Beer Garden brings neighbors, ‘Cheers’ to Larchmont

| December 1, 2022 | 0 Comments

FAMILY FAIR additions in 2022 included a Beer Garden patronized by many neighbors.

For years, the Larchmont Family Fair (LFF) has been a source of merriment for children of all ages. However, with most of our time there spent wrangling toddlers in ride lines, some of us may disagree with the “merriment for all ages” sentiment.

However, for adults (weary parents included), the 2022 LFF was different. For the first time, a beer garden, where the 21-plus crowd could relax and mingle, was featured. With M. Special beer on tap and proceeds directed to the Larchmont Boulevard Association (LBA), all on Oct. 30 actually had fun.

Betsy Malloy, longtime Larchmont real estate agent and LFF organizer, told us about the impetus for, and coordination of, the beer garden this year.

“I’ve suggested a beer garden for a while, and I think the timing was finally right for it,” shared Malloy. “This year was the Fair’s comeback (from the pandemic), and I think the [LBA] board knew we had to make it extra special.”

Malloy’s sons, Brendan and Emmet Malloy, who are involved with Goleta brewery M. Special, were instrumental in acquiring the six kegs of beer (roughly 165 servings each) to provision the garden. They featured a citrus-y pale ale, a hoppy IPA and more (including wine they procured for the event).

LBA president John Winther, who worked on securing the required government permits, said of this grown-up addition to the Family Fair: “The beer garden gave a place for the adults to mingle with their neighbors and acquaintances, and it was always crowded. No planning was necessary to meet people — just show up. This felt like a familiar neighborhood gathering spot, with everyone welcome.”

This reporter was lucky to be able to experience the beer garden for herself (after purchasing enough snow cones and ride tickets to keep my 9- and 11-year-olds busy). I sipped on M. Special’s IPA offering while chatting with friends from the neighborhood who, unfortunately, I don’t see on Third Street Elementary School drop-off or pick-up runs anymore. I also bumped into friends from my kids’ early days at the Plymouth School and from their new school, Larchmont Charter. It was great to catch up with all of these folks from each stage of our family’s rooting in the Hancock Park area.

When I spoke with Malloy about her time at the Fair, she shared that it “felt like a reunion.” She also indicated that there is great interest for future neighborhood fundraisers featuring a beer garden.

Although I wanted to speak with Brendan Malloy, who put a lot of volunteer effort into the event (not the least of which included hauling kegs), he — as a TV and movie director — was away “on location.” However, his mother did recall him saying, “It was the best party no one had to throw.”

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Category: Entertainment

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