Preview: The 4th Annual Orange County Brew Ho Ho Holiday Ale Festival

Posted: December 1, 2015 in Beer, Events, Orange County
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The fourth annual Orange County Brew Ho Ho Holiday Ale Festival will take place at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim this Saturday afternoon. From the organizers behind this year’s biggest beer festival in Orange County, this holiday iteration of a popular event combines a beer fest with holiday shopping, as they also include a brewery merchandise expo within the venue area. Almost every brewery present will bring merchandise to sell, from clothing to beer glasses to accessories and more. A single admission of $55 per person allows all guests to sample unlimited beer pours from the 20+ breweries available, most of which will serve rare brews. To keep guests occupied between drinks, the venue provides a multitude of games, such as foosball, glorified Jenga, airsoft gun shooting, and more. In addition, guests will discover plenty of local vendors all with great holiday gifts.

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 pay one flat admission price and receive unlimited beer pours for the duration of the festival. The main highlight comes from the merchandise expo, where almost every brewery brings merchandise to sell, such as clothes, beer accessories, and other such souvenirs or trinkets. For the beer lover in their lives, attending this festival allows many guests to kill two birds with one stone by enjoying a day of drinking while getting some shopping done.

The organizers behind OC Brew Ho Ho usually get a collaboration beer devised in honor of this prestigious event. Last year, Valiant Brewing and Black Market Brewing joined forces to create Chernyy Medved, a potent 13.0% Russian Imperial Stout with cherries and vanilla. This year, Bottle Logic, Barley Forge, and Good Beer Co. have teamed up to generate this year’s collaboration beer, Glogg Glogg Glogg, an 8.5% abv dark winter ale.

In addition to the obligatory Santa Claus appearance, OC Brew Ho Ho always delivers top-notch music entertainment. The last two years featured legendary DJ Richard Blade delivering the best of 80’s hits all day. This year, Reel Big Fish will headline the music stage!

Since this beer fest has no limit to the amount of beer that any guest could drink during the allotted time, you may find yourself drinking far more beer than expected. Make sure you pace yourself and plan on what beers you want to taste – click here for a list of participating breweries.

The gates to the 4th Annual Orange County Brew Ho Ho Holiday Ale Festival open this Saturday morning at 11am, but beers do not pour until 12pm. Tickets cost $55 plus an online transaction fee, which you can bypass by buying a ticket at the door, if any remain by then. Admission includes a souvenir cup and unlimited beer tasters, plus access to the brewery merchandise expo. The beers will pour starting at 12pm and stop promptly at 4pm, but the merchandise booths will remain selling until 5pm. Guests can park for free at the venue’s self-parking lot, though guests may choose the valet side if desired. Expect to see over 50 different breweries represented here, and each of them should have merchandise for sale, which does not include beer to-go. Read up on some tips to ensure a smooth and pleasant experience at this year’s Brew Ho Ho:

  • REMEMBER to bring PHOTO ID! Amazingly, many guests think they can enter without showing it to the front security.
  • Absolutely nobody under 21 may enter the festival. Do not even think about bringing your kids or pets.
  • Basic toll-free directions: Get to the 57 freeway, exit Ball Road going east, turn right at the first road (S Phoenix Club Dr), then turn right at the second road (S Sanderson Ave). The parking lot will appear on your left after the actual Phoenix Club building.
  • Guests may park for free. Although anyone may ride a bike or walk to the venue, I suggest getting dropped off instead. Intoxicated guests may leave their cars at the venue if they find another means of getting home, and they will have until 9am the following day to reclaim their cars.
  • Food comes at a separate cost, so anyone wanting to eat should arrive with extra cash. Click here for a list of attending restaurants and food trucks.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the festival. All attendees receive FREE water on the premises.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather. Mother nature does unpredictable things, and while the forecast predicts sunny skies, no one will laugh when it starts to rain.
  • For prolonged drinking, start with lighter beers and work your way to stronger beers.
  • Try to hold on to your beer glass – guests receive no free replacement for lost or broken glasses. Extra glasses, if any remain, will cost $5.
  • All beers stop pouring at 4pm. An extra grace hour will allow guests time to sober up, find food, and/or shop at the vendors before leaving. Click here for a list of attending vendors in addition to the breweries.

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