5th Annual Brew at the L.A. Zoo Returns Friday August 7, 2015

Brew at the LA Zoo band

Photo by Jamie Pham

The 5th Annual Brew at the L.A. Zoo, one of summer’s most popular events for guests 21 and over, returns on Friday, August 7, 2015, 7 to 11 pm, featuring an after-hours visit to the Zoo with beer samples from 55+ local craft and microbreweries and an eclectic music lineup including “the best of the worst of the ’80s” with The Spazmatics; The Noble Gasses surf band; The Black Canyon dance band; live karaoke with Casual Encounters; and something completely different from Der Burgermeister Boys, a German Polka band.

New this year is a special VIP Lounge with complimentary food, including a bountiful buffet offering early 6 pm access, hors d’oeuvres, snacks, specialty cocktails and exclusive access to several breweries.

Other highlights are dancing with DJ Johnny Hawkes, an array of “pub grub” food for purchase, photos with the celebrated “Beer Girls,” zookeeper talks, up-close encounters with some of the Zoo’s smaller residents and visits to animal habitats.  Adding to the brew mix is Wreck Check, which will be on standby to provide breathalyzer services.  With sell-out crowds at the four previous Brew at the L.A. Zoo evenings, advance ticket purchase is strongly suggested.

Participating breweries* include 805, Absolution Brewing Company, Ace Cider, Allagash Brewing Company, Alosta Brewing Company, Anchor Brewing Company, Angel City Brewing, Angry Orchard, Ballast Point Brewing, Barefoot Wine, Belching Beaver Brewing, Black Market Brewing Co., Bootlegger’s Brewery, Claremont Craft Ales, Common Cider, Coronado Brewing Company, Craft Beer Kings, Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., Fireman’s Brew Company, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Four Sons Brewing, Golden Road Brewery, Goose Island, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, Hess Brewing, Humboldt Brewing Company, I&I Brewing, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Kinetic Brewing Company, King Harbor Brewing Co., Knee Deep Brewing Co., Left Coast Brewing, MacLeod Ale Brewing Co., Mad River Brewing Company, Mike’s Hard Lemondade, Mother Earth Brew Co., Oskar Blues Brewery, Pacific Plate Brewing, Palm Breeze, Phantom Carriage Brewery, Pizza Port Brewing, Port Town Brewing Co., Reel Brewing Company, Ritual Brewing Co., Samuel Adams, San Pedro Brewing Co., Shock Top, Sierra Nevada, Speakeasy Brewing Company, Stone Brewing Company, Surf Brewery Co., Telegraph Brewing, The Bloody Cure, The Dude’s Brewing Company, Three Weavers Brewing Company, Traveler Beer Co., Trumer Pils and Shiner Beers, Uinta Brewing Co., Venice Duck Brewing and Wolf Creek Brewery.

Throughout the evening’s route, food options are available for purchase, including Bavarian glazed cinnamon roasted almonds, old fashioned kettle corn, garlic fries, sandwiches, burgers, chicken, popcorn, soft pretzels, cinnamon-dusted churros, carnitas, burritos, street tacos, elotes, tamales and LA “street dogs.”

Brew at the LA Zoo couple

Photo by Jamie Pham

Guests with VIP Lounge tickets, which are $99 per person, dine at select stations at Reggie’s Bistro and the Elephant Circle’s Thai Pavilion.  Reggie’s Bistro offers a buffet, with early entry from 6 pm (until 10:30 pm), with Korean BBQ chicken wings, crispy BBQ pork, sweet onion poutine, green chili and gouda mac-n-cheese, beef sliders with red cabbage slaw, and lime-beer butter potato skins with crispy chorizo.  The Thai Pavilion presents snack stations from 7 to 10:30 pm with assorted gourmet cheeses and garnishes, grilled and marinated vegetable platters, German pretzel-cheddar fondue and an assortment of flavored popcorn and house-made kettle chips.  Also available are specialty cocktails from Snow Leopard Vodka and The Bloody Cure as well as exclusive access to several breweries.

The Spazmatics, who have to be seen to be believed, bring sounds, styles, and “way cool” dance steps from the 1980s, a decade they say they’d “love to forget.”  Complete with skinny ties, Brillcreemed hair and horn-rimmed glasses, The Spazmatics recapture all the best of the worst.  Outstanding musicianship combined with creative flair and style makes for an evening of pure energy and entertainment.  Their motto: so tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1999; only it’s not!

The Black Canyon Band, Simi Valley’s premier live act, was formed by longtime friends Gary Usher Jr., Ryan O’Connor and Eddie Montes.  With the inclusion of Alex Naylor, this quartet has burst into the Ventura County music scene with a fun “let yourself go” sound at events such as the Aloha Beach Fest, the Ventura Beach Party, block parties, corporate events and many live music venues in Simi Valley and Ventura.

Casual Encounters Live Band Karaoke, featuring guitarists Eric Volfango and Rosh Roslin, drummers Rich Smith and Timmy Sean Mahoney, bass player Graeme Hinde and vocalists/MCs Manny DeCoria and Jay Miramontes, specialize in making every singer feel like a rock star.  Their huge song list with something for everyone, even guests too shy to sing initially, has been featured at parties for Converse, TMZ, NBC’s “The Voice,” Wells Fargo, Hard Rock Café and FantaSea Yacht among others.

DJ Johnny Hawkes’ indelible mark on the dance music scene with signature mixes of hip-hop, funk, R&B, electro indie and classics keeps him an in-demand DJ at exclusive events, clubs, fashion shows, and movie premieres throughout the world.  He’s had residencies at the Playboy Mansion, MyStudio Fridays, I Want MyHouse Music Thursdays, Libertine “SundownMotel” and “Friday Night House.”  He has also played at exclusive parties at the Sundance Film Festival and has complied custom mixes for Louis Vuitton, COACH, Fendi, MetLife, Blaque Label, Blaque Market, SoHo House Beverly Hills, Montage Beverly Hills and Chateau Marmont.

Brew at the LA Zoo toast

Photo by Jamie Pham

Tickets in advance are $50 general admission, $45 for Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association members and $25 for Designated Drivers (includes free fountain drink refills all evening at four Zoo locations).  Tickets at the door, if available, are $55 general admission, $50 for GLAZA members and $25 for Designated Drivers.

For additional information, call (323) 644-6042. www.lazoo.org/brew

*participating breweries subject to change

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