My sister was married this summer at Retzlaff Vineyards, and the wedding took advantage of three things Livermore is fast becoming known for: the wine, beer and live music.

The wine was supplied by Retzlaff, the beer was supplied by Bryan Kelley and the bluegrass music was supplied by a Livermore band named Crawdad Republic.

First off, the wine, and the winery it comes from was first-rate. They are Livermore's only organic winery and the small-scale feel of the shady, grass covered reception area made the whole night feel like we were in some big backyard. The shade sheltered us from the high-90's heat blanketing the rest of Livermore. With the amount of alcohol our family and friends consumed, I think we would have been feeling good no matter what the weather was like. We were told by all of Retzlaff's staff members that we shattered the all-time record for beer consumption at a Retzlaff wedding. The funny thing is that we didn't compensate by slacking off on wine drinking either.

Bryan Kelley, my new brother-in-law, is the son of a brewer at North Coast Brewing Company, and he has recently taken up his father's craft as a hobby. He and his father brewed beer for the adults and root beer for the kids, and it was a major hit. Livermore's brewing culture is thriving right now with the recently opened Working Man Brewing Company and Altamont Brewing Company.

Livermore has long been known for its wineries, but with the growing number of brewers also, the one thing that goes good with wine and beer is live music. Enter Crawdad Republic, made up of Livermore's own Dave Haberman, Brandon Olivo, Jon Williams and Dusty Boyle. On top of playing bluegrass greats such as "Wagon Wheel," the band has a knack for reworking classic rock songs into bluegrass style. Now is the time to learn an instrument, Livermore residents.


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With all the nice eateries and bars looking for live music, and Tuesday Tunes and Friday Night Live going on each week downtown, bands like Crawdad Republic have plenty of opportunities to show what they can do. Anyone interested in hearing this band may visit www.crawdadrepublic.com or go see them live Aug. 29 at the Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort & Spa in Livermore or at Wente Vineyards on Aug. 31.

Contact Patrick Brown at pbrown@bayareanewsgroup.com.