Beerfest: The Great Eldorado BBQ, Brews and Blues Festival

As the 2015 Eldorado BBQ, Brews and Blues festival marks its 20th year June 19th and 20th, CPM is sure to be in attendance. We call it Beerfest because it’s simply easier to say. Held on the streets of Reno and hosted by the Eldorado Resort Casino in Reno, Nevada, Beerfest is sure to be a great time out, especially for those who enjoy craft beers!

The festival has 54 breweries from all over the US (and one from Germany) slated to hand out samples for two days. You might be thinking, “Samples?! I want a whole beer!” You must trust CPM when we tell you that you won’t need a whole beer. For $60 ($50 in advance, or $30/$40 for a single day pass), you get two days of tasting and your very own tasting cup. “Yeah, a Dixie cup!” you scoff. Once again your must trust CPM! You can see pictured below my own personal tasting cups from years gone by. They are a little worse for wear; they have been through the dishwasher many many many times. They’re actually my favorite drinking glasses.

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Each cup comes with a 4 ounce tasting line. Notice how it’s a big cup? It’s not very hard to find a favorite beer and a heavy handed pourer. If you only drank four ounces at a time and visited each booth once, a single visit to each of the 54 booths with net you 216 ounces of beer, or the equivalent of 18 entire 12 ounce beers. Also, you may or may not be able to stand. Always bring a beer drinking buddy.

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Some favorites from Beerfest gone by? Moose Drool from Big Sky Brewing. Alaskan Smoked Porter from Alaskan Brewing Co. Watermelon Wheat from Lost Coast. Wild West Hefewizen from Ruby Mountain. Double Nut Brown from Mammoth Brewing. Lemon Shandy from Shock Top. Talk about a small world – the ladies at the Alaskan Brewing Co. booth went to the same high school in Anchorage as our brother Anthony.

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Trying all the available beers really is a monumental task. Each brewery didn’t only bring once sample. They brought at least two, and the larger breweries will have tap trailers with 5 or more beers. (See this year’s Brewery list at the bottom of this page.)

And it’s all ICE COLD!


There’s never a shortage of food at Beerfest. At the festival we’ve found great Korean BBQ burgers, hot wings and hot dogs. If you love BBQ, head on over to Gregg’s BBQ Pit hosted by the Eldorado. Get a one, two or three meat plate complete with coleslaw, beans and cornbread. The meats are tender and well seasoned. We didn’t care for the baked beans, which were not completely baked, but the meats are outstanding. We hope to find our friend and celebrity chef, Robert Hesse, serving up tasty eats once again! (Read our 2014 and 2015 interviews with Chef Hesse!)

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There’s also no shortage of awesome food located nearby. Inside the Eldorado you’ll find tasty sandwiches and burgers at the Brews Brothers, endless wonderfully tasty things at the Harvest Buffet, lobster bisque and steaks at the Roxy, and great café eats at Millie’s 24 hours café.


If you want to venture out and want to see what else Reno has to offer, great restaurants lie within walking distance. Make your way down to Z Pie for amazing pot pies or Noble Pie for delectable thin crust pizzas, loaded with awesome things that you won’t find at your local chain pizza house.

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Every year, a great lineup of bands will keep you entertained as you sip your ice cold brews. Blues and rock, and more blues. This year’s band lineup includes:

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Friday, June 19, 2 – 8pm

Third Street Stage
4pm – Buddy Emmer Blues Band
6pm – Blues Monsters

Fourth Street Stage
2:30pm – Jason King Band
4:30pm – Rick Hammond Blues Band
6:30pm – Shane Dwight

Saturday, June 20, 12 – 8pm
Third Street Stage
12pm – Blu
2pm – Buddy Emmer Blues Band
4pm – Whiskey Haulers
6pm – Maxx Cabello Jr.

Fourth Street Stage
12:30pm – Jason King Band
3:15pm – Tonic
5:00 – Toad the Wet Sprocket
6:45 – Smash Mouth

Tired of beer? Want to get out of the casino and cool off? Head down to the river. It’s only a ten minute walk down to the Truckee River. Sit on the rocks, take off your shoes and cool off your feet. Bring an inner tube and float around. The water is clear and clean.

Fun for the kids! Take the catwalk through the Eldorado and Silver Legacy until you get to Circus Circus. You can see acrobatics and other great shows every 20-30 minutes. Play carnival or video games, collect tickets and win prizes. Most video games only take a quarter or two, and most carnival games only cost $1 to play. Get your face painted or get an airbrush tattoo. Catch a street show.

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We suggest that you:
BYOB – bring your own babysitter.
Be safe.
Get a hotel room and sleep it off.
Don’t drive.
Don’t forget. It’s all ICE COLD.

Amelia & Trish

2015 Participating Breweries

  1. Battle Born – Reno, NV
  2. Black Diamond Brewing Co – Walnut Creek, CA
  3. Boulder Beer Co – Boulder, CO
  4. Grand Teton Brewing Co – Victor, ID
  5. Hacker Pschorr Brewery – Munich, Germany
  6. Left Coast Brewing Co – San Clemente, CA
  7. Track 7 Brewing Co – Sacramento, CA
  8. Tonopah Brewing Co – Tonopah, NV
  9. Paulaner Brewery – Munich Germany
  10. Anchor Brewing Co – San Francisco, CA
  11. Anderson Valley Brewing Co – Boonville, CA
  12. Big Sky Brewing Co – Missoula, MT
  13. Deschutes Brewery – Bend, OR
  14. American River Brewing Co – Rancho Cordova, CA
  15. Lost Coast Brewery – Eureka, CA
  16. Rubicon Brewing Co – Sacramento, CA
  17. Ruby Mountain Brewing Co – Clover Valley, NV
  18. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co – Chico, CA
  19. Mendocino Brewing Co – Ukiah, CA
  20. Lassen Ale Works – Susanville, CA
  21. Anheuser Busch Brewing Co – St. Louis, MO
  22. Alaskan Brewing Co – Juneau, AK
  23. Brewer’s Cabinet – Reno, NV
  24. High Sierra Brewing Co – Carson City, NV
  25. Kona Brewing Co – Kona, HI
  26. Samuel Adams Brewery – Boston, MA
  27. Lagunitas Brewing Co – Petaluma, CA
  28. Ninkasi Brewing Co – Eugene, OR
  29. 21st Amendment Brewery – San Francisco, CA
  30. Under the Rose Brewery – Reno, NV
  31. Drakes Brewing Co – San Leandro, CA
  32. Mammoth Brewing Co – Mammoth Lakes, CA
  33. Miller Coors Brewing Co – Golden, CO
  34. Stoneyhead Brewery – Reno, NV
  35. Leinenkugel Brewing Co – Chippewa Falls, WI
  36. Coronado Brewing Co – Coronado, CA
  37. Radeberger Gruppe – USA Germany
  38. Blue Moon Brewing Co – Golden, CO
  39. Common Cider Co – Drytown, CA
  40. Crispin Hard Cider Co
  41. Firestone Walker Brewing Co – Paso Robles, CA
  42. Brooklyn Brewing Co – Brooklyn, NY
  43. Full Sail Brewing Co – Hood River, OR
  44. Rekorderlig Ciders
  45. Green Flash Brewing Co – San Diego, CA
  46. Ballast Point Brewing Co – San Diego, CA
  47. Rogue Brewing Co – Newport, OR
  48. Santa Fe Brewing Co – Santa Fe, NM
  49. Oskar Blues Brewery – Lyons, CO
  50. Uinta Brewing Co – Salt Lake City, UT
  51. Tenaya Creek Brewery – Las Vegas, NV
  52. Indian Wells Brewing Co – Inyokern, CA
  53. Brew Brothers Brewery – Reno, NV
  54. El Toro Brewing Co – Morgan Hill, CA

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