Despite No Seasonal Brews, People Love the So Cal Winter Brew Fest

Posted: January 26, 2016 in Beer, Events, Orange County
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The So Cal Winter Brew Fest returned this past Saturday for their third go at a beer tasting event. Following up from two beer festivals in Anaheim last year in June and August, this beer fest returned to the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, the site of the first So Cal Brew Fest, and featured over 30 breweries all pouring a couple of their refreshing brews. In addition to just beer, this festival also featured a few cideries and wineries for those who prefer that sort of thing. Operating much like their beer fest at Phoenix Club last year, the flat admission allowed attendees unlimited beer samples while supplies lasted. Attendees could find breweries set up both outside and under the big top, but whoever handled the music perhaps turned the volume up way too loud inside, so most people opted to remain outside. Aside from all the beer and live music, attendees found plenty of food trucks serving up yummy goodies, as well as games such as Jenga and cornhole.

For a weekend with plenty other beer festivals taking place, this event saw some fierce competition in attracting craft beer fans. It did appear that many local craft beer fans chose this festival over others, as the other festivals did require a long drive. In fact, some would even say that the organizer underestimated how many people would attend. As one of the major flops of the festival, they handled the entrance line poorly. Volunteers and security did not start checking ID’s and tickets until right at 12pm, leaving hundreds furious waiting in line to get in. People that arrived right at 12pm would not get in until an hour later. With the setup of the beer festival, they could have easily established the check-in at the venue’s outer gate, then have security hold everyone at the inner gate until 12pm hit. This way, those that arrived early could simply wait for security to open the gate, while those arriving right on time could still check in without having to wait in a long line. As for one more flop, by halfway through the beer festival, at least three breweries had ran out of beer already. Perhaps the breweries underestimated how many people would attend this festival? Regardless, this did not daunt the attendees, as they still had plenty of fun at this event, and they look like they want more.

A small beer fest that faced low attendance has grown to turn into a local favorite. I do expect the So Cal Brew Fest to return again next year, hopefully rectifying any mistakes after three festivals by now. Who knows what else the organizers have in store for their upcoming festivals this year? Keep an eye out for things to come from So Cal Brew Fest by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter. If going by their plan from last year, they should have two more festivals. I do not work for the organizer, so I cannot say for certain what and when their next beer festivals will take place.

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