Crown Craft Beer Invitational Delights Palates

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Left to Right: El Centro Fire Fighter Jake Jones and IID Worker Cole Edgmon from El Centro sample beer at the Crown Craft Beer Invitational in Imperial.
Left to Right: El Centro Fire Fighter Jake Jones and IID Worker Cole Edgmon from El Centro sample beer at the Crown Craft Beer Invitational in Imperial.

IMPERIAL – Just in time for the first ever Alford Distributing’s Crown Craft Beer Invitational  at Crown Court Plaza, the sky cleared after some much needed rain last Saturday, May 16, for partaking of cold beer, live music, and good food.

“It’s good to see businesses in the Imperial Valley taking steps towards innovation,” said Sterling Wray from San Diego who attended the event.

The event opened to the community, ages 21 and over, and paid special tribute to Veterans and Active Military by offering a discounted entry fee and food prices.

A portion of the nights proceeds was donated to the Wounded Warriors of Imperial Valley and the Imperial Valley Police Activities League.

The first of its kind, Alford Distributing worked hand in hand with the City of Imperial to make this event not only come to fruition, but ensure everyone’s safety.

Taxi service was available for everyone and the entry fee included a ten dollar taxi voucher.

“It’s important that we definitely take part in responsible drinking,” said Alford Distributing Company Marketing Coordinator, Phil Falkenstein. Falkenstein is one of the many team members that organized the event.

Thirteen different breweries, mostly from California, with one brewery from Washington and another from Mexicali called “Tres B”, participated in the craft beer invitational.

Craft beer, a widely popular and trendy scene in San Diego, is slowly making its way to Imperial Valley.

Places such as Strangers Bar in El Centro and Inferno in Brawley are already offering a wider range of craft beers, and with the  success of BevMo in El Centro, craft beers are becoming popular locally as well.

Pentagonal Brewing Company is an example of this growing trend.

Pentagonal Brewing Company based out of Imperial was invited to the event by Alford Distributing to show case their craft beer.

Brewmaster and co-owner Barrett Dunn, hopes to have a building secure by the summer, so the company is not currently selling their craft beer. Yet, they received positive feed back during the event.

“It’s nice to have the city supporting (craft beer), the turnout is good,” said Dunn.

“We pride ourselves on thinking outside the box,” said manager and lead event organizer, Alexis Brown. “We want to bring things to the Valley to improve the quality of life for the residents of Imperial, and the Valley.”

Brandon Adams, Craft Brand Manager at Alford’s, worked with Brown as lead organizers in bringing the event together, both credited the events success to the many team members that worked behind the scenes both from the City of Imperial and Alford Distributing.

Adams and Brown both hope to continue the event again next year.

“This is the beginning of great things to come in the beer business,” said Adams.

For the past 8 years Alford Distributing has been based out of the city of Imperial, servicing the Imperial Valley, Winterhaven, Salton Sea, Borrego Spring and Parts of San Diego reaching up to the Golden Acorn Casino, with 40 to 50 employees.

Alford Distributing has called the Imperial County its home for the past 70 years and distributes several drinks ranging from Budweiser, Modelo, Sierra Nevada, and several others, including non-alcoholic drinks and teas.