How many towns dress up their historic downtown monument to look like a beer stein?
Not too many. But the Placerville Downtown Association pulls out all the stops to promote the Bell Tower Brewfest, now in its 12th year, and the belltower gets “all dressed up” for the occasion!
This year’s Bell Tower Brewfest is from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 30. The festival will close historic Main Street from Sacramento Street to Clay Street. More than 35 craft breweries will pour samples inside merchant locations and in the Mooney Parking Lot near Tortilla Flats.
Tickets are available for $30 each in Placerville at River City Bank and Tony Matthews (on Main Street) or at Placerville Brewing Co. (on Placerville Drive). Tickets are limited and often sell out each year, so be sure to get the beer sampling tickets early. For designated drivers and those who want to enjoy the music and late night shopping and dining there is no ticket required. Parking is available in all the public lots outside of the street closure, as well as the Center Street Garage.
Breweries participating this year are: Alaskan Brewing Co., American River Brewing Co., Anderson Valley Brewing Co., Batch 19 Brewing, Black Diamond Brewing Co., Blue Moon Brewing Co., Bridgeport Brewing Co., Cielo Brewery, Drake’s Brewing Co., Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Fox Barrel & Crispin Cider, Full Sail Brewing Co., Gold Hill Vineyard & Brewery, Gordon Biersch Brewing Co., Grand Teton Brewing Co., High Sierra Brewing Co., Hoppy Brewing Co., Jack Russell Brewing Co., Lagunitas Brewing Co., Leinenkugel Brewery, MAD River Brewing Co., Mammoth Brewing Co., Mendocino Brewing Co., Napa Smith Brewery, Old Hangtown Beer Works, Oskar Blues Brewery, Placerville Brewing Co., River City Brewing Co., Rubicon Brewing Co., Samuel Adams Brewery, Santa Cruz Ale Works, Shipyard Brewing Co., Shiner Bock Beer, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Speakeasy Beer, Stone Brewing Co., Sudwerk Brewing Co., Third Shift Brewing, Track 7 Brewing Co. and Trumer Brewing Co.
This event is sponsored by the Placerville Downtown Association, Sierra Nevada Brewing and Powell’s Steamer Co. & Pub.
This year’s featured bands include the wonderful blues tunes of the Steve Freund Blues Band at the belltower from 6:30 to 9:30p.m., the sounds of the Bone MacDonald Band at the Cozmic Cafe parking lot from 6 to 9 p.m. and the Moondrool Band near Main Street Music from 6 to 9 p.m.
Steve Freund Blues Band
Guitarist, producer and bandleader Steve Freund, praised by Rolling Stone for his “masterful, no-nonsense guitar work,” continues to share his feeling for the blues wherever he can.
Freund has appeared on more than 34 albums and produced seven. His third studio album, “Lonesome Flight,” was released by 9 Below Productions in 2010 and included nine original songs along with four blues classics. He also played on Koko Taylor’s Grammy-winning “Blues Explosion.”
Freund began his career in Chicago as a second guitar behind Hubert Sumlin, Lee Jackson, Homesick James, Louis Myers and many others. He spent two years working with Big Walter Horton and Floyd Jones, learning the deep blues and the idiosyncrasies that are part of the art. He has accompanied some of the blues’ greatest artists including Sunnyland Slim, Jimmy Walker, Henry Gray and Erwin Helfer. He also spent nine years working with harmonica legend James Cotton.
Freund’s dedication and knowledge of the blues earned him the opportunity to teach accredited courses at Chicago’s Columbia College in 1993-94.
He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1990s and plays regularly at The Saloon in San Francisco, Cafe Van Kleef in Oakland, Armando’s in Martinez and also tours nationally and internationally.
Bone MacDonald Band
The Bone MacDonald Band is a popular band with several members that hail from El Dorado County. They play at local pubs, cafes, wineries, special events and other venues. The group is made up of Bone Mac Donald on guitar and vocals, Nyxi Springer on bass and vocals, Jeremy Springer on keys and vocals and Bryan Brazelton on drums.
The local jazz/funk/rock quartet called Moondrool play a groovy jazz-funk-rock fusion that’s so cool you’ll think you stepped into an Austin Powers movie, baby!