Fans of fermentables, whether craft ale or nonalcoholic concoctions, will not go hungry or thirsty over the next few exciting days of potent play. Welcome to your weekend.
SHAKESBEER FESTIVAL: Perhaps the most inventive fest in recent memory, this ShakeSBeer affair on Friday night, September 18, 6-10 p.m., at the S.B. Historical Museum pairs Shakespeare scenes with specially crafted ales that, according to co-organizer Zach Rosen, were “designed to represent the traits of their representative character and the scenes that the audience will watch.”
Figueroa Mountain, for instance, aged their Lizard’s Mouth Imperial IPA in a cask with dragon fruit, jasmine, and cardamom to represent Queen Titania, the strong fairy queen from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. When she falls for man-turned-donkey Nick Bottom, attendees will shift to Island Brewing’s Paradise Pale Ale, aged in-cask with dandelion blossoms, wildflower honey, and Meyer lemons, representing Nick’s sweet, soft character. Telegraph’s White Ale, infused with pineapple, ginger, and scotch bonnet peppers, will match with two scenes of Julia from The Two Gentlemen of Verona and the fiery Katharine from The Taming of the Shrew. Yeah, it’s gonna be wild. Tickets are $65-$85. See SBHustlers.org.
M. SPECIAL’S OPENING BASH: Goleta’s craft brew scene just got a major boost in barrels with the coming of M. Special Brewing Company, a partnership between record-label-managing/filmmaking brothers Emmett and Brendan Malloy, their beer-distributing cousin Chris Miller, and award-winning home-brewer-gone-pro Josh Ellis. Founded on a quest to make a tasty American lager — which should be ready soon — the brewery’s supercool warehouse tasting room, hidden deep in the Good Land’s tech-office sprawl, offers a solid slate of regular and rotating ales, from blondes to IPAs to saisons, all tasting quite clean already. This weekend’s Friday-Sunday family-friendly party will feature live music, Woodstock’s Pizza, games, and lots of ale. M. Special is located at 6860 Cortona Drive, Suite C. Call (805) 968-6500 or see mspecialbrewco.com.
5TH ANNUAL FERMENTATION FEST: Want to learn to make pickles, kimchi, ginger soda, tangy salsa, kombucha, kefir, coconut yogurt, or any of the myriad healthy foods that rely on fermentation? Or just wanna taste them all? Then this fifth annual affair at Goleta’s Rancho La Patera & Stow House on Sunday, September 20, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m., is your one-stop shop. More than 40 vendors will share nearly 100 different types of food, with many offering hands-on lessons from three stages, all for $35. Want a drink with that? Buy the $55 Farm-to-Bar ticket instead for access to more mind-altering fermentables. See sbfermentationfestival.com.
GHETTO SUPERSTARS: All right, so this is the following weekend, but the superstars of Lompoc’s Wine Ghetto are opening their cellars to barrel tastes, grape stomps, live graffiti art, and more on September 26-27. Tickets and timing vary per event. The centerpiece of the weekend, which includes open houses at more than two dozen wineries, will be the $125 Farm-to-Ghetto La Paulee Dinner with Bell Street Farm. The $160 ticket gets you everything. See lompocwine.net.