Giveaway: So, You Want Tickets to the Sold Out Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest?

Well, lucky you. We’re giving away a pair of tickets next Monday! Here’s how to enter.


The Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest in Paso Robles, Cali. was created by Matthew Brynildson, Firestone Walker’s brewmaster, to bring together a brewer’s idea of the best in artisanal beer. It’s not a marketing gimmick. It’s not a public relations fest. It’s not about selling beer so much as it’s about drinking good beer with good food. Brynildson says in his vision statement: “These are folks of like mind and spirit, some new friends, some of many years, who share our same passion for making craft beer and sharing it with the world.”

And unsurprisingly, Brynildson has managed to deliver on that seemingly lofty goal year after year, resulting in a beer fest that sells out every year. Many in the industry call it the best beer event in the country. This year, 44 breweries mingle with 22 restaurants, all to the sound of two awesome bands. It takes place on June 1, and you’re still pouting because you couldn’t get tickets.

Just call this your lucky day. Firestone Walker has graciously saved a pair of tickets for us to giveaway. Here’s how we’re going to do it:

Tell us how old you were when you had your first beer. Either leave us a comment down below, or tweet it to us @lamagfood and @FirestoneWalker.

We’ll pick one winner at random next Monday, May 20 at 9 a.m.

The (not-so) small print: These tickets are strictly nontransferable and are only available to persons 21 years of age and older.

May the best man or woman win!

UPDATE: Congratulations to WINNER Liz Cappola, whose first beer experience involved an Old Style on a hot, summer day.

The Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest takes place on June 1 in Paso Robles, Cali.

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  • Carlos Azucena

    I was about thirteen. I remember it like it was yesterday. I grew up in South Los Angeles, at the time crack and cocaine had seeped into my neighborhood, bloods and crips colors were en vogue, Public Enemy and NWA were on every street corner and while out at a house party I took a sip of my first Old English 800. It was disgusting and after the whole forty ounce I was pretty schwasted! My sisters boyfriend had to carry my little thirteen year old body home where I barfed for what seemed an eternity. It was one of the best moments in my life as I understood 1. Cheap beer is the worst tasting beer ever and 2. That I was sure I never wanted another beer again. It took me until my early twenties, while working on an art show that was accompanying my good friends independent film called “Real Stories of the Donut Men” that I was hanging with Tarantino, Rodriguez, Linklater, Beeaje Quick and Mike Judge at SXSW film fest of all places that I had my first Shiner Bock and my palette exploded with delicious goodness! Now at 38, I love all kinds of beer always in moderation as I learned that lesson at 13 very well, and always with good friends. I’ve tried hundreds of beers and going to this event would be pretty fun and it would be nice to meet local connoisseurs of thine nectar of the gods. Thanks!!!

  • Patricia

    I had my first beer at the ripe old age of 22 :)
    Loved it ever since. True story.

  • Kendall

    15 keystone out of a keg man it was only better beer from there

  • Susan Solt

    12…yikes :/

  • Debbie V.

    I was 18 when I had my 1st beer, oops :/

  • Jessica Solorzano

    I must of been 19 years of age when I first tried this golden liquid.

  • Carolia

    I was 9 when my Dad let me take a sip….actually I snuck the sip when he wasn’t looking.

  • Janell M Mullen

    My girlfriend and I were 14. We were home alone. We both grabbed a beer from my dad’s stash. Drank one each. Felt weird and buried the evidence in the backyard.

  • Bo

    I think I was 16? I might have had little sips before but that’s the first full beer I remember having…

  • Zella

    I was a late bloomer. It was senior year in high school and we were in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital for our senior trip and knocked back a few Kotayak’s with friends. It’s a local brew but I can still taste it. Great memories and somewhat decent beer.

  • Fernando Franco

    I was 17 years old when i had my first sip of grandpa’s old cough medicine. Then it was 40 oz. of crap for the next 8 years until i discovered the magic and beauty of craft beer!

  • K Douglas

    I was an 18 year old freshman at UC Santa Barbara when I had my first beer on the night of move-in day. Admittedly it was some cheap college beer but living in Santa Barbara County for four years, one of my favorite beers soon became Firestone’s Double Barrel Ale. It quickly developed into my go to beer when I want to avoid the keg parties. Ah, college. I miss SB.

  • Jose

    I was 15 when I had my first beer.

  • Ramon Sanchez

    Oh, man… I remember my first taste of beer SO vividly.

    I was 7 years old and was actually watching UFC 1 with my brother-in-law. When he went to the bathroom I took a huge chug and then tipped the can so it spilled a little. When he came back, I said I accidentally knocked it over. He got another one.

    Well, fast forward a few minutes and spaghetti was all over the living room floor in a red mess.

    My brother-in-law laughed.

    I didn’t have my “own” beer until I was 12.

  • Helena

    I was 16 (don’t tell anyone). It was at a party in someone’s backyard; a keg of golden ale was there for the drinking. All it took was a few sips and I was agoner.

  • Benjamin Farber

    I was seven. At my uncle’s wedding. I snuck a swig and hated it (it was Bud – I still hate it!). I didn’t touch beer again until eighteen, but since then, I haven’t looked back.

  • katie

    probably about 16 or so, in my friend’s basement of course.

  • dvd

    8 years old at a family bbq….my aunt told me it was apple juice…was probably tecate or corona. i just thought it was disgusting! gotta love my family.

  • Chelsey Rosetter

    I was probably 10, sitting on my mom’s lap. She asked me, “Wanna a sip of happiness?” It look me many years to understand this happiness, but I now know it’s a special one.

  • James Kemper

    I was around 10 years old. My Grandpa would give me and my cousin sips of his Pabst Blue Ribbon. My palate has become more sophisticated but the memories are priceless.

  • Walter Brown

    I was in college at Cal Poly. There was a delicious sandwich joint that my friends and I would go to every Friday. I was on the younger side and could not purchase my own beer yet, so my friends helped me out. The first beer I had was Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing. What beer wouldn’t taste bad ass with the slick devil on the front? Not having a pallet for beer, the Arrogant Bastard was a kick in the face. Such strong flavors were amazing and I knew I would love craft brew.

  • Lisa

    The first time I had a beer was when I was 17 years old and I had some of my boyfriend’s beer. At the time I thought it was disgusting. My, how things have changed. Although it was a good thing that at the time his staple was whiskey. Ha!

  • Jen

    I was 13, invited to a backyard party at a schoolmates house along one of south Florida’s canals. A friend offered me lukewarm Budweiser that someone brought in a backpack, probably jostled for miles on the back of a bike. Somehow the host’s parents didn’t notice the kids drinking in the backyard, or didn’t care. But the neighbors cared (maybe a bit more about the DJ) and they called the police. A backyard full of kids ran to the canal and poured piles of Budweiser away so they wouldn’t get caught. Canals always have a lightly salty, funky smell, but never as much as that night.

  • Katie S

    I was 15 when I tried beer for the first time, but didn’t really start drinking until college. I’m definitely a beer girl! I’d love to score the tickets!

  • Liz Cappola @thehoppybeer

    I grew up in Chicago. It was a hot, humid, sticky summer day reaching about around 105 degrees. My father was having a BBQ on the patio and drinking Old Style with his friends. Talking about man stuff…and the stock business.

    He turned to me and handed me a beer and said, “You better try it now…”

    I Loved it!

    My taste in beer has changed and become way more sophisticated however…On a hot, humid summer day I still have a craving for an Old Style.

  • sara ellis

    I was 9 and it was a coors light while watching the Lakers beat the Celtics back in the 80’s- my dad let me have a sip. Fortunately, I am now married to a great home brewer so my taste in beer has much improved! Would love to surprise the hubby with the best early father’s day gift ever!

  • Devin B.

    I had my first beer when I was 17. It wasn’t the greatest beer but it’s gotten better since.

  • Danielle

    I was 13 years old. I snuck out of my bedroom window and walked down a trail to my friend’s house whose parents were gone. We split one Bud Light and thought we were pretty much the coolest girls in the world. Turns out we really are 😉

  • Patricia Guzik

    I was eight years old and my cousins and I were hiding under the dining room table while all my numerous Irish relatives were partying in my gramma’s basement and playing cards! That was 1954 and Pabst Blue Ribbon time in Cleveland, Ohio!!!! Yummmm!!

  • Michael Connolly

    15 a Guinness when I visited Ireland for a family event