Just in case locals needed another excuse to hang out in the sun and pop a cold one, the fourth annual Santa Barbara Beer Festival will be serving up beer, live music and food this Saturday in Elings Park.

Hosted by the Santa Barbara Rugby Association, the beer fest will last from noon to 4 p.m., giving attendant lager-lovers four hours of unlimited beer tasting at a fee of $35. Tickets bought in advance are discounted, costing $30. A wide range of beers, including many from local breweries, will be featured at the event.

Chad Barron, a member of SBRA who graduated from UCSB in 2002, said he is looking forward to this year’s event, as it is the first time the SBRA will host the festival.

“This year is going to be a little bit bigger and a little bit better,” Barron said. “There are going to be more breweries so that’s always good at a beer festival.”

In addition to the beer, Barron said he thinks people come back to this event year after year because it has a fun and relaxing atmosphere, where it’s easy to meet new people and spend time with friends.

As for the main attraction — the beer — there will be plenty of it, Barron said. There are about 25 different breweries scheduled to be at the event, many of them local. Each brewer will be bringing between one and three different brews, totaling approximately 50 in all.

“As long as you love beer,” Barron said, “this is a good place for you.”

Proceeds from this annual event will help support Elings Park and the Santa Barbara Rugby Association.

Responsibility is highly encouraged — all designated drivers get in free. This is, of course, a 21 and over event.

For more information, visit the Santa Barbara Beer Festival Web site at www.sbbeerfestival.com.