Brewer Joseph McKinzie, dressed as a girl scout, serves the Cookie Withdrawl Black IPA from the Camp WannaBeer booth at the 8th Annual Humboldt Homebrew Festival on April 7 at the Arcata Community Center. Photo by Megan Bender.

A labor of love


Humboldt Homebrew Festival

Kristina Watson served a lot more than just beer at the eighth Humboldt Homebrew Festival on April 7 at the Arcata Community Center.

Watson was one of seven brewers from Triple Junction Brewing, who were one of 69 groups and individuals who served their best homemade and unique beer, cider and kombucha recipes.

For Watson’s first time pouring at the festival, she showcased a juniper based Sahti-Graha beer based off a Finnish recipe.

“Sahti recipes are traditionally passed down from Scandinavian mothers to their daughters,” Watson said. “So this is kind of like a women empowerment beer.”

Watson said the juniper she used to make this beer came from her grandmother’s tree, who passed away recently. She said being at this festival is always awesome and it’s neat to to get the opportunity to showcase beers and talk with other brewers.

Brewer Joseph McKinzie brought three beers based off Girl Scout cookies, and he and his crew played the part. Each pourer, including McKinzie himself, was dressed as a Girl Scout at a booth titled “Camp WannaBeer.”

The festival serves as a benefit for the North Coast Professional Chapter of Engineers Without Borders organization in the Humboldt area. They also work directly with the Humboldt State University EWB chapter and sometimes hire students.

EWB’s mission is to partner with developing communities to try and improve their way of life. EWB volunteer Patrick Sullivan said the festival came about as a result of a lot engineers who are also brewers combining their passions.

“I like to tell my friends that we are turning beer into water,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said he is grateful for the support of the brewers and volunteers who make the benefit possible.

Meanwhile, brewers and attendees alike enjoy the variety found at the Humboldt Homebrew Festival. Brewer Pete Carlson said the festival showcases rare beers that you’ll never find again.

“This is my favorite festival in the area,” Carlson said. “Period.”

Attendees like Britney Newby and Shannon Mondor dubbed this their favorite festival respectively.

“It is a real privilege to try a homebrewer’s labor of love,” Newby said.

Every attendee receives a meal ticket, a tasting glass and bottle caps for voting at the door. Brewers received playing cards to vote with as well. At the festival’s close, three recipes were named Best Damn Beer, Brewer’s Choice and Best Damn Cider.

Brewer Dave Breyer and the Oh My Goodness Rye Whiskey Brown Ale won Brewer’s Choice. Brewer Ira Salmon with a Mango Sticky Rice won Best Damn Beer and Joshua Holland and John Tremblay and their New Pilgrim Pineapple Cider won Best Damn Cider.

You can find more information about the Humboldt Homebrew Festival at

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