Square Park, in front of the El Paso Museum of History, the event stretched to the Franklin and Oregon streets, which were lined with food trucks from places like Forma–a catering pizzeria with a wood oven that gives the pizza a wood-smoked taste.

If pizza wasn’t what you were looking for, Hello Day Cafe, Tacoholics and Tabla  added sandwiches, burgers, tacos and more for a gourmet food pairing with the featured beers.

Primos Craft Beer, a local beer retailer, set up a tent as well at the festival. In it, they welcomed guests to brew up their own beers with the different ingredients, which were laid out on a table.

While some were content to lay back and enjoy a beer at a table or on the grassy areas, others took their table-pong skills to new levels. At the park area of the event, an oversized beer-pong field was set up, where instead of ping-pong balls and plastic cups, people were launching volleyballs across the field into recycling bins.

“Even with this being a beer festival, everybody is relaxed and not going crazy” said Hilda J. Canales, a freshmen general studies major.

Local brewers such as Number Brewery also had a chance to showcase their beers in a home brew competition at the festival. Along with a monetary prize for first place, brewers also received bragging rights for at least year before next year’s competition comes again.

Overall, the event itself promoted safety for everybody. The organization, No DUI El Paso, had a station, which if needed, they would drive patrons and their cars home. The festival also offered taxi services, which were ready to take people safely home. The festival also provided discounted entrance tickets for designated drivers.

“I’m a designated driver for my friends, but I’m still having fun playing beer pong and just hanging out,”  said Robert Ochoa, a UTEP alum.

The festival shows that El Paso has been going through a taste movement for the past few years, and its citizens are looking for quality in their food and drink.

With the opening of bars such as Hoppy Monk and the upcoming Alamo Draft House Cinema coming to the Montecillo apartment area, an interesting beer culture is being carefully fermented and brewed right here in El Paso.

Jaime Quesada may be reached at [email protected]