Hammers 'N Ales ~ May 12, 2016 @ M.Special, Goleta

Good Vibes Only

An event featuring local live music, local craft beer, local food trucks, that is also family friendly – all to support a local non-profit. What’s a Santa Barbarian not to love?

The inaugural Hammer N’ Ales event hosted at M.Special Brewery to benefit Habitat for Humanity was a success, drawing a huge crowd to the Goleta parking lot the two organizations share. An UCSB alumni always one to do his part, the event also featured musical acts off Jack Johnson’s record label, Brushfire Records. New Noise Foundation was brought in to assist with the event towards the ends, bringing a bit of expertise to event and stage management. “This event has all the things New Noise Foundation loves – it’s local and benefits a non-profit,” according to New Noise’s Jeff Theimer. “The motto here is good vibes only.” 

Made open to kids of all ages complete with a kids’ play area and bouncy house, it allowed parents to get out of the house to enjoy a brew and a show with the kids. “There is no judgement here,” stated Veronica, one of many mothers with a youngster strapped to their body with a brew in hand. But unlike many festivals, the brew selection was not limited to a select few. M.Special was pouring all their great brews: American Lager, Farmhouse Saison, Pablo Ale, Lazy Eye Special Double IPA, and the Greatland IPA is just a short list. It was a toss-up as to which was the bigger hit: the craft brew or the music. Both the brewery and the dance floor were packed.

The day of music featured Adam Phillips, Jessie Bridges,
Soul Majestic, Matt Costa, and Animal Liberation Orchestra, better known as ALO. People definitely came to dance.  When local reggae sensation Soul Majestic took the stage, the crowd started grooving as the sun came out and more people arrived. The band kept the energy high as Dan Leibowitz joined in the near hour long set. True to the claim of “family friendly,” kids with painted faces threw beach balls from the stage into the dancing audience while singing with the band. 

Matt Costa provided a mellow vibe as he played new material acoustically with a lone cellist. By this time the place was packed although people still could easily maneuver from the stage to the brews to the food. The brewery staff was on point, remaining fun and enthusiastic throughout the busy event. This was definitely a well-organized and well-staffed event.

As it came closer to the end of the event, the main event hit
the stage. Santa Barbara locals ALO hit the stage and instantly got the crowd jamming again – this time at full capacity. In honor of the beneficiaries, lead singer and pianist Zach Gill came out in a hard hat, nicely reminding the audience of the reason for the party, and then quickly tour it up! Knowing that they are playing for “their people,” the band held nothing back playing all the (my) favorites. It was barely noticeable that this was the middle of the day and not one of their late night jam session.

 A true family friendly event, it ended at 7pm – just in time for the youngsters and tired ol’ folks such as myself to get home at a reasonable time. A great show, some great brews, and home by 8pm. There were definitely good vibes only created here.