Archive for July, 2016

The Vandals performing Ape Drape at Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare in Pomona, CA. Filmed on October 19, 2013.


Ponder this for a moment: a farm-raised animal that exists solely for its meat with no other by-products. I mean, chickens can produce eggs, and cows can produce milk. However, farmers raise pigs only to later harvest the meat, with no additional products. Just like other terrestrial meats, pigs produce various cuts of meat, most of which the general non-specific-diet populace absolutely love to consume. From ham to bacon to shoulder (pulled pork) to chops, pork has a great reputation among gastronomes or just about anyone who cooks. People generally do have an unexplainable fascination with bacon, a small strip of meat with no real substance, meant for use as a topping rather than an entrée. Does bacon truly make everything taste better? Bacon ice cream and other bacon desserts exist, but some purists prefer bacon as part of an entrée, something that you can find a lot of at Slater’s 50/50.

When it comes down to who can boast the most roast, Slater’s 50/50 takes the crown. A local legacy, Slater’s 50/50 has gained quite a reputation in Southern California for their signature 50/50 burger, which utilizes a burger patty consisting of 50% ground beef and 50% ground bacon. Following the raging success of this product, Slater’s 50/50 has since expanded to six locations (Lake Forest location has closed permanently) and vastly expanded their menu. While you can still order various styles of their 50/50 burger, including the popular build-your-own burger checklist, Slater’s 50/50 now offers a plethora of other entrées, such as their Porka~Cola Sandwich. As the name suggests, this sandwich contains pork and cola – Slater’ 50/50 braises pork shoulder in cola for a succulent texture and flavor, then places a heaping mound of it in a telera roll. BBQ-spiced bacon, coleslaw, dill pickles, and barbecue sauce accompany this juicy pork sandwich to yield an amazing version of the classic pulled pork sandwich.

Have you visited Slater’s 50/50 yet? Keep in mind that they do have a unique Burger-of-the-Month every month, and fittingly for July, they have the ‘Merica. To see what else Slater’s 50/50 has cooking up, check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

While breweries have existed in Orange County for decades, most people will say that the craft beer boom occurred within the last decade. Within that last decade, we have a few of, what I refer to as, today’s Orange County pioneers that helped kick off the craft beer boom, one of which includes The Bruery. Unlike many of the other breweries of its kind, The Bruery made their products a little different. I guess you could call them the Black Sheep of OC breweries, and I also compare them to Port/Lost Abbey of San Diego County because of how different the beers of Port/Los Abbey taste compared to the rest of the county. Instead of your standard ale styles, The Bruery likes to experiment and make creative unique flavors, including a lot of sour ales. For example, The Bruery makes a Thai Tea beer called Tai Kao that tastes like an alcoholic Thai Tea, something you do not find very often. However, experimenting with different styles, especially sour ales, could not occur side by side with regular brewing processes because of the potential for cross contamination. As a result, The Bruery needed a separate location for which they could run this different program without worry of interfering with regular brewing, and thus they now have Bruery Terreux.

Located a few miles east from The Bruery’s original spot, Bruery Terreux represents everything that they wanted to experiment with at the original location, but now at an isolated location without worry of ruining their regular ales. At Bruery Terreux, they do not like to call their products “sour beers” for the word sour has a negative connotation in the eyes & ears of normal consumers, so instead they refer to their products as wild ales. Long-time fans of The Bruery will find many of their old favorites here, along with an extended amount of variations of wild ales. The tasting room features an outdoor patio with an outdoor walk-up order counter, a tasting room with a rustic wooden theme, and a fridge for customers to take bottles home from. Customers can also get their usual growler fills here of the ales designated on the menu.

Fortunately, I received the gracious opportunity to tour the back area of Bruery Terreux to witness their operations up close. Virtually all products at Bruery Terreux spends time aging in wood – most age in wine barrels, while some age in the towering oak foeders, which hold thousands of gallons (pictured below). The Bruery brought on Jeremy to oversee operations here, as he has an extensive background in the wine industry. Along with all of the wood aging, Bruery Terreux also sports some of the traditional fermenters and brite tanks that regular breweries possess, and these range in volume from three barrels up to 90 barrels.

Interested to see and learn more about Bruery Terreux? They open everyday until 10pm, so swing on by to check them out. You can also preview what they have going on by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter. Also check out what The Bruery has coming up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Breaking new grounds by combining two unlikely worlds, the brazen crew behind the OC Brew Ha Ha will boldly step into the Orange County Fairgrounds to host the 3rd Annual OC Brew Hee Haw, a craft beer festival held within a local fair. This weekend-long beer tasting event takes place on the opening weekend of the 2016 OC Fair this weekend, and covers a large span of the weekend with four different beer tasting sessions that each last four hours. All attendees to the OC Brew Hee Haw receive UNLIMITED beer tasters, as well as admission to the fairgrounds for that day.

Historically, the OC Brew Ha Ha Productions crew has put on some of the most memorable beer festivals in Southern California. With this new festival that pairs them up with another large production group in the form of the OC Fair, expect some speed bumps to surface. Keep these tips in mind to make your visit a more pleasant experience:

  • Parking: Parking directly at the OC Fair costs $10 per vehicle, and subjects everyone to the madness of one-lane traffic in the lot. On weekends, a free parking lot with shuttle service exists not too far from the fair, so consider parking there.
  • Navigation: None of the fair staff knows anything about the Brew Hee Haw. Any attempt to ask about the event’s location would lead attendees in circles because the fair staff know how to do only their job and nothing else. Prepare to do a bit of exploring the fairgrounds to locate the Brew Hee Haw.
  • Restricted space: All prior Brew Ha Ha events had tons of space to move about in. This event restricts all guests to a lesser space. While this means guaranteed shade from the harsh sun, beer cannot leave the immediate premises.
  • Limited restrooms: Any beer fest must have ample access to restrooms. Brew Hee Haw guests can only use the fair’s restrooms, which have a consistently long line all day.
  • Food restrictions: Attendees cannot bring beer outside of the Brew Hee Haw area. This means that anyone wanting food has to finish their current cup of beer before leaving to go get food and bring it back.

If you cannot make it to Brew Hee Haw, fret not. The one that started them all, OC Brew Ha Ha, returns for its seventh installment on Saturday, September 24th, back at Oak Canyon Park in Irvine. Tickets have already gone on sale for $45 general admission or $60 for entry an hour earlier. All visitors gain access to UNLIMITED beer tastings for the duration of the event from over 90 breweries serving over 200 different beers & ciders. Expect to find plenty of food trucks, other food vendors, free soft drinks, merchandise booths, beer industry speakers, games, and more, which includes live music. To stay updated on news such as this and more from OC Brew Ha Ha, like the Facebook page and follow them on Twitter so you know what goes on in the realm of Orange County’s greatest beer festivals.

AleSmith’s 2nd Annual IPA Week
July 11-15
AleSmith Brewing, San Diego

In the past, AleSmith has celebrated IPA Day, which typically falls on the second Tuesday of July. This year, AleSmith will expand the celebration to a full week of specialty IPAs, educational seminars, and unique hoppy creations.

88 Fingers Louie: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 13, The Viper Room, West Hollywood
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 14, Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 15, Soda Bar, Normal Heights, San Diego

Punk band 88 Fingers Louie will headline three consecutive shows in Southern California this week. Each show has a different age limit and ticket price, so click on a show’s link for details.

13th Annual California Wine Festival
July 14-16
Multiple locations, Santa Barbara

This weekend, a variety of wine events will take place throughout Santa Barbara. Events vary in content and price, so click on the provided website for details about what to expect.

AVP Manhattan Beach Open
8:00 am – 6:00 pm, July 14-17
Manhattan Beach Pier, Manhattan Beach

Come watch some of the world’s top beach volleyball players compete this weekend in Manhattan Beach. Visitors of all ages may attend the matches for free, but seats come at a fee.

2016 Idea World Fitness Convention
12:00 pm – 6:30 pm, July 14-15
10:30 am – 6:30 pm, July 16
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles

Check out this FREE* all-ages fitness expo going this this week at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Numerous workshops, sessions, demos, and activities will go on all week outside of the expo hours (see the website for the full schedule), while over 300 exhibitors will occupy the expo hall to display their goods and/or services. Learn about the latest fitness trends, diet plans, health statuses, and more from the various speakers and coaches throughout the expo. Although visitors can receive free admission, visitors will still have to pay for parking, so have cash available for that.

* = Register yourself online to receive free admission to this expo. At the door, entry will cost $15.

Business & Beer @ Smog City Brewing
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, July 14
Smog City Brewing, Torrance

This monthly networking event for small business owners visits a South Bay brewery every second Thursday of the month. This month, they will hit up Smog City Brewing in Torrance. If you have involvement with a small business, love craft beer, or both, then stop by this Thursday night.

Long Beach Marathon Fun Run
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, July 14
The Pike, Long Beach

Run and socialize at this free fun run this Thursday evening that spans three to five miles of the full marathon’s course that goes through the CSULB campus.

Orange Coast Magazine’s Best Of 2016 Party
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm, July 14
Rancho Las Lomas, Silverado

$40 gets you in to this event with unlimited samples of food and drinks while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 14
Downtown Los Angeles

This free monthly event takes place over many blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. Many galleries will open late, and some parking lots will contain more art, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, and more. Unless you know business owners, free parking barely exists in Downtown LA, although some meters only operate until 8pm. First-time visitors should attend with someone who has gone here prior.

Beer Dinner with Beachwood BBQ & Brewing @ Haven Gastropub
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm, July 14
Haven Gastropub, Orange

For $65, you get a multi-course dinner with beer pairings this Thursday night at Haven Gastropub in Orange.

Poison Idea: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 14, The Garage, Ventura
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 15, The Yost Theater, Santa Ana
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 16, Brick By Brick, San Diego
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 17, The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood

Hardcore punk band Poison Idea will headline three shows in Southern California this week. Ticket prices and age limits differ between these shows, so click on a show’s link for details.

2016 Sun & Sea Festival
10:00 am – 12:00 am, July 15
7:00 am – 5:00 pm, July 16
Imperial Beach, San Diego

Have some fun in the sun this weekend at Imperial Beach in San Diego. All weekend, a plethora of activities will occur, each with its own cost and attendance restrictions, from sandcastle building to a pancake breakfast to a night ball. See the website for full details on all the events going on this weekend.

Hello Kitty Cafe Pop-Up – Irvine Appearance
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, July 15-17
Irvine Spectrum, Irvine

SoCal Hello Kitty fans will not want to miss this rare opportunity to experience the Hello Kitty Cafe. This weekend, visitors will enjoy macarons, minicakes, and other Hello Kitty treats not found anywhere else.

2016 Orange County Fair Opening Day
12:00 pm, July 15
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa

The OC Fair this year runs Wednesday through Sunday each week starting July 15 with the final day on August 14. The fairgrounds open 12pm until 12am on weekdays, and 10am to 12 am on weekends. For opening day, all guests receive FREE parking and enter the fair for FREE. Every year, a new fried food gets introduced, such as deep-fried Kool Aid or deep-fried butter. In previous years, they allowed guests to bring their own foods to get fried, and they will continue that tradition this year.

2016 Body Art Expo
2:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 15
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, July 16
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, July 17
Fairplex, Pomona

Check out this all-ages tattoo expo running all weekend at the Fairplex in Pomona. Hundreds of tattoo artists from across the nation will fly in this weekend to deliver their works of art onto willing bodies. The expo will also feature live tribute bands, freak shows, a beer garden, hot body contests, tattoo contests, plenty of merchandise vendors, and more. Attendees interested in receiving ink should book an appointment with an artist – walking up to the artist may result in nothing if the artist fills up his or her schedule early. One-day admission costs $20, while a 3-day admission costs $45. Children under 10 enter for free with a paid adult admission, but note that no vendor will provide a tattoo or piercing to children. Please bring cash for parking, which may range from $5 to $10.

2016 South Bay Greek Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 15
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 16-17
St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church, Redondo Beach

Celebrate life as the Greeks do at this Greek festival this weekend in Redondo Beach. This weekend-long all-ages festival celebrates Greek culture with food, drinks, desserts, live music, dancing, games, rides, and more. Admission to the fair costs $2, but print the flyer below to enter for free!

3rd Annual Orange County Brew Hee Haw
Four 4-hour sessions, July 15-17
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa

The OC Brew Ha Ha team returns with this weekend-long beer festival taking place at the Orange County Fairgrounds. Covering four 4-hour sessions throughout the weekend, this beer festival takes the concept of the locally famous Brew Ha Ha and steps it up by adding beer from breweries outside of the Southern California circuit, so expect to see some unfamiliar beers here. General admission costs $50 presale or $60 at the gate and lasts three hours, while VIP admission costs $65 presale or $75 at the gate and lasts four hours. All ticket-holders receive unlimited beer tasters plus a complimentary pass to the OC Fair for that day. A session will take place 6pm-10pm on Friday, 12-4pm and 6-10pm on Saturday, and 1-5pm on Sunday. No one under 21 may enter the Brew Hee Haw area, and can only stay out in the fairgrounds. However, guests may freely leave and enter between the Brew Hee Haw area and the fairgrounds. Parking at the OC Fair costs $10 cash per vehicle. On weekends, guests may park for free at select parking lots and ride a shuttle to the fairgrounds – consult the OC Fair website for details, linked above.

The Fall Of Troy: Live in Southern California
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 15, The Glass House, Pomona
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 16, Soma Sidestage, San Diego

Post-hardcore band The Fall Of Troy will headline two shows in Southern California this weekend. Tickets to these all-ages shows vary in price, so click on a show’s link for details.

Babymetal World Tour 2016 – Los Angeles
8:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 15
The Wiltern, Koreatown

International phenomenon Babymetal currently tours across the world, and that tour will swing through Southern California this Friday night. Tickets have long sold out, but you may still find after-market tickets on third-party websites.

Screeching Weasel: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 15, Brick By Brick, San Diego
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 16, The Observatory, Santa Ana

Punk band Screeching Weasel will headline two shows in Southern California this weekend. Ticket prices and age limits to these shows differ, so click on a show’s link for details.

The Dickies & The Queers: Live in Southern California
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 15, The Viper Room, West Hollywood
8:30 pm – 1:30 am, July 17, The Casbah, San Diego

Punk rock legends The Dickies and The Queers will headline these two shows in Southern California this weekend. Ticket prices to these shows vary in price, so click on a show’s link for prices. No one under 21 may enter any of these shows.

Swarm LA Scooter Rally
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 15
9:00 am – 12:00 am, July 16
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, July 17
Various locations, Los Angeles County

A weekend-long scooter ride will take place at various locations in Los Angeles. Bring your scooter, meet other scooter riders, and enjoy the ride.

3rd Annual Love Long Beach Festival
6:00 am – 7:00 pm, July 16-17
Granada Launch Ramp, Long Beach

This FREE and all-ages event will feature a plethora of family-fun things to do at the beach. Expect to find sports, games, arts & crafts, food, drinks, beer & wine garden, and more. On Saturday night, catch a fire show down on the beach as well.

68th Annual Catalina Ski Race
8:00 am – 3:00 pm, July 16
Hotel Maya, Long Beach

Over 70 water ski teams from around the world will race from The Queen Mary to Avalon and back this Saturday morning. Spanning a total of 62 miles round trip, this open sea race takes approximately one to two hours for most teams to complete, but the nature of the unpredictable ocean draws in the large audience that attends every year from around the world. The deadline to participate has already passed, but spectators may visit for free, so if you like what you see, bookmark this event for next year!

Junk In The Trunk Vintage Market
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, July 16-17
Liberty Station, San Diego

For $10 admission, gain entry to this all-ages vendor fair featuring countless vintage apparel, accessories, and other goods.

38th Annual Ho’olaule’a Hawaiian Festival
9:30 am – 5:00 pm, July 16-17
Alondra Park, Lawndale

This free and all-ages cultural fest at the park will feature various music and dance acts. Local vendors will sell food and merchandise too. Visitors must park in the parking structure facing Redondo Beach Blvd and enter the park’s back entrance.

2nd Annual Show & Shine Car Show
10:00 am – 4:00 pm, July 16
United Pacific Industries, Long Beach

Enjoy a free and all-ages car show this Saturday in Long Beach.

2nd Annual California Hot Sauce Expo
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, July 16-17
Rainbow Lagoon, Long Beach

Spice lovers rejoice! Torch your taste buds at this hot sauce tasting event this weekend at Rainbow Lagoon in Long Beach. General admission costs $10 and provides access to all the vendors sampling their hot sauces, but does not include food or drinks. A beer package costs $50 and includes five beverage tokens, a bottle of hot sauce, and a t-shirt. VIP admission costs $100 and provides access to a secluded VIP area.

$5 Food Festival – Orange County
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, July 16
Oak Canyon Park, Silverado

This Saturday afternoon, a multitude of mobile food vendors will set up in Silverado to sell $5 plates of food. General admission costs $5 and starts at 12pm. Early admission costs $10 and starts at 11am. VIP admission costs $40 and includes five drink tickets plus access to a VIP area.

OC Weekly’s Summer Fest 2016
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, July 16
Newport Dunes, Newport Beach

Come act merry and get drunk with other rich people at this fancy summer party this Saturday in Newport Beach. General admission costs $35 presale or $40 at the door, while VIP admission costs $65 presale or $70 at the door. Pay the admission, and you too can come get drunk and party with strangers that like to flaunt their status.

2nd Annual Orange County Citrus Festival
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, July 16
GardenWalk, Anaheim

This free and all-ages event will feature food, music, vendors, arts & crafts, entertainment, games, and more.

Guttermouth @ The World Famous Doll Hut
3:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 16
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim

Guttermouth releases a new single this Friday, and they will also headline a show at the Doll Hut in Anaheim this Saturday. The cover for this all-day show costs $20. No one under 21 may enter.

5th Annual Taste of Summer
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, July 16
The Victorian, Santa Monica

Mix and mingle with rich people at this luxurious tasting event in Santa Monica this Saturday evening. Admission costs $125 presale or $150 at the door. No one under 21 may attend.

50 Plus 5 Anniversary
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 16
Anaheim Brewery, Anaheim

Anaheim Brewery celebrates an anniversary this week, and to celebrate, they will have an anniversary ale for you to try, plus live music and a food vendor available all night. This event has no cover charge – simply show up, and enjoy a cold one or two.

Colorado Street Bridge Party
6:00 pm – 11:30 pm, July 16
Historic Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena

Celebrate the history of a really old bridge by partying on it this Saturday night. Catch a night of music, dancing, classic cars, arts & crafts, food, drinks, and more all on the bridge. Tickets to this event cost $18 presale or $20 at the gate.

Griffith Park Trail Relay Marathon & 8K
7:00 am – 1:00 pm, July 17
Griffith Park, Los Angeles

Participate as a team in a relay marathon, or run solo in an 8K this Sunday morning in Griffith Park. The 8K costs $49 to register for. To register for the relay marathon, please contact the organizer using the above link.

Tokyo Nebuta
3:00 pm – 5:30 pm, July 17
Avalon Hollywood, Hollywood

At this free and all-ages event, experience this popular Japanese cultural tradition complete with music, art, and other arts & crafts.

The internet has blessed the world as a wonderful tool of vast resources. Thanks to the advent of the internet, many of the ways of living of the 1990’s and earlier have had to adapt to this new platform. Much of television and movies have gone digital, including sites that offer subscription services to watch programs. Video gaming now utilizes an online account to keep track of games, and you can now download them in addition to buying a physical copy of the game. Social media has made networking, communicating, and sharing things a daily facet of life. With so much available on the internet, sometimes people lose track of the neat things you can find. While sites may try to bog you down with prices for services (such as Hulu), many others provide services for free. Read on for a brief list of free services available online that I consider worth checking out.

5. 3D Rendering with Blender

Create your own 3D figures for use in video games, movies, images, and more with Blender. Whether amateur or professional, Blender gives you a foundation for you to exhibit your creativity. Casual users may find it entertaining to create something and share via social media, while serious users will love this software to use in other media.

4. Develop a Game with Unreal Engine 4

Most video gamers have heard of Unreal Engine, a famous gaming engine that many of today’s popular games use. Due to the sandbox style of this engine, users can create just about anything with Unreal Engine. For example, I once saw a video of Super Mario 64 rendered with Unreal Engine, and I can say that it looks better than anything that Nintendo has put out to date.

3. Create Art with Krita

Artists will want to check out Krita, a great software for digital imaging. If you lack physical tools to create art with, or need a place to draft a work of art, Krita will provide you with what you need to complete the masterpiece you want to bring to life.

2. Produce Music with LMMS

Whether you DJ or make music for films or video games, LMMS has lots of features for your music-making needs. LMMS has a plethora of functions for creating music from scratch. Keep in mind that if you need something a bit more specialized, LMMS may not quite have that. However, LMMS covers almost all grounds of making music, and can certainly help you generate some inspirations for your next piece.

1. Learn a Language For Free with Duolingo

When we think about learning a new language, Rosetta Stone comes to mind. However, Rosetta Stone users will tell you about how badly it does its job. Luckily, many other programs have come out to help you learn a new language, including Duolingo. Available as an app for your smartphone, Duolingo keeps track of your language lessons so you never lose progress whether you use your computer for smartphone. If you missed a lesson, you can always go back. Knowing multiple languages can help you go far in life, so considering acquiring that second language with Duolingo.

The age of the domestic beer monopoly in the United States shrinks with each passing day. The beer industry around the world dominates the alcoholic beverage industry, as consumers drink 3,500 bottles of beer for every one glass of wine – that makes 8,000 times more beer consumed by the liter. Annually, consumers worldwide drink 189 billion liters of beer, but only 24 million liters of wine. While drinking habits may peak during certain times of the year such as holidays, the consumption of beverages remains fairly consistent and rarely makes huge changes in consumption from one day to the next. The changing seasons do have a great effect on the types and styles of beers consumed, as more people start to prefer light and portable beers. When pool or beach parties come to mind, canned beers logically make sense; after all, we would not want to risk broken glass in an environment where people walk around in their bare feet. To commemorate the start of summer, check out this special Cans Edition of craft beers to try this summer, all of which you can find at your local bottle/can shop in Southern California.

5. Epic Brewing‘s Brainless On Raspberries

Heading into the summer, we leave behind the flavors that we tend to want during cooler climates, which include “dark” flavors like chocolate or spices that traditionally warm us up. Now we want lighter, refreshing flavors, especially fruits. Regardless of the type of fruit, any fruit can help us cool down, and Epic Brewing has captured that perfectly with their Brainless series. While the Brainless series of Belgian ales comes in multiple flavors, the Brainless On Raspberries highlights the fruit flavoring the best. The raspberries version clocks in at 9.1%, a hefty ale with hints of raspberry and bubble gum aromas, while the raspberry fruit comes out very well yet does not inundate the palate. With such a bold taste, Brainless On Raspberries stands well on its own as a delightful treat to drink.

4. Anderson Valley Brewing Company‘s Briney Melon Gose

In the summertime, people crave sweet refreshing flavors. Most fruits provide this, but some come off as more refreshing than others, especially citrus and melons. Many breweries have started to use watermelons in their ales, including Anderson Valley Brewing Company. People typically associate watermelons with picnics and the outdoors, and Anderson Valley has captured that perfectly with their Briney Melon Gose. At only 4.2% abv, this gose boasts a thirst-quenching tartness balanced with watermelon flavors and aromas. The gentle addition of sea salt creates a harmonious blend of acidity and fruit sweetness that leads to a clean dry finish. Enjoy this brew the next time your find yourself lounging outdoors.

3. Victory Brewing Company‘s Cage Radler

When the weather warms up, we want something to refresh our bodies. Citrus flavors complete this task quite well, and Victory Brewing has a grasp on that. The summer weather can result in strange things, from absolute dry heat to monsoonal humidity to hail in the desert and lots of thunderstorms. Regardless of what mother nature throws at you, you can always enjoy a Cage Radler from Victory Brewing. This combination of a shandy and radler combines the freshness of lemonade with the crisp finish of a lager. The notes of lemonade, lemon zest, and grains will tickle your scent senses. At just 3.0% abv, Cage Radler will make you feel good in more ways than one.

2. Ska Brewing Company‘s Mexican Logger

Summertime usually means swimming pools, beaches, and outdoor grilling. Grilling usually reminds us of meats on the grill, such as steaks, barbecue, and carne asada. Mexican food goes great on the grill, and a nice cold lager pairs great with grilled meats as well, something that Ska Brewing has realized. No stranger to crossovers, Ska Brewing has a wide selection of brews coming out of their home in Colorado, and that selection includes their summer seasonal release, the Mexican Logger. As the name suggests, this Mexican-style lager has a pale yellow color along with aromas of pale grains and grassy hops. At 5.2% abv, the Mexican Logger goes down easy with its light body and nice flavor, making it a great beer to enjoy with your outdoor grill food.

1. Uinta Brewing Company‘s Sum’r Summer Ale

When you crave a drink in the summer time, you want something refreshing for your palate, something that will not inundate your senses. For a crisp, refreshing summertime ale, take a look at what Uinta Brewing has. Despite their location in a cold area, Uinta has a history of great beers and awards to prove it. They recently just put out their summer seasonal beer, Sum’r Summer Ale. This organic ale pours a nice golden body made with light malts and Sorachi hops, an uncommon hop from Japan. At only 4.0% abv, the clean citrusy flavor makes it a great ale to enjoy poolside or anywhere else out in the sun.

The hot summer days lends perfectly to grilling weather. As an American tradition, citizens officially start the grilling season on Memorial Day weekend, as that signifies many things. First off, on that weekend, Americans celebrate an important federal holiday to celebrate and honor the lives of those lost while serving for the United States Armed Forces. The weather starts to significantly heat up by this weekend, following the inconsistent weather of April and much of May. As a result of the warmer weather, Americans take advantage of a holiday weekend off of work until the next federal holiday, Independence Day, to gather some friends & family for a party involving grilling. When thinking about grilling for a group of people, what food exactly comes to mind? I guarantee that hot dogs and hamburgers top the list. The notion to purchase these items in bulk contributes to the misconception that these foods do not taste good. The phrase “You get what you pay for” has never applied as much as it does now, as most who purchase in bulk tend to pay low per individual unit. If you seek quality, you will have to drop extra money for it. Hot dogs tend to bear questionable ingredients, but true hamburgers still exist in this world. If you happen to find yourself in Southern California this summer, check out these five places to grab some of the best burgers you will ever have. One bite into these will change the way you look at hamburgers forever.

5. Holsteins Shakes & Buns‘ The Rising Sun

When you think about Las Vegas, what comes to mind? Gambling? Partying? The entertainment capital of the world? Sure enough, everyone who visits Las Vegas must always visit a buffet. Las Vegas houses some of the world’s top chefs, and everyone who travels to Las Vegas can recommend the food there. The popularity extends beyond Las Vegas, as many of the restaurants eventually open outside locations, such as Holsteins Shakes & Buns. Holsteins originated in the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, and has since then opened in Costa Mesa, and will soon open a third location in Portland, OR. The name of this restaurant refers to their fun burgers and adult shakes. While I have not decided how to review their adult shakes, I can attest to their burgers, especially the one they call The Rising Sun. This Asian-inspired Kobe beef burger comes with teriyaki glaze, nori furikake, crisp yam strings, spicy mayo, and a tempura-fried avocado half. You can get all of the glory of an Asian dish in your hands with The Rising Sun, and you can tantalize your taste buds with this burger for $15.50.

4. Great Maple‘s Montreal Spiced Grass Fed Beef Burger

When you start throwing a bunch of things together, you eventually end up with so much clutter that it defeats the original purpose of the base object. When you have something great, it may help to keep things simple as to allow others to enjoy something for its natural traits. Sure you can throw a bunch of ingredients at a burger, but once you flood it with ingredients, you may find yourself asking about where to find the beef inside the pile. For a great burger with minimal ingredients that allow you to appreciate the true burger patty, head to Great Maple. With multiple locations such as Torrance and Newport Beach, Great Maple delivers fine dining with familiar foods wherever they go. Great Maple does not try to show off new foods or things that people may not have heard of. Great Maple cooks foods that people have heard of, and they do a great job at that. Take, for example, their Montreal Spiced Grass Fed Beef Burger. For $15.95, this burger simply comes on a fresh bakery bun with lettuce tomato, onions, pickles, and aioli. However, this minimalist approach allows you to truly savor the nature of the beef. You can add other items on such as avocado or cheese for an additional cost, but do not overwhelm this burger – you want to savor this meat for as long as you can.

3. Seoul Sausage Downtown‘s The Only Kalbi Burger

Today’s society truly loves the idea of fusions. The old days of traditional things that stick to one culture have long passed, and while some people prefer the purist route of keeping things the way they have always remained, many like to see change. While we can always enjoy a carne asada burrito, some may prefer to try a short rib burrito. Many may like a pepperoni pizza, while some may like a bánh mì pizza. Typically people want a ground beef burger, but the folks over at Seoul Sausage have done something different. Seoul Sausage boasts two locations, but this post will focus on their second location in Downtown LA. Each location has a slightly different menu, and the downtown location exclusively carries The Only Kalbi Burger. While this burger still uses a beef patty, they marinate the beef in Korean marinade to give it a sweet, juicy flavor. To accompany this marinated burger, it comes with garlic jalapeño aioli, pickled onions, and a fried egg. This burger comes a la carte for $12. If you have yet to try a fusion burger, make sure you make your way over to Seoul Sausage in Downtown LA to try this.

2. GD Bro Burger‘s Juan & Only

When opening a business, every entrepreneur has an eventual dream or goal. However, no one can immediately jump straight to the top without some stroke of amazing luck. It takes effort to climb up the ladder of success to arrive at the destination. For aspiring restaurateurs with a low starting budget, it makes sense to start with a food truck to gauge success. Those gourmet food trucks that gain great popularity can make the jump to a brick & mortar restaurant, something that many have already done such as GD Bro Burger. I never knew what this name stood for, so I always colloquially called them Goddamn Bro, because their burgers may make you exclaim that. They started out as a gourmet food truck churning out stuffed burgers, meaning something inside the burger patty, usually cheese or some sauce or spread. In their Juan & Only burger, GD Bro Burger stuffs a beef patty with jalapeño cream cheese, then tops it with pico de gallo, chipotlé mayo, and a sliced avocado. This comes on your choice of a regular hamburger bun or their special raspberry bun, the latter of which I highly recommend for a more unique experience. Spice up your day or night with this burger for just $8.95 at both their Santa Ana and Signal Hill locations.

1. West 4th & Jane‘s NY Burger

Some places have immense popularity due to famous people preferring that place. Media outlets such as the Food Network, Travel Channel, and Discovery Channel have all paved the way for local restaurants to gain notoriety with their television personalities visiting places and giving those places a huge exposure. However, while many of these places succeed well following the airing of the program, some may tank because they could not handle the pressure. Luckily with West 4th & Jane, we do not have the latter problem. Social media has made West 4th & Jane a legend, as many tech professionals love this place so much that checking in to this restaurant results in something unique compared to normally checking in at most other places. Aside from their top-shelf beverage selection, West 4th & Jane offers some food that you simply cannot find anywhere else. For example, while their NY Burger may resemble a typical restaurant burger, it certainly will not taste like any other burger. The NY Burger uses a half-pound meat patty consisting of a 50/50 blend of grass-fed bison and beef. This gets topped with smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, shredded kale & romaine blend, sliced tomatoes, and smokey barbecue sauce. At just $14, you can get a taste of how they do things in New York. Pair this with one of West 4th & Jane’s signature beverages or a nice cold craft beer, and you will understand why West 4th & Jane has the reputation it has.

During the past holiday weekend, I got to spend some time in Las Vegas. While dodging the heavily crowded Las Vegas Strip, I managed to check out a handful of breweries around town. Breweries in Clark County tend to have a few things in common that make them stand out from the Southern Californian breweries that I have gotten used to. For the most part, the beers cost significantly less, with a few of the breweries charging less than a dollar per brew in a sampler flight. Some of the employees mentioned that the gambling and gaming helps them keep costs down. Also, most of the breweries operate as brewpubs, featuring a restaurant side with a full menu (as opposed to a lighter menu that has only appetizers and/or snacks). Many breweries also feature guest brews (beers made by other breweries), something that not many breweries in Southern California do, if at all. I had not visited Las Vegas since early 2014, and back then I only knew about Tenaya Creek Brewery (who had since moved from northwest Las Vegas to closer to downtown) and Sin City Brewing, the latter of which has a stronger hold on the beers poured along the strip. Since my last visit, I have looked up many more breweries to check out, so I made it a mission to visit as many of them as possible. A quick weekend did not provide enough time for me to get to all of them, so for those breweries that I missed, I will save them for a future visit.

I first visited Big Dog’s Brewing Company in Northwest Las Vegas. Walking in reminded me of the local watering hole that the locals love. I did not get any sense of craft beer enthusiasts here – I only encountered locals who simply love this place for everything it offers. Operating as a brewpub, Big Dog’s has a full menu, televisions, a full bar, video poker, a full bar, and they remain open 24/7. They provided me with a 5-beer sampler flight for $8. While off the beaten path, any craft beer fan will surely want to check out Big Dog’s Brewing Company.

I cruised down highway 95 to arrive at Chicago Brewing Company, another brewpub that remains open 24/7. The name confuses me and many others, but their brews sure do not confuse. Once inside, this place looks like a standard family restaurant. You walk in, see the host stand, and the dining area resides to your right. By entering the glass double doors to the left, you arrive at the bar area that has televisions and video poker. For those on a budget, you will want to check out what Chicago Brewing has to offer, as I received a 10-beer flight for only $9. The flight included their six house drafts, three seasonal brews, and a special cilantro-lime ale from the featured kegerator. As a bonus, I met the head brewer of Big Dog’s Brewing, Dave, here while he visited with his family. I got to chat with him for a bit and learn more about craft beer in Clark County.

Completing my crawl of westside, I end my afternoon at Old School Brewing Company, a brewpub that only opens for a handful of hours each day. Old School Brewing has their restaurant dining area to the right when you enter, and the bar area to the left. Unlike the previous two stops, I did not witness any video poker machines. Here at Old School Brewing, I got to sample four brews for $5. With such a small flight and not much to do or see here, I found myself finishing up quite fast.

I took a break until the evening, where I ended up heading towards the downtown area to find myself at Hop Nuts Brewing. Located in the Arts District between the Las Vegas Strip and downtown, this spacey brewery has a handful of their own brews on tap plus other guest brews. Hop Nuts does not have any gaming machines here, but looks more like that local dive bar that you take your friends to. They have a front patio for you to enjoy your brews and/or a smoke, and they have televisions and dart boards inside. I did not see any food, so I can wager that they do not serve food here. Thus at Hop Nuts Brewing, you get an actual brewery behind the bar that also serves spirits. I wanted to check out the other breweries around downtown, but for a night on a holiday weekend, I had no intention of driving around crowded streets and busy pedestrian areas.

The next day, I trekked out past Henderson to land at Boulder City where I found Boulder Dam Brewing Company. As the only brewery on the way to Hoover Dam from the Las Vegas metropolitan area, locals have made this place one of the premier watering holes of Boulder City. Small town charm pays off here, as everyone appeared to know each other and treated each other like family. You will not find any gaming machines here – you have a family-friendly family-owned brewpub serving up local brews and comfort food. While I may not speak of the beers here, I can highly recommend stopping by this place for the local legacy that this brewery has created.

For the last brewery I would visit this weekend, I end at Lovelady Brewing Company. Finally, I find an actual standalone brewery with no bells or whistles. Lovelady does not serve food, nor do they have gaming machines. Yes, Lovelady gives you just the microbrewery experience and nothing more, and sometimes, you need nothing more. Lovelady Brewing opened just three months ago, and has built up quite a name for themselves with their magnificently balanced brews. You can created your own sampler flight here, as you pay $2 for each sampler. As a bonus, the gentlemen here gave us a free tour of the brewing area in the back, showing up their (2-row) malt silo, kettle, sparge, and fermenters, among other things such as their walk-in cooler and keg storage area. I can honestly say that Lovelady Brewing had the best beers I drank all weekend, and I highly recommend that you check out Lovelady Brewing the next time you visit Las Vegas.

During this weekend trip, I missed Banger Brewing, Triple 7, and the new Tenaya Creek location in downtown, and CraftHaus Brewery, Bad Beat Brewing, and Barley’s in Henderson. I know that a few breweries exist near the strip, but I will likely avoid those as I do not want to put up with crowds and driving there unless I visit early enough in the day to avoid most traffic. Still, I like to see that the craft beer business has picked up in Las Vegas, a touristy place where big brands dominate over local business. I hope to visit Las Vegas again soon to complete the microbrewery circuit.

Independence Day
July 4
United States

Plenty of holiday events will take place this weekend, so check with your local favorite hangout spot to see if they have anything going on. Have a FUN and SAFE holiday weekend.

Surf City Run 5K
6:00 am – 11:00 am, July 4
Worthy Park, Huntington Beach

Participate in a community 5k run this 4th of July morning, followed by a festive parade. Registration for the 5k costs $40.

4th of July Picnic Dinner
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, July 4
Maritime Museum, San Diego

Enjoy a seaside dinner along with fireworks this Independence Day in San Diego. Admission costs $35 for adults or $18 for children.

13th Anniversary 4th of July Luau
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 4
Pizza Port, San Clemente

Pizza Port will have a free and all-ages festive celebration on their rooftop this 4th of July evening.

Poison The Well: Live in Southern California
7:30 pm – 12:30 am, July 7, The Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 8, Glass House, Pomona
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 9, Chain Reaction, Anaheim

Hardcore band Poison The Well will headline three shows in Southern California this week. Tickets to these all-ages shows vary in price, so click on a show’s link for price details.

2016 Woogie Weekend
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 8
10:00 am – 11:00 pm, July 9
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, July 10
Oak Canyon Park, Silverado

Basically, Lightning In A Bottle returns as a music event. If I could pick one word to describe Lightning In A Bottle, I would pick hippie. This spinoff of Lightning In A Bottle mainly involves the music of the iconic festival, though it will still have the yoga, dance, art, and other activities associated with Lightning In A Bottle. Expect to encounter thousands of people with a hippie mindset, like Woodstock but more controlled. Ticket prices vary depending on the mode of attendance, and they offer a presale discount, so check the prices on their site, and if you like what you see, purchase a ticket online to save some green.

7th Annual Los Angeles Food Fest
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 8
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, July 9
11:00 am – 8:00 pm, July 10
Exposition Park, Los Angeles

Experience the best of Los Angeles eats at the LA Food Fest. This weekend-long festival consists of a multitude of various events, from a brunch to a grand tasting to a party and more. Admission to all of these events will vary, and they now offer separate packages, such as an all-you-can-eat package or just admission for those that want to pay for only what they intend to eat.

Mad Caddies: Live in Santa Ana
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 8
The Observatory, Santa Ana

The Mad Caddies will headline an all-ages show in Santa Ana this Friday night. Tickets to this show cost $5.

2016 Rental Car Rally – Los Angeles
9:00 pm – 3:00 pm, July 8
Location TBA, Los Angeles

What do you get when you mix Halloween with Mario Kart? You get the Rental Car Rally! This race abandons all conventional means by pitting themed teams against each other as they drive from point A to point B overnight. Instead of which team arrives first, winners reach the destination with the fewest miles traveled while hitting every single checkpoint along the way. Along the way, teams may attempt to interfere with other teams, using methods such as water balloons, water guns, powdered balloons, and other wacky ways that you would normally see in a video game. Words cannot accurately describe the mayhem behind a Rental Car Rally. To understand this, one must commit to competing in this wacky ride.

12th Annual Switchfoot Bro-Am
7:00 am – 5:00 pm, July 9
Moonlight State Beach, Encinitas

This free and all-ages event in Encinitas involves surfing, loud rock music, booze, and a whole lot of bros.

2016 Reptile Super Show
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, July 9
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, July 10
San Diego Concourse, Downtown San Diego

Check out all things reptiles and amphibians at this weekend expo in Downtown San Diego. Open to all ages, attendees will find reptiles, amphibians, turtles, supplies, cages, lights, supplements, educational workshops, and more. Admission costs $14 for adults and $9 for children 12 and under – check the website for a printable coupon good for $1 off admission.

Latin Salsa Festival
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, July 9-10
Pershing Square, Los Angeles

Spice lovers rejoice! Torch your taste buds at this free spice event this weekend at Pershing Square in Downtown LA. Free to attend for all ages, guests will find plenty of food vendors with spicy foods, along with plenty of Latin inspired entertainment.

2016 Sri Lanka Day
10:00 am – 11:00 pm, July 9
Paseo Colorado, Pasadena

Immerse yourself in Sri Lankan culture this Saturday in Pasadena. Visitors will find Sri Lankan food, music, entertainment, arts & crafts, vendors, exhibits, and more. The website does not mention anything about admission, so make sure you have cash available just in case.

Beachwood Brewing 5th Anniversary Celebration
10:30 am – 12:00 am, July 9
Beachwood Brewing, Downtown Long Beach

Celebrate Beachwood Brewing’s fifth anniversary at their restaurant/brewery in Downtown Long Beach this Saturday. Free to attend, expect to find rare beers on tap, as well as a handful of guest breweries and their brews. Beachwood BBQ will also serve up some food specials unique only for this glorious day. Guests can park for free for up to three hours with validation in the parking structure in the alley behind the restaurant.

Renegade Craft Fair
11:00 am – 6:00 pm, July 9-10
Grand Park, Los Angeles

This free and all-ages fair at Grand Park will have arts, crafts, music, foodtrucks, drinks, and more. Come see the alternative side of arts & crafts this weekend.

BeautyCon LA
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, July 9
Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles

See all things beauty, fashion, cosmetics, and more at this one-day event in Los Angeles this Saturday. General admission costs $41 and grants you access to the entire show floor full of vendors, services, workshops, speakers, demos, and more.

36th Annual Los Angeles Lotus Festival
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, July 9-10
Echo Park Lake, Echo Park

Enjoy a free and all-ages event this weekend that celebrates Asian culture with food, music, dance, and a variety of other entertainment.

Garagiste Wine Festival: Urban Exposure
1:00 pm – 6:00 pm, July 9
The Wiltern, Koreatown, Los Angeles

Wine lovers will not want to miss this wine event taking place this Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles. Regular admission costs $69 and starts at 3pm. Early admission costs $99 and starts at 2pm. VIP admission costs $129, starts at 1pm, and includes backstage access plus seminars. All attendees receive unlimited food and wine samples while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

2nd Annual Crafts & Cranks Brew Festival & Bike Race
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, July 9
Snow Summit, Big Bear Lake

A bike ride and beer festival collide at Big Bear Lake this Saturday. Ride the trails of Snow Summit’s Bike Park, or enjoy an afternoon of brews, or both. Admission costs $25 for adults or $20 for minors. Note that while minors may attend because of the bike race, they may not have any alcohol.

Pairing Is Caring III
3:00 pm – 7:00 pm, July 9
LA River Studios, Los Angeles

Enjoy an evening of food, beer, and wine in Los Angeles this Saturday. General admission costs $65 and starts at 3:30, while VIP admission costs $100, starts at 3pm, and includes access to a VIP lounge. All attendees receive unlimited food, beer, and wine while supplies last. No one under 21 may attend.

Twisted At The Pike
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 9
The Pike, Long Beach

Immerse yourself into the world of weird this Saturday night in Long Beach. Free to attend for all ages, this twisted carnival has live music, dance, magic performers, a beer garden hosted by Auld Dubliner, local food vendors, and more.

Night Nation Run – Los Angeles
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 9
Fairplex, Pomona

People always seem to want to find any way possible to make running less boring. Introducing Night Nation Run, a glow run that now involves EDM. Run a course complete with lights, glow sticks, lasers, EDM, and more. Registration costs $30 presale or $60 once presale registration runs out, and includes a t-shirt, a glow necklace, a goodie bag, and access to the after-party with more EDM.

The Defects: Live in Southern California
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 9, Union Nightclub, Los Angeles
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 10, Clash City Station, Riverside

A punk band from Ireland will perform in Southern California for the first time this weekend. Tickets to these all-ages show vary in price, so click on a show’s link for details.

The Color Run 5k – San Diego
7:00 am – 1:00 pm, July 10
Waterfront Park, San Diego

The color run that started it all returns to San Diego this Sunday morning. This fun run takes the racing out of a 5k or 10k, and places participants in a running course where they will get showered with bright colors. All runners should wear white for this run, as they run through the course and absorb all the colors flying through the air. Registration for this color run costs $50 per solo participant, or $45 per person if registering as a team of four or more. Waves of runners will start at 9am and launch every few minutes following that for up to two hours, so do not fret about getting there on time.

German Heritage Day
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, July 10
Old World Village, Huntington Beach

Do you love Oktoberfest? Show off your German pride at this FREE and all-ages celebration this Sunday afternoon at Old World Village in Huntington Beach. Enjoy German food, music, arts & crafts, and more. The first 500 guests receive a FREE meal, so act quick!

Midtown Night Market
4:00 pm – 8:00 pm, July 10
MacArthur Park, Long Beach

The popularity of night markets has surged within the past year. This Sunday, Long Beach gets their very own night market, complete with free admission. Come to this all-ages outdoor fair and check out all the food, drinks, desserts, merchandise, live entertainment, and more. Expect heavy traffic approaching this area, so plan your commute accordingly.