Exeter indulges in Celtic rock, wear kilts for brewfest


Exeter Lions Club introduces Celtic theme for May 4 Brewfest with Celtic rock band Tempest

By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN

EXETER – The Exeter Lions Club 24th Annual Brewfest is rapidly approaching their Saturday, May 4 date and the King of Brewfest (KOB), Terry Miller, is having trouble with his title. Instead the man with the crown of beers would like to be known as KOTB, King of Thee Brewfest. 

The Exeter ophthalmologist by day says the Lions Club was one of the first brewfests in the central California area. So unique in fact that in 1996 Alcohol and Beverage Control wasn’t sure it was legal to permit it at first.  

“We were the first in the area in the central California. When I first starting this thing in ’96 the ABC didn’t think it was legal so I had to contact Sacramento. So we paved the way for everyone else,” Miller said

Almost a quarter century from its origin story, the man who has taken a more than notable role in the Exeter Lions Club’s most important annual event is adding a twist to this year’s festivities; he’s adding a kilt? Yes, Miller is encouraging all festival goes to get into the swing of things in 2019 by wearing their kilt while enjoying some Celtic rock.

In their 24th year, the annual brewfest is welcoming Celtic rock band, Tempest to their stage. Hence why they are making Brewfest kilt friendly.

“We want people to get into the spirit,” Miller added.

The Exeter Brewfest has had musicians in the past, but they never had a true headliner. This year, the KOTB is making sure they do. 

“We had a lot of local bands. Dan Volts did a lot of jazz for us before. We also had Brothers from another Mother,” Miller said.

Hailing from Oslo, Norway, founding member and lead singer/electric mandolinist, Lief Sorbye, is recognized as a driving force in the modern folk-rock movement. He started Tempest after years of touring and recording on the folk circuit. San Francisco fiddler Kathy Buys brings her international award winning playing to the Tempest stage. Her experience performing world-fusion music with high energy dance bands combined with many years of playing Irish traditional music in America and Ireland makes her a perfect fit for Tempest. And straight from Bologna, Italy, we welcome the big, rich bass playing talent of Mirco Melone. Mirco has a diverse background in rock, jazz and ethnic music, and holds an advanced degree from Italy’s Classical Music Conservatory. And recently relocated to the Bay Area from Chicago, we are delighted to introduce Kevin Florian’s progressive rock guitar and lush stage antics to our fans! Cuban-born drummer Adolfo Lazo, an original Tempest member, thickens the band’s sound with inventive rhythms, and rock-steady drumming.

Signed to Sony-distributed Magna Carta Records, Tempest’s releases are acclaimed worldwide. This year, the group celebrates its 30th Anniversary with the latest studio CD, Thirty Little Turns, a collection of inspired new original and traditional material—with a cheeky surprise or two.

Tempest is regularly featured at prestigious festivals such as The Philadelphia Folk Festival, and has also appeared at Denmark’s Skagen Festival, Britain’s Cropredy Festival and The Winnipeg Folk Festival in Canada. The band is a mainstay at countless American Celtic festivals, as well.

But music is not the only reason Brewfest has been successful in Exeter. Truthfully, it has been the quality of beers. The Exeter Brewfest has managed to bring breweries all over California to Exeter, and this year is no different. According to their brewfest map Firestone, Samuel Adams, Sierra Nevada, Founders will all be represented. And then there will be local favorites like, Rocky Hill Brewing, Kaweah Brewing, Brewbakers, and Tioga Sequoia. Also joining in are homebrewer types like TC Hops and Warthogs, which Miller thinks is a positive for brewfest goers.

“These are home brewers that are making excellent beer. It is common to get two homebrewers that come in from one area. It opens the public to a wide diversity of great beers,” Miller added.

This year the way to buy tickets are more open than they were before. The KOTB says any member of the Lions Club can sell tickets but people can also buy them at Rock Yard Tavern on E Street and Rocky Hill Brewing just off Road 204 and Ave. 306.

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