Inyo County will get its first taste of a craft beer festival this spring.
Bishop will play host to its first microbrew festival Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7 in conjunction with the annual Bishop Home Show and Laws Railroad Museum Choo Choo Swap Meet.
Bishop Mikro Bier Fest organizers are currently looking for local residents and businesses who would like to volunteer or sponsor the event.
Currently, event organizer Britta Wichers is working with the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce and Manor Market to attract more breweries and out-of-the-area residents who follow trade beer events.
But there is room for more people to get involved. Wichers said she is looking for food vendors for the event. And, because it is the first year and organizers are trying to get the ball rolling, local vendors who get involved are guaranteed to get a good deal on their space, she said.
Wichers is currently working with Alex Printing in Bishop for advertising materials for the festival, but is also looking for anyone who would like to make a donation to the event to further help offset the cost of printing.
Wichers is also looking for a host hotel to sponsor the festival and help provide rooms for out-of-the area breweries who will be attending.
So far, the Bishop Mikro Bier Fest has booked Karl Strauss, Stone, Rouge, Blue Moon, Firestone, Sierra Nevada and many more breweries from around the nation as well as local breweries Mammoth Brewing Company and Indian Wells.
“The more breweries we can get to come, the more successful this event will be,” Wichers said. “But we want any local business that wants to partner in a way that makes sense to them to contact us.”
Wichers has also booked some live entertainment for the event, including local favorites the Acoustic Two and the Last Chance Band.
“Right now we’re doing marketing for the craft beer community to try to draw in people who seek out microbreweries, and we want to advertise this event and the community as a destination,” Wichers said.
The festival will be held both Friday and Saturday to give visitors an opportunity to spend one day (or evening) at the beer festival and home show, and allow them to spend the next day exploring all the recreational opportunities the Eastern Sierra has to offer.
Wichers said that advertising Bishop as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts will be key to generating a following for the event and bringing craft beer lovers back to the community every year.
“We want people to know that Bishop is not just a place you drive through on your way to Mammoth, we want people to come here to enjoy the brews and everything else the community has to offer,” Wichers said.
Admission to the festival comes with 10 five-ounce samples from any of the participating microbreweries in attendance. Those who are participating will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite beer. The brewery that receives the most votes will be awarded Bishop’s People’s Choice Award.
Also, anyone who purchases tickets to Friday evening’s Taste of Bishop event at the fairgrounds will receive a coupon for $5 off their admission to the Bishop beer festival.
Anyone who is interested in volunteering or sponsoring the event is invited to e-mail Wichers at firstname.lastname@example.org  or visit mikrobierfest.com.
Tickets are available via the website or at the Bishop Area Chamber of Commerce on Main Street.