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Brainstorming for a Festival


Coffee Beans are poured into the Coco Bana Porter.

With our beach festival coming up in September, five friends sit down at a round table to come up with farfetched ideas. The intent? To add that little something extra to push this year over the top. We sit in a circle of chairs and pass around roasted coffee beans that will be used in GrowlerHour’s Coco Cabana. Chris explains to us the timing of his batch and the subtleties of each flavor. The fragrance alone is enough to wake us up as we settle into our afterhours meeting. The batch won’t be ready until the San Diego County Fair, so to boost our patience, we pour a separate glass of the Past Due Porter by Bourgeon Brewery.

Beer is to be a larger fixture this year, and Ideas start to hit the chalk board starting with the assortment of featured breweries. Strictly local to San Diego was the consensus. No need to search anywhere else when we live in the new Brew Capital of the World.


The Kook Double IPA by Pizza Port is sipped slowly

With beer secured and digesting, we move onto the topics of festival games. For GrowlerHour we decide to go with activations associated with their name. One activation, gaming moment, or give-away every hour on the hour for the duration of the Classic.

Corn hole competition? Why not.

Balloon toss? State Park might not permit.

Social Media posting for reward? Definitely.

I mention that a company called Danimals wants to feature some form of mini trike that looks like a fuzzy dog, pig, or goat. They aren’t too fast but dang they look funny. 5 out of 6 of us crack up over the idea and consider building out a chalk race car. One face remains in a concerned frown for liability reasons. This idea will need some more digging, but leans towards yes.

The grand finale seems to be the inclusion of the Giant Paw Pong game. This is in a response to actual beer pong not being permitted, so instead we can up the notch. Giant Paw Pong will use 32-gallon red trashcans for our red cups, and a big ball for the ping pong. Sounds like fun to me.


Final glass is filled with Swamis Session IPA

We start talking about the hype nights and pre-promotion, so things start to fire up. What is the most cost-effective way to throw the best possible events? Right away a partnership is apparent between the featured beers. Culture Brewing has expressed interest in participating as a featured brew, but also as a destination to use their space. Did someone say brewery take-over? Yes.

At least 3 brewery take-overs sound right. These will have video feeds, swag giveaways, and a few quirky announcements. Mostly a bunch of people showing up to a single location to enjoy a beer and be made aware of the coming festivities. Sold.

Additional ideas are thrown around for long distance paddles, all out beach day at Seaside State Beach (yes), live music venues with featured bands, and maybe some guerilla tactics on the side. Dare I say dressing up the Cardiff Cook? No one knows.


Group switches to a glass of top shelf Irish Whiskey

Giving into the spirit, a beat is dropped and a rap begins. Something to do with… I think life in Encinitas. Laughter is shared and laptops are closed.

Realizing that I still had a business purpose for coming over here, a quick wrap up is thrown together. Here is what was said. Here are the big ideas we all seemed to agree upon. And by the way, I am so very grateful for having partners in crime to help throw this beach fest. We shake hands and I leave believing this year’s SaltDog Classic will be twice as fun and twice as big as the three. 4th time is a charm.

Seems like a visit to the local taco stand was in order at this point in the night. Juanitas Carnitas here we come!

Your Friend,


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