Henry de Vere White, 35, knows the social power of suds.
“Beer brings people together and people love beer,” said de Vere White. “It’s kind of a natural relationship.”
The owner of de Vere’s Irish Pub founded Davis Beer Week in 2013 to showcase the city’s craft beer, local restaurant and bicycling culture through an array of events.
This year’s Davis Beer Week runs Monday through Aug. 17 and will feature offerings from more than 55 breweries and a handful of wineries.
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“The wine is there just for people whose lovers don’t love beer,” de Vere White said. “I think everyone should love beer, but that’s just not the case, so it’s good to have options.”
The week’s festivities crescendo with the Bike and Brew Fest, slated for 4-8 p.m. Saturday at Central Park. The festival features live music, food from local restaurants and, of course, plenty of beer. Pre-sale tickets are $35 for general admission, $60 for VIP, and all proceeds go to Davis’ United States Bicycling Hall of Fame.
“It’s a great vibe,” de Vere White said about the Bike and Brew Fest. “It’s really like you’re at a music festival, but it’s filled with beer and great people. I think it’s a great feeling and it’s not something you can imitate.”
The Bee asked de Vere White about the genesis of the event, new beer trends in Davis and his favorite summer brew.
What can beer buffs look forward to at this seven-day, citywide festival?
It gives you an opportunity to see what Davis has as a community and to also go around from bar to bar and experience great beers. Beer has become extremely popular, and I think that Davis, with the brewing school (at UC Davis) and everything, is a natural fit for an environment with beer-friendly interactions.
What made you want to organize an annual beer week in Davis?
I just thought it would be something that the town would enjoy. We do it in August so it’s toward the end of summer when you have a little bit less of a student population. Because you have less of a student population, it’s more about the people who live there year-round, and everybody is kind of going out and enjoying all the restaurants and all the things that Davis has to offer.
I never wanted it to be a huge, big, over-the-top beer week. What we wanted to do is allow bars to sign up for free, and we were hoping that the natural size of Davis would allow it to be a more intimate experience, but with the same quality of big-city brew fests.
What do you think are some new trends in Davis’ beer scene?
Davis (has) a very sophisticated palate, let me tell you. Davis people really love their beer, and I think that they’re really into trying new and creative approaches to beer. I think they want to see things that are either a classic done in a new approach, or something that’s never been done before.
What is your favorite beer?
Wow. Such a big question. Right now, my favorite beer is Firestone Pivo Pilsner because it’s hot out and I think it’s amazing. I think it’s crisp, it’s refreshing, it’s delicious.