Following up on a great first run back in June, the So Cal Brew Fest returned this past Saturday for their second go at a beer tasting event. This beer fest took place at the Farmers Park in Anaheim near the Anaheim Packing House and featured 17 breweries all pouring a couple of their refreshing brews. The admission into this beer fest included unlimited beer tasters and unlimited food samples from the few food vendors present. While the original admission cost of $50 seemed higher than most other beer festivals in Southern California, the unlimited food helped to offset that cost. This event saw primarily Southern Californian breweries with the sole exception of Anderson Valley, plus a few food vendors: Umami Burger, Brandy’s Sweet Temptations, Bronx Sandwich Co., and Urbana Anaheim. Along with all the beer and food available, attendees got to enjoy some field games like Bocce Ball, beanbag toss, and Jenga, as well as a live DJ. As attendance did not surpass a few hundred, attendees had lots of free range here, with plenty of space to move about, and never having to wait for any food or beer.
For a weekend with plenty other beer festivals taking place, this event saw some fierce competition in attracting craft beer fans. The initial price tag of the event may have put some people off. At $50 and only 17 breweries, this comes nowhere close to the big festivals such as OC Brew Ha Ha coming in less than two weeks from now, who has over 90 breweries, costs only $45, and lasts five hours. Once people realized that admission included unlimited food, suddenly the price feels reasonable. The organizers certainly could have done with more content, such as more breweries and more food vendors. Ideally, at least 20 breweries and at least six food vendors could justify the price tag. On a side note, vegetarians/vegans could not enjoy any of the food present at this event, but hey- they chose that life.
A small beer fest faced low attendance, to nobody’s surprise. I do expect the So Cal Brew Fest to return again next year, hopefully rectifying any beginner’s mistakes. The organizers could certainly use a lot more breweries and food vendors, as that would justify the price if attendees know that they also get food included with admission. As for attendance, I have no clue why so few people attended this event. As a result, the breweries had beer available until the end, and the food vendors did not run out of food. The organizers could kick up the marketing to attract more attendees as well. Promo codes help, such as my onepunkarmy promo code that cut 20% off admission. Keep an eye out for things to come from So Cal Brew Fest by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.