Party with your new pet

Brewfest features beer, food and music to benefit Front Street Animal Shelter

Attend Saturday’s benefit for the Front Street Animal Shelter and you could end up with a craft beer and a cute dog like photographer Devin Armstrong’s.

Attend Saturday’s benefit for the Front Street Animal Shelter and you could end up with a craft beer and a cute dog like photographer Devin Armstrong’s.

photo by devin armstrong

The Front Street Brewfest is Sat., June 16 noon-5pm at the Front Street Animal Shelter, 2127 Front St. (916) 808-7387;

It’s hard to imagine better synergy for a fundraiser than craft beer, comfort foods and vintage cars—all to save stray, abandoned and abused animals’ lives. The combination will be found at Saturday’s inaugural Front Street Brewfest at the Front Street Animal Shelter. By the numbers, the forward-thinking block party will include beer from more than 40 breweries, 10 food trucks, three bands and one deejay.

Add to it viewing a lot of vintage cars at the neighboring California Automobile Museum, and visiting animals in need of adoption.

The genesis for this a joyous day is the energy instilled beginning six years ago, when the Front Street Animal Shelter was rebranded. Part of the shelter’s new initiatives include expanding relationships with various vendors, including beer and food truck industries.

“What we’ve learned is that typically people who love to save animals don’t mind having a couple of cold ones while they are doing it,” Bobby Mann, the shelter’s communications manager, says.

As the shelter’s relationships and other functions, including Pints For Pups, have become more popular, further ideas developed. Upscale, higher-priced events continue to be a success, but Mann and his colleagues wanted a more folksy event.

“One thing that we’ve prided ourselves on is that we are a community shelter,” Mann says. “And although black-tie events are very popular, we’re much more of a T-shirts and flip-flops community. We always say, ‘We are never going to be the organization that has a donor who donates a million dollars, but we have a million people who will give us a buck.’ We want to have community events that are also affordable.”

More than 11,000 animals arrive at the Front Street Shelter per year. Revenue from the Brewfest helps provide emergency veterinary care for sick or injured animals, assists in funding for adoptions and the shelter’s outreach programs.

Animals will be available for viewing and “to put on hold” during the Brewfest, Mann says.

Project coordinator Alyssa Huskinson says the event was a natural.

“Bobby and myself were brainstorming on another way we could elevate an event for the community, and this is it,” Huskinson says. “This is definitely our baby.”

For craft beer fanciers, many regional favorites—Lagunitas, Lost Coast, Track 7 and, of course, Bike Dog—will be serving. Several far-flung micro-breweries will also be present, including Belching Beaver (Oceanside), Founders (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Latitude 33 (Vista). Buckhorn Grill, Chando’s, Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen and Teppanyaki 2 Go will be among the food truck vendors. The Gold Souls, The Golden Cadillacs and the Cash Prophets will provide the music for the 21-and-over event.

Animal adoptions won’t be available until the following day.

“The Brewfest is really about dogs and dads,” Mann says of the Father’s Day weekend festivities. “We will be open for business for any of the attendees. They will be able to check out all of our pets, and we always have lots of pets looking for forever homes."