“Craft Beer Heaven” read a banner overhanging the California Beer Festival pairing party– and craft beer heaven it was, indeed. This CBF exclusive event took place in Aptos Village Park on Friday evening. As the sun set, the crowd was welcomed to the weekend with live music performed by local group, Extra Large, whose music flowed throughout the festival just as well as the beers on tap did. A plethora of craft breweries linked up with local eateries to compete for the best food and beer pairing. A ticket to Friday’s event included unlimited samples of the beer and snack duos. As festival goers enjoyed perusing the eats and brews, local chefs and local brewmasters competed for the most votes for, “Best Pairing”. Friendly competing pairs ranged from avocado honey ale and rabbit, to the winning Seabright Brewery glitter-infused beer (FDA approved glitter, that is) paired with glitter-fied lamb and homemade pita from Hollins House. As the evening sky turned to dusk, twinkly lights lit up the night with ambiance that seamlessly inspired people to talk-beer with newfound friends, and dance the night away. (Or was it the buzz that did the inspiring?) Regardless, it was an incredibly spirited kick off to the weekend long California Beer Festival. Proceeds from the event will go to The Gen Giammanco Foundation, who offer support to deserving college bound student athletes.