Posts Tagged ‘Beer’

Beautiful California: a state unlike any other. From the luscious weather to the so-called California Girls, California almost represents a unique country of its own. As one of the major metropolitan states of this nation, California has one of the largest populations of virtually all demographics, but especially young adults. As society can guess, young adults sure love their hard beverages, and California has no shortage of festivals featuring hard beverages. Practically every week of the year, a festival occurs that features either craft beer, wine, or cocktails/spirits. When adults think festivals that include alcohol, they immediately think about what other activities and forms of entertainment to expect at the events. The days of simple tasting events have long gone by the wayside, and now people expect to find more than just drinking at such festivals. Typical events may include some games or live music, plus some some of food either included with admission or at a separate cost. The more these events feature, the more they feel like they bit off more than they could chew. Some events promise everything yet deliver underwhelming content, while some events promise the best of a few specialties and deliver all they can to satiate the attendees, such as at the 2nd Annual Driftwood Festival.

The Driftwood Festival returned for its second year running this past Saturday. Taking place at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, this festival combines craft beer, drinks, food, and country music all in one location. With over a hundred different beers and other beverages to sip on, attendees had a plethora of options to get their buzz on. With so much to do in so little time, one would expect to try to rush around to see everything before the event ended. The beer stopped pouring at 4pm, while the entertainment continued onward until 10pm. While it would appear that this would draw in two different types of crowds, every attendee appeared to appreciate everything this festival had to offer. Driftwood represents the ideal country music fan festival, complete with the music, barbecue food, and craft drinks. The venue’s location did mean that travelers would have to plan to pay to park near here, or at least take the shuttle, as the festival this time charged attendees to take the shuttle to a higher-capacity parking area.

Although I did not attend the previous year’s festival, I knew that the organizers behind this event teamed up with the organizers behind OC Brew Ha Ha. As such, they handled the festival operations quite well as they always do with their events. Speaking of which, the annual OC Brew Ho Ho returns in less than a month from now, so if you like good beer and appreciate a well-organized event, you owe it to yourself and your friends to check out that event when it rolls into town in December each year.

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Food news & media giant Foodbeast brought back one of their major events this past Saturday, Ooze Fest, for its third year running. Hailed as Southern California’s premier cheese festival, this tasting event brought out dozens of Orange County restaurants to serve up their best cheese-inspired food samples to the hundreds of attendees. In addition, a handful of Southern California’s microbreweries set up to serve some refreshing brews to pair with all the food going around. Ooze Fest took place across two different time slots on Saturday in order to spread out the amount of attendees: an afternoon session and an evening session. Each session allowed all attendees to have unlimited food and drinks while supplies lasted, and as far as the first session went, no booth ran out of food. The first session featured a grilled cheese sandwich eating contest, while the second session featured a pizza eating contest and a hot sauce challenge. Other than that, this event ran exactly how they described it originally – pay to get in, then eat and drink as much as you can until the event ends. Fortunately, spreading this event over two sessions meant that attendees did not have to deal with long lines at the food and drink booths.

In the days leading up to this event, I only worried about excess attendance and having to wait in lines for food. Fortunately this issue never surfaced greatly thanks to having two sessions instead of cramming everyone into one session. At times, a few of the vendors had to catch up on making food, so some people inevitably had to wait in a line. In the end, this event never turned into a wait fest, unlike some other similar events. Stay tuned in the upcoming year as they plan to bring back some of their other events, such as a noodle fest.

The Orange County Brew Ha Ha returns for its eighth iteration this Saturday at Oak Canyon Park in Silverado. Benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, this craft beer festival will feature over 90 different breweries, over 200 different beers, many food trucks, seminars from beer experts, live entertainment, and more. General admission costs $45 and begins at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $60 and begins at 12pm. All beers will cease pouring at 4pm, leaving the final hour to sober up and find food.

  • REMEMBER to bring PHOTO ID! Amazingly, many guests think they can enter without showing it to the front security.
  • Look up directions before arriving – cell phones receive no signal as you approach the park.
  • Basic toll-free directions: Get to the 55 freeway, exit Chapman Avenue, then drive east until you reach the lake, where a sign should point out when to turn left into the park.
  • Bring cash for parking in case they charge for parking. Because of the park’s location, I do not recommend riding a bike or walking, although you may get dropped off.
  • Food come 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.
  • If you see that it has no signal, just turn off your cell phone during the fest. Smartphones can enter Airplane Mode instead.
  • Though the park contains many trees, consider applying sunscreen, and have extra sunscreen available. Security will not confiscate sunscreen from you.
  • For prolonged drinking, start with lighter beers and work your way to stronger beers. Click here for a list of attending breweries.
  • Try to hold on to your beer glass – guests receive no replacement for lost or broken glasses.
  • All beers stop pouring at 4pm. An extra grace hour will allow guests time to sober up and find food before leaving.
  • Oak Canyon Park only has two exits: one back towards Orange, the other through the mountains leading of Rancho Santa Margarita. Police WILL patrol both roads leaving the park!

Check out these pictures from last year’s OC Brew Ha Ha:

The 68th Annual Long Beach Greek Festival returned this past Labor Day weekend to Assumption Greek Church on Pacific Coast Highway between Bellflower and Loynes. At this all-ages fair, visitors found a multitude of Greek foods & desserts, wine, beer, ouzo, and more to keep everyone entertained throughout the holiday weekend. Complete with merchandise, food, dessert, drinks, music, dance, rides, exhibits, and more, this annual fair brings a wealth of things for you, your friends, and your family to enjoy and make a lasting memory out of. While any visitor can participate in the dancing going on under the main tent, I opted to simply admire those who bravely stepped forth to display their Greek dancing abilities. For me, I chose to enjoy the eats of Greek culture with some Gyros and Ouzo. Support this local Greek Fair by following them on Facebook and liking them on Twitter.

Many famous people have started to branch out into products to sell under their namesake. While many people will instantly think of clothing or jewelry lines, this also applies to consumable goods, especially foods and drinks. Actors and musicians alike have come up with foods and/or drinks that represent them. Last year, I covered a line of hot sauces called Gringo Bandito released by Dexter Holland, the vocalist for the band The Offspring. Other such products include Stone Cold Steve Austin’s beer from El Segundo Brewing and Hanson’s beer called Mmmhops. Now, we can add another entry into the list of famous people or groups of people that have released something other than their known line of work – in this case, the band Pennywise has released a beer called Pennywiser.

Making its public debut in just over a week from now, Pennywiser has arrived to deliver a taste of what Pennywise represents. Strangely, a Southern Californian band partnered with a Northern California brewery, Lost Coast Brewery, to bring this beer back to Southern California. Pennywiser acts as a great stepping stone to get the band’s fans that do not normally drink beer into the IPA world. As a session IPA, Pennywiser sits at an easy 4.8% ABV, and contains some of the more common hops used in brewing: cascade, crystal, chinook, and citra hops. The hops do not attack the palate, but give the beer enough bitterness to allow the drinker to fully enjoy the citrus flavor and aroma present in the beer. Beer drinkers will appreciate the combination of hops, and music fans will appreciate a beer that they can enjoy without having to worry about its strength and boldness.

Pennywiser will see limited release in the South Bay starting the week of Labor Day 2017. This will primarily test the market to measure its popularity, as well as allow the brewery to fine-tune the recipe if necessary. Following the initial release, Pennywiser will see greater distribution as the brewery starts to bottle and ship it out. To stay updated on when and where you can taste some Pennywiser, make sure you follow Pennywise on Facebook and Twitter to see their posts and updates.

It goes without saying that every person in the world likes different things. No two people like the exact same things – variation adds some spice to life, and helps to spread culture and interests. However, with that comes some separation in what people like. Fans of a particular thing may never come into contact with fans of another thing. Specifically, traditional fans of punk rock music never cared for anything hip or trendy. The stereotype of punk rock fans ironically contains a lot of corporate names, as the typical punk rock fan would drink Pabst Blue Ribbon and eat at McDonald’s. One would rarely see a punk rock person at a hip or trendy place, especially microbreweries. I started my blog years ago as a way to bridge the gap and introduce the two worlds to each other, and it looks like progress exists in closing the gap at Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing.

A brewery exists for nearly every genre of music, and now we have one for punk rock with Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing. Located in the heart of Downtown Chula Vista, this brewery not only brings Chula Vista into the radar of San Diego breweries, but functions as one of the few, if not the only, punk rock themed breweries in the nation. Punk rock fans will love the beers that reference punk rock songs and/or artists, and the fans will also love the left wall that has lots of band logos printed there. Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing only opened their doors to the public a few months ago, but appears to have already gained a large following. I visited the tasting room on a Saturday afternoon and discovered a near-full tasting room. At the moment, they do not carry too large of a variety of different brews. However, Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing possesses multiple fermenters and brite tanks, meaning they will have more beers available soon.

If you find yourself in Chula Vista, or at least somewhere near Downtown San Diego, you ought to visit Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing and check out their progress and growth. See what else they have brewing up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Beautiful California: a state unlike any other. From the luscious weather to the so-called California Girls, California almost represents a unique country of its own. As one of the major metropolitan states of this nation, California has one of the largest populations of virtually all demographics, but especially young adults. As society can guess, young adults sure love their hard beverages, and California has no shortage of festivals featuring hard beverages. Practically every week of the year, a festival occurs that features either craft beer, wine, or cocktails/spirits. When adults think festivals that include alcohol, they immediately think about what other activities and forms of entertainment to expect at the events. The days of simple tasting events have long gone by the wayside, and now people expect to find more than just drinking at such festivals. Typical events may include some games or live music, plus some some of food either included with admission or at a separate cost. The more these events feature, the more they feel like they bit off more than they could chew. Some events promise everything yet deliver underwhelming content, while some events promise the best of a few specialties and deliver all they can to satiate the attendees, such as at the 3rd Annual Beer X San Diego Beer & Music Festival.

The Beer X San Diego Beer & Music Festival returned for its third year running this past Saturday. Taking place at Waterfront Park in Downtown San Diego, this festival combines craft beer, drinks, food, and reggae music all in one location. With over a hundred different beers and other beverages to sip on, attendees had a plethora of options to get their buzz on. With so much to do in so little time, one would expect to try to rush around to see everything before the event ended. The beer stopped pouring at 4pm, while the entertainment continued to 10pm. This created an unpleasant crowding effect by the 3pm hour, as the people who attended primarily for the entertainment instead of the craft drinks continued to arrive even after 3pm. At this time, all the beer booths had ridiculously long lines, and almost everyone in those lines no longer cared about the beer pouring – they simply wanted to get drunk. This created a culture divide with the attendees of this event: those who care about the quality of the drinks, and those who attended for the entertainment that cared less for the drinks. Anyone who arrived early enough certainly got to enjoy any drink without needing to wait in lines, and could take time to discover the different types of drinks. However, as time passed, the type of attendees present quickly became apparent that no one cared for the drinks.

Although I did not attend the previous years, I believe that this event marked the first time the organizers teamed up with the organizers behind OC Brew Ha Ha. As such, I would expect that they would handle the festival quite well as they always do with their events. However, prior to entering, I clearly saw faults that Brew Ha Ha would never commit, such as having an inefficient entrance and laying out the booths in confusing spots. Nevertheless, I believe that the genre of music had a large effect on the people who showed up. Consider that the entrance still had a massive line in the final hour of drinks, and that the reggae culture eventually overtook the craft side of the festival. In the meantime, check out Beer X on Facebook and Twitter for future updates, and for news about upcoming events.

For as much as Los Angeles pushes their local culture and mom & pop shops, the majority of the locals still believe in mass media and prefer big brands. When it comes to beer selection, much of Los Angeles still prefer their Corona, Heineken, and Budweiser. Local microbreweries may do what they can, but businesses appear based on the preferences of the local community, which partially explains the lack of microbreweries in Los Angeles. Trends have changed recently, leading to the establishment of a handful of breweries in Downtown LA’s Arts District. Once you expand beyond Downtown, you go back to the trend of preferring macro beers, especially if you venture eastward. In order to reach out to new grounds, one much take one step at a time, which Dry River Brewing has done.

Adding something a little bit different to the Downtown Los Angeles’ craft beer scene, Dry River Brewing officially opened their doors to the public at the beginning of July with their own approach to brewing. Located just off the 101 freeway in Boyle Heights just past the Arts District, over at Dry River Brewing, they believe in slow beer, something that traditionalists frown upon. The folks at Dry River Brewing like to experiment with allowing beer to sit and allow nature to take its course. As such, visitors can expect to find primarily wild ales and sour ales on tap at Dry River Brewing. Due to the nature of how they produce their brews, Dry River Brewing’s selection may cost more than the typical brewery, so keep that in mind if you intend to visit the tasting room. Speaking of the tasting room, Dry River Brewing only opens their doors on the first and third Saturdays of each month, so do not think you can just waltz over there any random day!

For more information and future updates, check out Dry River Brewing on Facebook and Twitter.

Covina’s Alosta Brewing brings back their Pintwood Derby for its fourth year running this Saturday after. Now moving to the Glendora Public Library, this charity fundraiser will see numerous people enter their crafted (toy) cars to race for trophies. Participants will pay the entry fee to create a small car that would run down a track, purely powered by gravity and friction. Alosta Brewing sells a starter kit for $5 for those not familiar with designing the small car. Children will compete in their own division, while adults will compete in an adults division. This year’s event will operate slightly different than previous years, as Alosta Brewing will turn this event into a mini beer festival as well. It costs $30 to attend the beer festival, which will take place outside the building that the racing will take place in. Attendees will receive unlimited beer samples from 12pm to 4pm while supplies last. These attendees that want to enter the Pintwood Derby will simply have to pay $5 more. Alosta Brewing has not yet specified if it will cost anything for minors to enter the derby, though they did mention that they will have gourmet food trucks on the premises.

A Sausage & Bierfest took place at Anaheim’s Phoenix Club this past Saturday evening. Open to all ages, it cost each person $5 to enter, which came with a ticket good for three sausage samples out of six varieties. Once inside, attendees could check out the handful of booths outside serving food and drinks, and they could have a seat under the big top to enjoy some classic German music (think Oktoberfest style). That pretty much sums up the event, as it did not have too much else going on. You could try some German-style sausages, sip on German beers, and enjoy the music. For the most part, the event primarily attracted the elderly, with the occasional young adult couple, as well as a handful of children. This makes for a neat small event to bring friends and family out to, as a lot of the attendees appeared to recognize each other. Still, for a small event, it does not occupy too much time.