As breweries from all over the Western U.S. roll out the kegs for the 9th annual Boonville Beer Festival, even the most seasoned beer drinkers will have trouble sampling all that is offered. For one day, 55 participating breweries will offer 150 brews, giving those who attend this legendary, not-for-profit festival the opportunity to chug away .

Hosted by the Anderson Valley Brewing Company, the Boonville Beer Festival’s popularity continues to grow each year. Last year, the annual event was a success, raising $35,000 for local charities as approximately 3,000 people from the West Coast and beyond crowded the fairgrounds.

This year, the daylong festival will once again feature hundreds of beer samples. So whether you like light beer, dark beer or fancy and fruity creations, there will be a little something for everyone. For starters, the Anderson Valley Brewing booth will be offering samples of its extra velvety, newly released Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema.

In addition to beer samples, the Orjazzmic Sextet, a fresh, funky jazz band from Humboldt County, and the Rolling Boil Blues Band will provide musical entertainment for festival attendees.

For one low entry fee, you get admittance to the festival, a snazzy wristband (keep it on – only those wearing wristbands may be on the festival grounds), a sampling glass, live music and all the beer samples you can drink during the four hours the taps are open. This means no hidden, per-sample fees!

Since excessive drinking is set to take place, it is strongly recommended to bring along a designated driver. For those responsible drivers, there will be a Designated Driver Booth stocked with free, non-alcoholic beverages that will be available to all in attendance.

For those beer lovers who work up an appetite, food booths will be set up in various locations. At these spots, vendors will also offer merchandise and other sundries on a pay-per-item basis.

Those who choose not to bring along a sober driver can still make the trip out to the festival – camping is available on the fairgrounds for an affordable $5 per person for the night. Space will fill up quickly, so be sure to reserve a tent plot in advance.

Have fun, be safe and throw back a lemon-topped Hefeweizen for me! And don’t forget to bring your valid ID for festival admittance.

So what are you waiting for? GET UP AND GET OUT!

The Mendocino County Fairgrounds are located at 14400 Hwy 128, Boonville, Calif., (707) 895-3011. Taps open at 1 p.m. and close at 5 p.m. Live entertainment will continue until 6 p.m. Price: $30 at gate (cash only), $5 for designated drivers, free for children 12 and under. For more information call (707) 895-BEER (2337) or visit, www.avbc.com.