Courtesy Photo

Pairing Stout with Sword Swallowers

Ringmaster of Craft Brew Circus Tells Us What to Expect on June 11

In the ever-challenging quest to make a beer festival more interesting than just chasing the next sip, Peter Melton believes he’s hit on a winning idea. “Circus freaks meet craft beer,” he says, “together at last!”

Yes, on June 11 Chase Palm Park plays host to the Craft Brew Circus, in which a coterie of fringe-act performers, from sword swallowers and contortionists to fire eaters and skin stretchers, will prance around as a few dozen breweries pour their latest ales. Melton plays ringleader, announcing acts through his megaphone, gathering folks around for the quick show, and then moving around the park to do it again.

“There’s something about being up close to these circus sideshow people that is just really powerful,” said Melton, who’s made a career of putting on food-and-drink and extreme sporting events from Dana Point to Santa Cruz. “The contortionist blows my mind. You’ve seen it on TV, but to see one three feet away is just amazing.” The first go at this in San Diego went quite well recently. “It just adds a different kind of camaraderie to the attendees,” he explained. “They’re experiencing it together.”

Indeed, for a world full of stale beer and wine events, this one does actually sound quite unique. Promised Melton, “We’re just gonna have some silly fun.”

The Craft Brew Circus is at Chase Palm Park on Saturday, June 11, 2-5 p.m., with VIP entry at 1 p.m. Save $10 on the $40-$70 tickets by using the code SBINDY. See

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