This Saturday, May 12, will mark the first ever Best of Tahoe Craft Beer Contest at Lake Tahoe AleWorX.

Because this is the first time this event has seen the light of day, there have been a lot of swirling questions as to what it actually is. Lucky for you, we have an inside track as to how to best prepare and navigate the suds-slinging contest.

With a Little Help From My Friends

Let's face it: beer goes down way smoother when you're in the company of friends. And because you have about four hours to knock back all the beers, it would be a good idea to bring along a drinking buddy or two. Plus, selfies look much less pretentious when you have someone sharing the screen. Don't forget to tag #TahoeSnaps.


No, there is no gambling at this event — but 21 will make an appearance. Literally at your fingertips is unlimited tasting of all 21 beers. Seven breweries will each feature three entries: a light, a dark and an IPA. While one could go hog-wild and rock a pint of all 21 entries, that's going to be a tall order in four hours. The key here will be pace. Each attendee will be given a souvenir copper cup courtesy of Sierra-at-Tahoe. Take that cup and take a little pull of each beer. When you get down to your favorites, take a larger pour and enjoy.

H2O Go

No. This is not in reference to the punk album by the same name. This is a reminder to hydrate. While an afternoon of day drinking may sound like a good idea, it can easily get the best of anyone. A good way to ensure your body fights the good fight against the onslaught of barley and hops is to sneak in a good ole glass of water now and then. Your evening will thank you for it. If you play your cards right, you'll be putting yourself in prime position for an epic night out.

POUR Thing

If you have not been to AleWorX, you may not be aware that you will be doing the honors of pouring your own beer. Yes, you control how much beer of each entry will be poured down your gullet. If you've been to any keg party, you're bound to run into that one person who has no idea how to pour a beer. Don't be that person.

Here's a quick tutorial:

Place your glass at a 45-degree angle.

Pull the tap so that the beer hits right around the middle of the glass.

Once the beer reaches halfway, tilt your glass upright. We're not talking like a quick flip of "Das Boot," just a slow steady move to get your glass to 90-degrees.

Turn the tap off once you get close to the rim or you get about an inch of head (foam) on the top of your beer.

You may need to practice a bit with a bottle or can at home, but the process is the same. Do this and you'll go from Padawan to Jedi in no time.

Funk in the Trunk

Yes, there will be live music. Whether there will be dancing, it's up to you. Local Reno/Tahoe band Jelly Bread will be doing the honors of jamming on stage in the outside patio. If your ears have yet to be pleasantly rung by their jams, think along the lines of the George Clinton-led band Parliament mixed with Ben Harper.

Vote for Pedro

In this case, "Pedro" is code for "your favorite." Voting will be done via your mobile device, so make sure you have it in tow. Once you have narrowed it down to your favorite light, dark and IPA, you'll log on to the voting page and make your selections. With real-time tracking of all the votes, we'll be able to get results and announce at the end of the event — sometime around 5 p.m. As a bonus, everyone who votes will be entered to win a $100 gift certificate to AleWorX along with four tickets to a show at The Loft. Talk about a sweet night out.


Unless you come in rocking the VIP status, food is not included with your ticket price. However, fear not. Lake Tahoe AleWorX has you covered should you want to throw down one of their amazing pizzas. Or, you could always grab a bite to eat ahead of time — I'm sure by the end you'll be ready to mow down some serious calories. Just don't drink on an empty stomach. Only bad things will happen from there. Bad things.

The Best of Tahoe Craft Beer event will be held at Lake Tahoe AleWorX (2050 Lake Tahoe Blvd., Suite 2050, in South Lake Tahoe) from 1 (noon for VIP) to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 12.