Sudzapalooza provides drink variety at Fairplex

Rachel Smith
Staff Writer

Hundreds of beer enthusiasts got a chance to taste plenty of local and exotic beers, all in the name of charity.

Sudzapalooza was an opportunity for beer drinkers to sample all the beer they wanted at the Finish Line Sports Grill in Pomona.

The Fairplex educational program benefiting from all the beer drinkers was the Career and Technical Education Center.

“CTEC is a program on the grounds where high school and college age students can learn ceramics, child care, and fashion design to name a few,” Sharon Autry, Pomona Fairplex communications and public relations coordinator said.

“Great event and I believe in the education program here at the Fairplex and it needs to be known by the public,” said Brian McNerney, La Verne Chamber of Commerce president. “It really gives young people a chance to learn a trade and have options in life.”

It was a great way to use our facilities and rise money for education, Autry said.

Approximately 325 beer-guzzling folks made their way through the 25 vendors at Finish Line Sports Grill.

“Finish Line is fairly new, but has great ambiance and high energy,” Autry said.

People had a chance to tastes beers from Firestone Walkers Hemp Ale to Bayhawk Ales Chocolate Porter.

“It tastes like chocolate, well kind of like bakers chocolate,” said Kasey Kilkenny, mother of two from Chino, about the Chocolate Porter.

Blue Moon and Mamma Mia Pizza Beer were just two of the crowd favorites. Arrogant Bastard Ale by the Stone Brewing Co. by far had the best name of the evening.

“Arrogant Bastard is a great tasting beer,” Phillip Shorter, a Texas transplant to California said.

The beer drinkers were also very impressed with the outstanding array of untypical bar food that was offered.

“Mini pulled pork sandwiches, oven-roasted organic pizza and Chicken Wellington are a few items we are serving,” Sean Smith, Finish Line Sports Grill manager said.

The menu was more like fine dining food, instead beer-pounding snacks. The crowd seemed to really enjoy the great food and the fact that the staff kept the food coming.

“The $35 fee was well worth it,” Kilkenny said. “I made sure to drink and eat my money’s worth.”

The crowd moved like a swarm of killer bees and they traveled from vendor to vendor to partake in the sweet nectar of each shot of beer.

“The event took about six months to plan,” Wendy Wright, Pomona Fairplex development associate said.

The attention to detail by the staff and the excellent flow of the evening was a direct reflection of the planning time that was used by all involved. The Fairplex, Finish Line Sports Grill and Liquorama provided a fabulous evening for a great cause.

“It was a good joint effort,” Smith said. “We would like to do this twice a year.”

As the evening was winding down, the people did not want to go. The crowd was mixing and mingling, trying to find a way to continue the fun. Finish Line Sports Grill had the solution of having a band play after the scheduled events to keep the party going.

The people enjoyed the beer tasting and the fun atmosphere provided at the event.

“Really cool place to have this,” Shorter said. “I would definitely come back for more.”

The best line of the evening came from the Firestone vendor, “Shut up and drink, we got more beer.”

For more information on the Finish Line Sports Grill events visit finishlinesportsgrill.com and for Fairplex events visit www.fairplex.com.

Rachel Smith can be reached at rachel.smith@laverne.edu.

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