Posts Tagged ‘Beer’

The 39th Annual Taste Of Greece returns this upcoming weekend to St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine. At this all-ages fair, visitors will find a multitude of Greek foods & desserts, wine, beer, ouzo, vendors, music, and more to keep everyone entertained throughout the 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. Any visitor can participate in the dancing going on under the main tent, or just hang out and enjoy the sights. Some may choose to enjoy the eats of Greek culture with some Greek BBQ Pork, Loukanico, Saganaki, Galaktoboureko, and Baklava. Support this local Greek Fair by following them on Facebook. When the Greek have an occasion to celebrate, they will celebrate hard, as demonstrated whenever a Greek festival takes place.

This past Saturday, Orange County food event planners 100eats returned to the streets of Downtown Santa Ana to bring back a food festival experience to an up & coming area. Called Pub & Grub: A Culinary Crawl, this tasting event brought out over a dozen of Orange County restaurants and gourmet food trucks to serve up their best street 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. The event covered 5th Street between Main Street and Spurgeon Street, as well as Bush Street down to 4th Street, the entrance to the event. Folks who have attended one of their previous events, Ooze Festival, will recognize how they set up Pub & Grub. The general admission method involves pay-as-you-go. The event took place on Saturday opening at 12pm and closing at 11pm. Pub & Grub operated continuously during that time, with a cost $10 to enter. Once inside, attendees would then have to pay for any food they wish to consume. This works best for those who did not plan to eat as much, or wanted to selectively choose what to eat or drink. The VIP admission method involved a traditional food fest operation. This took place in one of two three-hour sessions: 2pm-5pm and 6pm-9pm, and for $40 presale or $60 at the gate, any attendee received unlimited food & drink samples for this duration.

As I attended the night session, I eventually encountered the downfalls of this event. Two major issues arose by the halfway point of this event. Not only did the VIP vendors start running out of food and/or drinks by then, but the entire event had so much empty space. The VIP section had one liquor booth, three breweries, four food booths, and one dessert booth. The general section had three food trucks, one dessert truck, and one snack booth. Overall, this made for a LOT of open space that the organizers could have easily filled with more vendors. Did food vendors drop out of the event? In any case, this led to long lines in the VIP section and VIP vendors running out early. All of these issues would dissolve with more vendors. Unfortunately, this weekend contained a lot of other events, such as the LA Food Fest, so getting an adequate amount of vendors to this event resembled bidding on vendors.

The largest Irish festival in Southern California returns this weekend for its 42nd year running. The BIG Irish Fair returns to El Dorado Park in Long Beach this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 7pm both days, delivering two days’ worth of Irish fun in the sun, filled with many activities, live entertainment, animals, merchandise, vehicles, food, drinks, kids’ activities, games, and much more. Just to name a few of the things guests will experience at the Irish Fair:

  • Spectate thousands of Irish dancers participating in numerous competitions at the various stages at the far end of the festival.
  • Listen and dance to dozens of live Celtic bands, including the Irish Ska Pirate band California Celts.
  • Watch marching bands compete for best in show, with plenty of bagpipes to go around.
  • Pet lots of animals from Ireland, such as sheep, border collies, and more.
  • Gasp in amazement at the athletic feats of the sports competitions in the far field across from the entrance.
  • Stroll through reenactments of older times in the countryside of Ireland.
  • Cheer for all the participating individuals in the grand parade, including the Rose of Tralee.
  • Peer at the Irish vehicles, including real DeLoreans like the one from Back To The Future.
  • Taste the Irish culture with authentic Irish food, such as bangers.
  • Peruse through the various merchandise vendors, selling lots of Irish souvenirs and memorabilia.

The BIG Irish Fair will contain plenty of fun and excitement for the entire family. The festivities run from 10am to 7pm on both Saturday and Sunday. General admission presale costs $15 per adult per day, while a 2-day adult admission costs $25. Seniors and students can enter for $13 each. Kids 12 and under enter for free with a paid adult admission. Admission will increase by $3 when purchasing at the gate. Parking will range from $5 to $10. This festival takes place entirely outdoors, so dress appropriately for hot weather, and apply sunscreen prior to leaving home. The venue does not allow attendees to bring chairs, coolers, canopies, or any other large camping item; however, the park will provide more than enough tables and benches in the shaded areas. If you plan to purchase anything, bring cash, as the vendors cannot accept cards.

Orange County mainstay brewery Cismontane Brewing recently turned seven years old, a feat in this competitive microbrewery market. As they do every year, Cismontane holds a party to celebrate their anniversary. However, this year brought about many new changes for Cismontane. Notably, Cismontane has relocated to a new facility in Santa Ana, departing from their original location in Rancho Santa Margarita. This marks Cismontane’s first time holding an anniversary event ever at this new Santa Ana location. To also mix things up, Cismontane changed the way they structured their anniversary event. In previous years, Cismontane held their anniversary like a beer festival. Guests would pay for a ticket to receive a set amount of beer pours as well as an anniversary glass. This year, Cismontane did away with the ticketing fees. Instead, they tapped a handful of barrel-aged beers for guests to enjoy. With no tickets or cover charges to worry about, guests could enter freely and simply pay for beers as they went. With this setup, guests would only pay for beers that they wanted to drink instead of paying for a set amount of beers that they may not get to enjoy. Unfortunately, Cismontane did not have an anniversary glass this time – they just had their regular merchandise for sale. Historically, Cismontane held their anniversary at the end of April or the beginning of May. Due to the sheer amount of beer events during that time this year, Cismontane kept postponing their anniversary to a more suitable date with the fewest amount of conflicting beer events.

Check out Cismontane Brewing at their new location in Santa Ana just off the 55 freeway. See what they have brewing up here by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter. Their new location can accommodate more guests than their previous Rancho Santa Margarita location (which Laguna Beach Beer Company has acquired after Cismontane moved), so check them out behind Pep Boys (enter on the west side).

The 2017 Orange County Greek Festival returned this past weekend to St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Anaheim. At this all-ages fair, visitors found a multitude of Greek foods & desserts, wine, beer, ouzo, vendors, music, and more to keep everyone entertained throughout the 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 Pastitsio, Dolmades, and Baklava. Support this local Greek Fair by following them on Facebook and liking them on Twitter. When the Greek have an occasion to celebrate, they will celebrate hard, as demonstrated whenever a Greek festival takes place.

In every city lies hidden gems of all types. These hidden gems can range from local businesses to landmarks and more. Some hidden gems remain largely undiscovered by the masses for quite some time, while some hidden gems get talked about a lot. When a hidden gem gets talked about enough times, it soon grows in popularity and eventually no longer fits the “hidden gem” category. For some hidden gems, they lie in a good balance of having the locals know about it versus spreading the word out about it. However, a problem soon arises of knowing when to talk about the hidden gem and who to tell about it. Should that hidden gem remain hidden or not? In some cases, it helps to spread the word out to get others to discover something new, such as Uncle Henry’s Deli in Downey.

Downey’s Uncle Henry’s Deli represents a rare craft beer haven in an area otherwise lacking in local beer. For many years, the region from Lakewood to Monterey Park enclosed by the 605 and 710 freeways represented the middle grounds between Downtown Los Angeles and Orange County. This area did not have any significant craft beer locations, mainly due to lack of spots for locals to hang out. However, Uncle Henry’s Deli wants to change that by acting as the spot for locals to enjoy a nice cold one. Family owned and operated since 1959, Uncle Henry’s Deli humbly boasts traditional yet delicious deli sandwiches along with a massive selection of rotating craft beers. On the deli side, they have all the typical deli meats and cheeses that they utilize in their hot and cold sandwiches. Most sandwiches come in three sizes based on how much meat you get: 5oz, 7oz, and 10oz, the latter costing almost twice as much as a 5oz sandwich. On the bar side, the craft beer mecca awaits. Uncle Henry’s Deli proudly offers over a hundred rotating beer taps, as well as over 90 different bottle varieties at any given time. One cannot go wrong with choice here at Uncle Henry’s Deli, as they have a style suitable for just about anyone.

If you find yourself equidistant from Downtown LA and Orange County, make a pit stop at Uncle Henry’s Deli up in the northern side of Downey. Check out Uncle Henry’s Deli’s food specials and beer offerings by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

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 beers not as rich as some of the winter-style brews. In this transitional season between winter and summer, the unpredictable weather means that we can still enjoy the richer beers typically consumed during colder weather while starting to explore the refreshment of summer-style beers. For the right kind of beer to enjoy until summer kicks in after Memorial Day, check out these five beers each with a unique flavor profile of its own.

5. Surf Brewery‘s Blueberry Wahine Wheat

With the arrival of spring comes the rebirth of many natural objects. Flowers start to bloom, animals start to bustle with activity, and fresh fruits start to appear. The arrival of spring also brings about a change in the weather, which starts to heat up and bring about more daylight hours. This makes the beach a great place to start visiting more often, and this makes more refreshing drinks more desirable. Enter Surf Brewery, who knows that both of the aforementioned go great together when springtime rolls around annually. The beach and alcoholic drinks go well together, albeit one cannot legally drink in public. However, if you get the chance to, make sure you enjoy the Blueberry Wahine Wheat at the beach. At a sessionable 5.0%, blueberries give this witbier a refreshingly slightly fruity flavor and aroma. The light tartness and light body does not attack the palate, so you can enjoy this on its own or with light foods such as fish tacos.

4. Belching Beaver Brewery‘s Horchata Imperial Stout

Almost every brewery has some flagship beer that people everywhere recognize the brewery for. For example, Sam Adams has their Boston Lager, New Belgium has their Fat Tire, Stone Brewing has their IPA, and Hangar 24 has their Orange Wheat. If you ask any craft beer enthusiast about Belching Beaver Brewery, they will rave about the brewery’s Peanut Butter Milk Stout, partially because it tastes more like a dessert than a beer. Like the aforementioned breweries, Belching Beaver delivers a lot more than just their most popular beer. Sometimes, they even make a slight variation of it where the end product tastes completely different, such as their Horchata Imperial Stout. Fans of the Peanut Butter Milk Stout would love this horchata-flavored brew, as it basically tastes like a roasted version of horchata. This 9.0% abv imperial stout contains vanilla, cinnamon, and rice malt just like horchata, only now it has alcohol in it. For a fancy treat, serve this beer with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it. With Cinco de Mayo coming up, your friends and family would love you for serving this to them to celebrate in style.

3. The Pike Brewing Company‘s Octopus Ink Black IPA

Many breweries have some sort of theme to not only their beers, but their entire lifestyle. For example, Unsung Brewing has a comic book theme, and Florida Keys Brewing has a fishing theme. Sometimes these themes get them more popularity from unrelated industries, sometimes these themes can get you in legal trouble. For those who stick with their theme, it makes for a more interesting experience to indulge in and share, plus it also gives people something to talk about. If you visit the famous Pike Place Market in Seattle, no doubt one will encounter The Pike Brewing Company. This local legend started as the local watering hole, and has since turned into a known name across the country. Pike Brewing gives back to the local community that has supported them for many years in the form of their Octopus Ink Black IPA. A deep, dark brown ale with a dense tan head, this 8.3% American black ale contains bold aromas of citrus, pine, and floral notes with coffee and cocoa in the background. It tastes of a sweet dark malt with a creamy, roasty finish. A portion of every Pike Octopus Ink Black IPA sale benefits Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, so drink up!

2. Anderson Valley Brewing Company‘s Horse Tongue Wheat

Sour ales have risen in popularity alongside standard ales, and they have grown so much that sour ales have their own categories by now. In fact, some breweries grow their sour line of ales so much that they need to open a separate facility in order to increase their production of sour ales. Some of these “blenderies” exist in Southern California, such as Beachwood Blendery or Bruery Terreux. Lots of other breweries out there that do not specialize in sour ales do in fact produce a sour ale, such as Anderson Valley Brewing Company. I always underestimate Anderson Valley because, like another known brewery, they tend to stay in the middle of the fray instead of trying to stand out. Perhaps they do this on purpose to avoid controversy by making good beers without getting the attention of the big companies. This means that Anderson Valley can continue to churn out beers such as Horse Tongue Wheat. Coined as a 5.3% American wild ale, Anderson Valley takes a Belgian wheat beer and ages it in white wine barrels to give it a very slightly sour taste. Although not totally tart, this represents a good gateway beer to segway into the more tart sour ales.

1. High Water Brewing‘s Boom Boom Out Gose The Lights

With all the hype over craft beer in the past few years, some millenials want something different to stay ahead of the trends. Some may think that they enjoyed craft beer before it became popular, and thus they seek something else to try. Perhaps craft cider can come into the limelight? How about lesser known styles of beer? If you want a type of beer not often touched on, High Water Brewing has just the answer. Based in California’s Bay Area, High Water Brewing has made lots of waves up in Northern California, from San Jose to Chico to Sacramento to Alameda and more. Though one cannot easily pinpoint their exact location, High Water Brewing has their beers pretty much everywhere by now, including their Boom Boom Out Gose The Lights. Brewed as a gose-inspired style ale, this 7.30% brew primarily contains apple juice, galangal root, and pink Himalayan sea salt. This brew represents a traditional sour mash with less-than traditional ingredients. This refreshing champagne-like beer gose great with any celebratory purposes for its similarity to other toasting beverages.

Craft beer has certainly evolved a lot over the past few years. It appears that simply five years ago, many of today’s top microbreweries had either just started to emerge, or began their planning phases to open their doors to the public. Who would have expected to now see as many breweries around as we had originally thought years ago? Like the gourmet food truck fad that rose to fame in 2010, many entrepreneurs wanted to get in on the craft beer fad, which led to the saturation of breweries that large metropolitan areas now face. Many of the less popular breweries have since closed up shop, and some of the very popular breweries got bought out by corporate big beer. These days, one must do much more than simply open up a microbrewery, as they would face stiff competition. How does one accomplish that? Well it appears that Dutch’s Brewhouse has already done just that.

Nestled in the quaint Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach, Dutch’s Brewhouse brings a local craft beer presence to North Long Beach. As part of the 2017 influx of craft beer into Long Beach, Dutch’s Brewhouse hopes to deliver a different kind of craft beer experience to their area, especially since Bixby Knolls’ last major gastropub closed at the end of 2015. At the moment, Dutch’s Brewhouse actually does not have any house beers – if you walk in to Dutch’s Brewhouse today, you walk into a place that serves pizza and other breweries’ beers. In the near future, this will change once they get everything set up – not only will they start to serve their own house beers, but they will have a guest pilot system that allows customers to come in and brew their own beer. At the front of their shop lies a small pilot system, and once Dutch’s Brewhouse gets everything put into place, customers can book appointments and come in to brew. Very few places offer this service, so this marks a triumphant entry into the local craft beer market, especially for Long Beach since they have lacked local breweries for quite some time.

If you have interest in brewing your own beer but do not want to acquire all the equipment necessary to do so, check out Dutch’s Brewhouse in Long Beach when they can finally start going. Make sure you follow up with Dutch’s Brewhouse on Facebook and Twitter for updates on when they will start allowing brewing.

If you plan to party on this weekend a week prior to Easter, make it count by attending the 4th Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival, brought to us by the ensorcelling minds behind OC Brew Ha Ha. Taking place this Saturday from 12pm to 9pm at its new home of Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, this festival follows up on its previous years’ iterations of a craft beer festival with all the celebrations necessary for a Cinco de Mayo party, moves it a month earlier, and throws in lots of live music. Dozens of chefs, restaurants, and food trucks will make an appearance here to serve up some delicious gourmet tacos, all conveniently priced at $3 each. Unlike previous years, this year’s event will function more like Cali Uncorked or Ye Scallywag, other festivals from the same organizer. The unlimited beer tasting occurs until 4pm – after that, all attendees will need to pay for drinks. To keep guests entertained this festival will have live Lucha Libre wrestling and live music all day. If guests choose to get involved somehow, they will find plenty of outdoor games to partake in, such as glorified Jenga, beanbag toss, and more. If guests simply want to relax, they can locate the cigar lounge and rest with some of the great cigars available. Though this event takes place outdoors, the event organizers will kindly provide free water to all the attendees.

The 4th Annual Sabroso Craft Beer & Taco Festival runs this Saturday, April 8th, from 12pm up until 9pm. Guests may enter as soon as 11am, but will only have access to the food section. The gates to all the beer will open at 12pm. General admission costs $70 and starts at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $99, starts at 12pm, and includes access to a VIP lounge. Non-drinkers may purchase a designated driver ticket for $45 at the door. Read up on some more tips to make the most out of your visit:

  • 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.
  • Arrive early to secure parking at the venue, since the venue has extremely limited parking. For those planning to arrive a little later, they should park at the Outlets at San Clemente and purchase a shuttle pass for $10.
  • Food come at a separate cost, so anyone wanting to eat should arrive with extra $1 bills.
  • Though the venue contains many trees, consider applying sunscreen, and have extra sunscreen available. Security will not confiscate sunscreen from you.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the festival. All attendees receive FREE water on the premises.
  • Dress appropriately for hot weather. Southern California has seen a heat wave recently, and the combination of heat, salty food, and alcohol will quickly lead to dehydration.
  • 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 replacement for lost or broken glasses.
  • All beers stop pouring at 4pm. The music will go on until 9pm, but guests will have to pay for drinks during this time.

Take a look back at last year’s Sabroso Fest for a glimpse at what may go down this Saturday:

The craft beer scene in the South Bay area of Los Angeles County has surged quite a bit in the past year or two, and the scene will continue to experience rapid growth for an indefinite amount of time. This trend saw another spike this past Saturday when Absolution Brewing Company celebrated their third anniversary. Located across the ExxonMobil Refinery from the Torrance microbrewery core (which consists of Smog City Brewing and Monkish Brewing), Absolution Brewing represents another fine member of the South Bay craft beer collective. While they may not yet appear as widespread as Smog City or Monkish, the brews of Absolution live up to the expectations of any brewery from the South Bay.

At their third anniversary celebration, guests could still enter the tasting room and order beers right off the menu. To add to the celebration, Absolution employed a handful of additions, which included cask ales, games, mobile food vendors, and live music. Guests could still purchase beers as normal at the counter, but to those looking for a festival experience, Absolution offered just that in the form of beer packages. A general package cost $25 and came with three full beer pours, a souvenir glass, and one meal ticket from the food vendors. The VIP experience took place from 11am to 1pm, which consisted of unlimited beer pours for those two hours, plus everything that the $25 package gets.

Expect lots of hype and excitement from the South Bay in the upcoming weeks. This upcoming Saturday, Phantom Carriage in Carson will celebrate their second anniversary. The following weekend, Redondo Beach’s King Harbor Brewing Company will celebrate their third anniversary as well. The Monkish anniversary already happened the previous week, but one can expect that Smog City should have an anniversary event before summer starts. Regardless, one cannot go wrong with breweries in the South Bay, so head on over and check out some breweries!