Local Brews & Local Grooves at House of Blues Anaheim

Posted: June 3, 2014 in Beer, Events, Music, Orange County
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The popularity of craft beer has surged substantially over the past decade. The shift in the meta from mass-produced generic beers to quality small-batch beers has arisen from a broad spread of information and knowledge of the beer industry. Local microbreweries have done a fantastic job at not only producing full-flavored unique beers for the local community, but also at marketing their brand and creating their own identity that no one else can easily duplicate. It also helps that microbreweries almost always list the full set of ingredients that go into every brew, compared to the big companies that do not disclose the full list of ingredients until someone or some group snoops around. The ever-growing popularity of craft beer has reached many institutions and businesses of all sizes. From the smallest of dive bars to the major chain businesses found across the world, most places should now start to carry craft beers. To my surprise, I recently discovered a hefty selection of craft beer at the House of Blues in Anaheim.

Located in the heart of Downtown Disney, House of Blues represents a destination to many of Downtown Disney’s visitors, as opposed to simply a stop on the way to the amusement park. A combination of their restaurant, full bar, and concert hall makes them well-known to music lovers everywhere. As a major chain, most people would expect similarities in the food and drinks at every House of Blues location. For years, I never paid attention to the bar here, considering that they sell tall cans of PBR for $10. Until recently, I never expected to find craft beer here – fortunately, some of the local breweries that I visit regularly informed me of the craft beer selection at House of Blues. Doubtful, I decided to pay a visit to House of Blues to explore the beer selection, and to see if things had changed here since my last visit.

Last week, a regular event called Local Brews, Local Grooves took place at House of Blues in Anaheim. This event combines a show of local musicians with a small beer tasting. If I remember correctly, admission to the event costs $10, then once inside, attendees could either purchase a wristband for $15 that included five beer samples, or individual samples for $3 each. Only four breweries made an appearance to serve beer: Bootlegger’s, Valiant, Noble Ale, and Ballast Point. As I lingered around, I had a chance to speak with Thomas, one of the Food & Beverage Managers, about their new beer menu. Thomas informed me that they now carry an extensive bottle list full of craft beer, as well as a number of taps dedicated to craft beer. I did not actually see a beer menu, but this could potentially mean something to attendees of future shows here. Sadly, the House of Blues still carries a strict camera policy, and I got my photos just because I know people from the breweries.

As far as the local music went, all the music acts played mainly mellow music, like blues, jazz, or R&B.

The local punk rock scene may heavily criticize the House of Blues for their rules and general malice towards punk rock kids, but the House of Blues brings on music of all genres, and treats people based on the music, which explains the lack of punk rock shows there in the past few months. With this new change, we may start to see improvements in not only this House of Blues, but other locations across the nation.


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