June Lake: Fall Foliage and Fancy Foams

The trees are going to town while local beermakers pour their best.


HONEY SUNLIGHT: Sunbeams come in many different flavors, depending on the time of year. They can be intense or even harsh 'round about August or weak in January or soft as cotton candy in April. But in October, in the Eastern Sierra, when just about every other tree is looking golder than gold? The sunshine is pure honey, in hue and tone, and maybe nowhere more so than the June Lake Loop. You just feel like you want to take up acoustic guitar or wear more corduroy or vests with fringe while driving or hiking the loop around the middle of October, and that's a fact: It's easy nature enjoyment at its autumnal, California-craggy best. (We say "craggy" because some of those mountains around June Peak form quite the frame for all of that foliage.) It makes perfect sense, then, that the June Lake Autumn Beer Festival happens right around this leaf-spectacular moment. Foam fans and fans of fall color will converge on the 395-close burg for cold-glass, tall-tree enjoyment on Saturday, October 11.

IT ISN'T JUST ABOUT THE BREWS: There's a competitive stein-holding contest, too, and if you feel like your forearm -- and elbow and bicep and shoulder and back and wrist -- are up to the challenge, line up and take a stein. (Just be warned that this is a crowd-pleaser, with much cheering and hooting.) Local brewers from the area'll gather at the June Lake Community Center and Park for the foaming-up of glasses, and the turn-out should be good, what with the Eastern Sierra communities on the rise in the beer-making department. (Hello, Mammoth Brewing Co., June Lake Brewing, Mountain Rambler Brewery, and the other hopsy houses churning out the ales in the area.) Enjoy your local brews then find your designated driver and take in the loop and all of that lovely fall color. We can't even call June Lake a secret foliage hotspot, because people know and love it, but will we dub it a place flooded with honey sunshine, right around the middle of October? We just did.

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