The 2nd Annual Orange County Brew Ho Ho Holiday Ale Festival – Proof That Beer And Christmas Shopping Can Coexist

Posted: December 10, 2013 in Beer, Events, Food, Food Truck, Music, Orange County
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Ever find yourself shopping for Christmas gifts on cold, busy weekends and end up just wanting to get the heck out and go have a cold brew? Nobody can honestly admit to enjoying Christmas shopping, especially in cold/wet weather. In response to this, some fine folk created a winter event that combines Christmas shopping with the luxury of a craft beer fest. From the originators behind the locally famous Orange County Brew Ha Ha comes the 2nd Annual Orange County Brew Ho Ho Holiday Ale Festival, a holiday-themed beer festival with several unique spins. Taking place this past Saturday afternoon at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, following in the footsteps of its big brother, the OC Brew Ha Ha, craft beer lovers from all over journeyed to OC Brew Ho Ho for a festive day of drinking, shopping, dancing, eating, and more. In addition to the standard 30+ breweries in attendance serving various seasonal brews, attendees could enjoy a merchandise expo, where the breweries also served as vendors. So after receiving some beer to drink, any attendee could then purchase merchandise from the brewery, from apparel to drinking accessories and more.

Prior to the opening of the gates, the front area contained all of the early arrivals, and provided enough vendors to keep many of the guests occupied until the gates opened. Guests could find a handful of food options in this front area, plus a few vendors already set up. This front area also held a handful of games to entertain guests, such as glorified Jenga, bean-bag toss, and the venue’s airsoft rifle shooting range.

The wet and cold weather did not scare away any of the guests, as they all braved harsh winds and sideways rain just while waiting in line to enter the venue. The rain did not deter the few vendors and breweries that set up outside. In fact, some of the more popular breweries, such as Stone Brewing, Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, and Hangar 24 ended up serving outside to lines longer than the breweries inside the big top.

OC Brew Ho Ho receives its unique spin from its various features that set them apart from other typical beer fests. First off, all guests paid one standard admission and could receive unlimited beer pours for the duration of the festival. The main highlight comes from the merchandise expo, where almost every brewery brought merchandise to sell, such as clothes, beer accessories, and other souvenirs or trinkets. For the beer lover in their lives, attending this festival allowed many guests to kill two birds with one stone by enjoying a day of drinking while getting some shopping done.

Have you seen this year’s collaboration beer? Noble Ale Works and Beachwood Brewing joined forces to create this smooth, luscious, comforting beer with enough flavor and potency that even non-beer drinkers would like it. If you would like to give it a try, inquire about it at Noble Ale Works or at Beachwood BBQ/Brewing.

What would a beer fest do without some form of entertainment? As expected, Santa Claus made his appearance on-stage for photos with the guests. However, no one commanded a greater presence other than the legendary Richard Blade. This famous radio DJ rocked the house with a massive set full of 80’s hits that had everyone rocking away under the big top. In fact, I would say he received far more attention from the audience than Santa Claus did.

Props to Bad Pickle Tees for showing up to sell their apparel too, which always pleases visitors at any event they attend. They even made me a custom shirt ~ Thanks so much Bad Pickle Tees!

Since this beer fest had no limit to the amount of beer that any guest could drink during the allotted time, I found myself drinking far more beer than I expected to. I believe I set myself a new record for number of beers drank during a beer fest. Enough chit-chat for now – observe the long list of beers I sampled at this year’s OC Brew Ho Ho:

Click this link for a list of beers originally confirmed for this festival.

One may never find another beer festival quite like the OC Brew Ho Ho! It has everything a craft beer enthusiast can ask for, sans a little rain. For more events by the organizers, make sure to Like/Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news, such as ticket sale announcements and posts about other similar upcoming events. If you have yet to attend any of these events, I highly recommend going to one to indulge and immerse yourself in the culture of craft beer. You may learn something about beer that you may not have ever known!


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