Interestingly, according to ballot tabulators, Denny Bar Craft Distillery from Etna was so popular with Brewfest-goers that it garnered several votes in the People’s Choice voting, even though they weren’t even one of the contestants.

It was a long wait between the 25th Annual State of Jefferson Brewfest in 2017 and the 26th Annual State of Jefferson Brewfest last Saturday in Dunsmuir. Unlike last summer – with wildfire smoke which caused Brewfest to be rescheduled twice before being ultimately cancelled – the air for this year was clear and filled with music. Brewfest attendees were in good spirits as they poured in from Redding, Anderson, Corning, Chico, McCloud, Mount Shasta, and Dunsmuir.

Dunsmuir’s High School class of 1974 even chose this year’s Brewfest as the setting for their 45th class reunion, which was organized by class of ’74 alumnus Lewis Below. Class of ’74 president James E. Smith, along with other alumni, their spouses, family members and friends, all gathered together under the shade of canopies on the Babe Ruth Ball Park to reconnect, listen to live music, and compete in the annual Brewfest cornhole tournament.

Kathy and Raoul Silva reminisced about how the ball park is where they first met, 41 years ago, on the Fourth of July. They said that since that first summer, they’ve been married 40 years.

Live entertainment included three different bands, each unique in musical style. The first band to play was Wind Fields – featuring all original songs. (Wind Fields was seen later that night, playing to a full house at the Dunsmuir Brewery Works.)

The second band was Scrub Jays, with a bluegrass influence. The final band, Sound Advice – led by Victor Martin – had the whole crowd dancing on the ball field.

A flame spitter also made an appearance at the Brewfest, entertaining attendees with his dramatic pyro performance.

A big part of the Brewfest is the annual cornhole tourney, run this year by C & H Cornhole from Redding.

Heather Ryan, one of the owners (along with her husband and brother-in-law, Cody and Cory Ryan) said this year was a double elimination tournament. There were 21 individual contestants and 18 teams that participated.

First place winners were “Bags without Baggage” – Ross Taylor of Sacramento, and Lowell King of Willows. First prize was $500.

Second place winners were the “T-Baggers” – Jason Carter and Nate Taylor – of Redding. Second prize was $250.

Redding cousins Ray sand Rob Bass won third place and $100.

A highlight of this year’s Brewfest was a raffle drawing for a three-night vacation on a houseboat. Dunsmuir Rotarian Dave Keisler said the Dunsmuir Rotary Club sold $2,300 worth of tickets this year, the proceeds of which will go for student scholarships and the club’s Backpack Meals program.

The winner of the houseboat vacation on Lake Shasta was Becky Tisdale and her daughter, Emily.

Two top titles were awarded for Best Home Brewery and Best Commercial Brewery. Determined by a People’s Choice ballot vote, Funky Monk from Redding won Best Home Brewery while Fall River Brewery won Best Commercial Brewery, beating Dunsmuir Brewery Works by one vote.

Interestingly, according to ballot tabulators, Denny Bar Craft Distillery from Etna was so popular with Brewfest-goers that it garnered several votes in the People’s Choice voting, even though they weren’t even one of the contestants.

Even though numbers were down by about half from two years ago, this year’s Brewfest – with about 900 attendees, 30 breweries, and 120 different types of beer – was still a success, said Richard Dinges, the former Dunsmuir Chamber of Commerce director who organized the Brewfest.

“All of the Brewfest passengers I drove (back to Railroad Park and other Dunsmuir motels) expressed how much fun they’d had, how enjoyable the event was, and how glad they were that they’d attended this year’s Brewfest,” said one of the drivers for a free shuttle service provided for the event.