April 4 2012 10:30 AM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

Lee Chase and his mobile beer service station

Bond over beer 

Germany might have Oktoberfest, but San Diego has the CityBeat Festival of Beers. On Saturday, April 7, more than 40 breweries will take part in the fifth annual fete, and you’re invited to sip your way through unlimited one-ounce tasters of your favorite malts, ales, ciders and more.

Lee Chase, owner and brewer at Automatic Brewing Co., one of the breweries handing out beer this year, says he likes that the festival has a neighborhood vibe. It’s not on the outskirts of the city or in a big parking lot in the middle of nowhere. Chase says it’s a cool setting that, for many folks, is within walking or biking distance. He’ll bring his mobile beer station (a modified tricycle that uses a bike pump to pressurize the keg).

Happening in front of the Lafayette Hotel (2223 El Cajon Blvd.), the street becomes a party atmosphere for the 21-and-up crowd, with live music on the Bar Pink stage, a few sponsor booths and food. Los Angeles rock band Nico Vega, indie-electro band Hyena and soulful rockers The Heavy Guilt will perform as you hop from brewery to brewery. Tickets cover entry, beer and music, but food will cost you extra.

AleSmith, Ballast Point, Butcher’s Brewing, Firestone Walker, Hess, Karl Strauss, Mission and Monkey Paw are among this year’s breweries in the lineup. Often, the owners or head brewers will be onsite pouring the beer, ready to answer any questions. It’s a fun opportunity to see the bigwigs of the local beer scene all in one place.

“It’s really social,” Chase says. “San Diego has a really nice camaraderie between all the breweries.”

Part of the proceeds from the $35 tickets goes to the San Diego Music Foundation.

All finished

In the 1960s and ’70s, a minimalist art style emerged out of Los Angeles that many critics felt paid homage to classic California hot rods and surfboards, specifically their polished, brightly colored finish. It was called “Finish Fetish.” You can see beautiful examples of this art form at Susan Street Fine Art (200 North Cedros Ave. in Solana Beach) during the opening reception of Flawless Finish Fetish from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 5. Pieces by Lisa Bartleson, Casper Brindle, Alfred Harris, Miguel Osuna, ernest Requa and Kristina Quinones will be on display—check out the way these artists play with light, color and space. The exhibition will be on view through May 30.

Surreal songstress 

We couldn’t agree more with whoever wrote this little bit that’s posted on Jane Lui’s website: “Listening to singer-songwriter Jane Lui’s music is like watching a Michel Gondry film. There’s a whimsical, homemade feel that’s inventive, magical and intimate.” Indeed, CityBeat’s Justin Roberts described Lui’s 2010 release, Goodnight Company, as “cinematic”—full of dream-like sequences and narrative depth. A classically trained musician, Lui’s got a strong, soulful voice and puts on a mesmerizing performance. Catch her at 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, at the Museum of Making Music (5790 Armada Drive in Carlsbad). The show’s part of the museum’s Local Flavor Concert Series, which highlights emerging local artists. Your $10 ticket also gets you pizza from Flippin’ Pizza and beer from Stone Brewing.

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.