History of the California Brewers Festival

2024 marks the 30th anniversary of the California Brewers Festival in beautiful Sacramento, CA.  The California Brewers Festival has grown to be the capstone event of the season for beer enthusiasts in Northern California. Recognized as the first of its kind in craft beer festivals, the event unites thousands of craft beer and food lovers for an unforgettable experience. Hosted by the Rotary Club of Point West – Sacramento, and the Point West Rotary Club Foundation, the festival has raised nearly $1 million for local charities since its inception.



Point West Rotarian, Dr. James Peck (far right in the top photo), traveled to Denver in 1993 and attended the Great American Beer Festival.  He came back very excited and shared his enthusiasm with our club, which became the genesis of the California Brewers Festival.  The first event took place in Old Sacramento in 1994.  Soon after, the event was moved to Cesar Chavez Park; here you can see the Brewfest planning committee getting ready for the1997 event (don’t some of those moustaches look like they were from the 70s?).  We were at Cesar Chavez for several years before outgrowing that site and moving to our current location at Discovery Park.

Point West Rotary Club

Rotary of Point West Sacramento was founded in 1985 by 30 and 40-somethings who believed having fun should be central to their community service. That spirit continues today in a club of nearly 110 active members whose unofficial credo – and reputation – is, “never dull.” Rotary Club of Point West – Sacramento is the second largest club in Rotary International’s District 5180.

Point West Rotary Club Foundation

In 1998, the club created a Foundation to ensure an enduring legacy to past, present, and future Point West Rotarians and the community we serve. The Point West Rotary Club Foundation is the fiscal agent for the California Brewers Festival. Learn about our foundation here.   The California Brewers Festival is our largest fundraiser but have other fund raising activities to help those in need in our community, so be sure to check out our Facebook page for updates!

Our Beneficiaries

Over the 30 years of the festival, Point West Rotary has raised funds for numerous charitable organizations.  Our partners for the past several years have been Runnin’ for Rhett and WEAVE.

Runnin’ For Rhett – Our primary charity partner is Runnin’ for Rhett which raises funds for their Youth Fitness Program, designed to combat childhood obesity in at-risk youth by educating young people and their families on fitness and nutrition. Runnin’ for Rhett provides this program at NO CHARGE to more than 70 schools in the Sacramento region each spring and fall.  Learn more here.

WEAVE – We have partnered with WEAVE, Inc. for several years.  WEAVE is the primary provider of crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Sacramento County. WEAVE’s vision is a community free of violence and abuse. Learn more here.

Point West Rotary Foundation – Point West Rotary awards grants to deserving organizations year round with a focus on the youth of Sacramento.  Funds raised from the California Brewers Festival go directly towards these grants.  Your participation in this event helps us reach more Sacramento area youth in need. Learn more here.