We love sipping our wines, appreciate art, and at times enjoy quaffing back a pint or two of good craft beer. Good news for us: right in our neighborhood, this June, there are three distinct, fun, and tasty local wine and beer festivals we can attend. They’re outlined below, along with dates, times, appropriate links, and how to get tickets.

Monterey Wine Festival

For 40 years, in the wonderful location that is Custom House Plaza, Monterey has held their annual Wine Festival. This year the dates are from June 3 through June 5. Each date and time holds many great things to do and excellent wines to taste. Here’s a rundown for you.

Friday, June 3, 6 – 9 p.m. – This event is limited to 100 people. Billed as their VIP Gourmet Extravaganza Party, the $250 you’ll spend offers incredible value for the gourmand and wine aficionado. Among the many fine offerings:

  • For the gourmand, lobster, duck, salmon, wygu style beef and much, much more.
  • For the wine aficionado, outstanding Pinots, Chardonnays, Cabernets, and other fine varietals.
  • For everyone, as the evening winds down, fine whiskey and tequila.

Tickets for this very special night, or for any of the events, can be purchased here.

Saturday, June 4, noon – 4 p.m. – Everyone who purchases a ticket for the Saturday is invited to a ‘Chowdah’ Celebration! That’s included in both the General Admission price, which is $45, or the VIP Admission (it gives you an extra hour of tasting) which is $55.

Accomplished, professional West Coast chefs will be whipping up fabulous chowders this day. Whether clam, seafood, or something more creative, you’ll taste chowders “simmered to perfection”. All the best wines that pair with the chowders will be available too.

Sunday, June 5, noon – 3 p.m. – Sunday ticket holders get to enjoy the “Kings of Calamari and Masters of Mussels”! This is included in the $45 General Admission price as well as the $55 VIP Admission. What’s in store for you on Sunday?

  • Select white and red wines, beer, and spirits
  • Calamari, mussels, and other delicacies
  • International cheeses
  • A special Cultured Cheese & Charcuterie Experience
  • Live music

Links to both the event’s main website, and the tickets page, are available above.

Monterey Beer Festival

Neatly nestled between two festivals focusing primarily on wine, there’s this! The 15th Annual Monterey Beer Festival is happening on Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 12:30 p.m. at Monterey County Fairgrounds. While a VIP pass will get you in an hour earlier, all attendees will have something to smile at during this popular annual festival.

Beer lovers know their beer, and the breweries that painstakingly craft them. A dozen excellent craft breweries will have their best at this year’s festival. Included in the list:

  • Monterey’s own Peter Bs Brewpub
  • Trumer Pils, from Berkeley
  • Alaskan Brewing Co.
  • Lost Coast Brewery
  • Stone Brewing

Whatever your style – from lagers to ales, to hoppy IPAs – you’ll have an opportunity to quaff to your heart’s content at this popular annual event. It’s great to know as well you’ll be entertained throughout the festival. The Main Stage will feature DJ Fredo, Journey Revisited, and Daze on the Green. General admission costs $45 in advance or $50 at the gate, while VIP admission is worth $70 in advance or $80 at the gate. Parking is only $10, but to be safe, you may want to hire a Designated Driver: that only costs $20.

You may still be able to get in early and purchase online. Here’s the festival’s ticket sales website.

Carmel Valley Art & Wine Celebration

In case the weekends of June 3 or 11 didn’t work out for you, or even they did and you want more, the 12th edition of Carmel’s popular event – combining local art and wine – takes place on June 18, 2016 from 11 – 5 p.m. in Carmel Valley Village. Don’t worry about transportation, or admission prices: both are free. Transportation will be courtesy of MT Grapevine Express. This Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event offers art exhibits from many local artists. Among the art represented will be offerings from:

  • Plein artists
  • Photographers
  • Jewelry Designers

As you stroll the lovely streets of Carmel Valley Village, you can sip to your heart’s content. If you’re early enough to buy online, your wine tasting ticket costs only $30. If not, you can purchase the day of at various ticket stations for $40. You can visit’s the Chamber’s event website here. If you already know you want to purchase tickets – there are all sorts of options, deals, and price ranges – visit this Web page. In addition to the art and wine, there will be live jazz and acoustic music. Plus, the second annual live auction to raise money for the Tulracitos Art Program will be hosted by Lisa T Auctions.

This area, just outside your door, has everything wonderful: abundant nature, the ocean, arts… and great wine, beer, and food. Enjoy your summer safely, and perhaps one of these three upcoming festivals.

This list was accurate at the time of publication; please check directly with the venue(s) to ensure dates, times, and locations remain the same.

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