Posts Tagged ‘Bad Pickle Tees’

Ever find yourself shopping for Christmas gifts on cold, busy weekends and end up just wanting to get the heck out and go have a cold brew? Nobody can honestly admit to enjoying Christmas shopping, especially in cold/wet weather. In response to this, some fine folk created a winter event that combines Christmas shopping with the luxury of a craft beer fest. From the originators behind the locally famous Orange County Brew Ha Ha comes the 2nd Annual Orange County Brew Ho Ho Holiday Ale Festival, a holiday-themed beer festival with several unique spins. Taking place this past Saturday afternoon at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim, following in the footsteps of its big brother, the OC Brew Ha Ha, craft beer lovers from all over journeyed to OC Brew Ho Ho for a festive day of drinking, shopping, dancing, eating, and more. In addition to the standard 30+ breweries in attendance serving various seasonal brews, attendees could enjoy a merchandise expo, where the breweries also served as vendors. So after receiving some beer to drink, any attendee could then purchase merchandise from the brewery, from apparel to drinking accessories and more.

Prior to the opening of the gates, the front area contained all of the early arrivals, and provided enough vendors to keep many of the guests occupied until the gates opened. Guests could find a handful of food options in this front area, plus a few vendors already set up. This front area also held a handful of games to entertain guests, such as glorified Jenga, bean-bag toss, and the venue’s airsoft rifle shooting range.

The wet and cold weather did not scare away any of the guests, as they all braved harsh winds and sideways rain just while waiting in line to enter the venue. The rain did not deter the few vendors and breweries that set up outside. In fact, some of the more popular breweries, such as Stone Brewing, Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, and Hangar 24 ended up serving outside to lines longer than the breweries inside the big top.

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

Have you seen this year’s collaboration beer? Noble Ale Works and Beachwood Brewing joined forces to create this smooth, luscious, comforting beer with enough flavor and potency that even non-beer drinkers would like it. If you would like to give it a try, inquire about it at Noble Ale Works or at Beachwood BBQ/Brewing.

What would a beer fest do without some form of entertainment? As expected, Santa Claus made his appearance on-stage for photos with the guests. However, no one commanded a greater presence other than the legendary Richard Blade. This famous radio DJ rocked the house with a massive set full of 80’s hits that had everyone rocking away under the big top. In fact, I would say he received far more attention from the audience than Santa Claus did.

Props to Bad Pickle Tees for showing up to sell their apparel too, which always pleases visitors at any event they attend. They even made me a custom shirt ~ Thanks so much Bad Pickle Tees!

Since this beer fest had no limit to the amount of beer that any guest could drink during the allotted time, I found myself drinking far more beer than I expected to. I believe I set myself a new record for number of beers drank during a beer fest. Enough chit-chat for now – observe the long list of beers I sampled at this year’s OC Brew Ho Ho:

Click this link for a list of beers originally confirmed for this festival.

One may never find another beer festival quite like the OC Brew Ho Ho! It has everything a craft beer enthusiast can ask for, sans a little rain. For more events by the organizers, make sure to Like/Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news, such as ticket sale announcements and posts about other similar upcoming events. If you have yet to attend any of these events, I highly recommend going to one to indulge and immerse yourself in the culture of craft beer. You may learn something about beer that you may not have ever known!

Those who live in Southern California, or those who have visited in the past few weeks, have definitely felt the effects of the heat wave. If many people complain about the heat, then why do they continue to remain outdoors? Perhaps the thrill of the exposure to nature’s gift motivates people to step outside. Perhaps other things may motivate people to get out there and do things despite the risk of burning. Perhaps people simply want to go to do something awesome that only takes place outside, such as drink lots of beer with lots of other people. Sure one may receive a similar enjoyment by visiting a local bar, but why play it safe? Welcome to the 21st century – shed away that safety blanket, and get out there and explore the world. You may discover something so amazing that you will want to come back for more, such as the Orange County Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival.

Orange County’s biggest craft beer festival returned for its fourth year running this past Saturday at the 4th Annual Orange County Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival. Taking place at sunny Oak Canyon Park out in the hills of Silverado and Irvine, this lush park away from civilization marks a great getaway from the cluster of the city, especially since cell phone signals do not normally reach out here. Trumping last year’s festival in geographical size and content, this massive beer festival puts all others to shame by including a whopping 70+ breweries in attendance from all over the world, doubling its area from last year, and adding more food, games, exhibits, vendors, and live entertainment, including Reel Big Fish! Benefiting the Local 3631 Firefighters Union, general admission started at 1pm and included ten beer pours, while Early admission started at 12pm and included 15 beer pours. All beers stopped pouring at 4pm, but trust me – they allocated more than enough beer per person, since many of the breweries brought strong or filling brews, resulting in majority of attendees leaving the fest at the end of the day with extra beer pours remaining.

As mentioned above, the festival has grown to cover the entire park this year, as opposed to the front section reserved for campers. This expansion allowed for breweries to spread out among the new area, allowed more vendors to set up, and provided more space for the fest organizers to strategically place “hot spots” such as water stations, games, and the mobile music stage. This extra space also allowed the LAFD Fire Hogs to set up their motorcycles for display.

Dozens of breweries set up booths throughout the front area, creating a perimeter of booths serving beer, and creating “islands” of breweries around trees in the center.

With a pond in the middle of the park, the festival set up booths like a doughnut shape. The side closer to the dirt field housed many local breweries from Orange County and San Diego County, plus our good friends from Bad Pickle Tees.

As previously mentioned, attendees could entertain themselves with various games around the fest, such as bean bag toss, and glorified Jenga.

On the back field, attendees would find most of the food available in the fest. Food trucks on hand included Garlicscapes, Viking Truck, Devilicious, Tropical Shave Ice, and Dos Chinos. Other food options available included HopScotch Tavern, Slide Bar, Brewcakes, Slater’s 50/50, Haven Collective, and more.

As a beer fest supporting firefighters, we all love when they show off their personality. Did you know that some firefighters love to play the bagpipes?

During the festival, world class beer experts gave seminars regarding various subjects, mainly pertaining to the food & beverage industry. Where most of the speakers spoke about beer subjects, Stone Brewing‘s Greg Koch spoke about health & nutrition, a subject that caught a lot of attention from the audience. He also proudly displayed a Reel Big Fish guitar available as a raffle, and demonstrated his musical skills on it before the band could enter the stage and guide him along the song.

Speaking of Reel Big Fish, who would expect them to play at a local beer fest like this? Well, when you consider that they come from Huntington Beach, they play a song called Beer, and they have arrived at Orange County’s biggest beer fest, it only makes sense to invite them over. It also makes sense that they would start with Beer before moving on to the rest of their songs. They loosely followed their set list, adding and moves some songs here and there; for example, they played Trendy right after Beer. Random audience members love to interrupt the band between songs for some reason – one guy managed to get the entire band to sign what appeared as his jock strap in between songs, one member at a time. At other times, random people would bring beer to the band just to see them play drunk. As a smaller stage than usual, this did not leave much room for a pit – a small skanking pit formed on the stage left side, but only contained four people at most, myself included. They ended up playing a few songs as an encore, despite having gone past 4pm, meaning anyone present at the stage could not receive anymore beers. However, to attend a Reel Big Fish show easily made up for the sacrifice of a few beers.

At this rate of expansion, I foresee a 5th Annual Orange County Brew Ha Ha as so large that any normal person cannot possibly complete a circuit in given time. If this case arises, they must consider running two sessions, just like how Stone Brewing does for their anniversary. If they cannot run two sessions on the same day, then they can add another beer fest of the same magnitude. Luckily, they already have – the 2nd Annual Orange County Brew Ho Ho will return to its same location at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim on Saturday, December 7th. Tickets have not gone on sale yet, but will cost $45 for general admission. No other beer fest in Orange County can compete on the same level as the Brew Ha Ha – see why for yourself at their December beer fest, or hang on tight until next year!

You can see me on the stairs at stage right!

I must thank the organizers Cameron and Tiffany Collins for allowing me the opportunity to attend such a grand event. I would also like to thank The Ace Agency for the great marketing for this event. I definitely want to thank Beer Punks for their connections to such wonderful people. And finally, I want to thank my lovely friend who joined me on this fabulous summer day full of friends, beer, food, music, and fun!

The 4th Annual Los Angeles Renegade Craft Fair returned for its semi-annual Summer Market at LA State Historic Park this past weekend. This free and all-ages event sees thousands of visitors all coming to see over 250 select independent artists, crafters, and vendors all exhibiting and selling their wares. Among all the possible merchandise, visitors could purchase anything from clothing, accessories, home goods (candles, soap, wind chimes, etc), kitchen supplies, artisanal eats (candy, preserves, etc), music records, pet supplies, and so much more. What makes Renegade Craft appealing revolves around every single vendor, all independently crafting their own handmade goods as opposed to manufacturing them in a factory. In addition to the multitude of aisles filled with vendors, Renegade Craft also offers various hands-on workshops, art installations, live DJ’s, a photo booth, gourmet food trucks, a beer & wine garden, and the Yarnover Truck.

If you attended Renegade LA this past weekend, I would love to know what you purchased. Please share your items by commenting on this post, or by posting on my Facebook page. As for myself, I purchased another shirt from MNKR, just like I did last year. They have such awesome shirts that I cannot pass them up whenever I see them – the shirt I bought says “Ping Pong Till I Die” on the front with two crossed paddles.

Keep in mind that Renegade runs twice a year in Los Angeles – the holiday show will occur on the weekend of December 14-15 later this year. As a free event open to the public that lasts two days, Renegade Craft Fair can easily fit into anyone’s schedule. Shop local, and support local business – doing so drives the local economy and greatly benefits your local community.

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