Posts Tagged ‘Cask’

The vernal equinox arrives this weekend, meaning that the weather will start to warm up, and the daily daylight will start to extend, providing even greater incentive to get out there and explore the world. Events around town occur regularly, and most people understand the basics of most of these events, such as 5k runs, art shows, or beer fests. But what happens when a traditional event comes up with a spin? Enter FirkFest, a beer festival celebrating the wonders of cask ales. Traditional beer fests see breweries or home brewers bringing in their brews to sample to the large crowd of attendees over a short period of time. This Saturday at Farmers Park in Anaheim, FirkFest will do that same thing, except the participating breweries will bring only casks to this party. A unique fest of its kind, cask ales rarely get this type of exposure, largely due to the portability of it. As a result, only cask ales from west coast breweries can survive the trip here.

Aside from the drinks featured here, FirkFest operates largely like most other beer festivals. Admission to this festival costs $55, and includes unlimited beer tastings from all the participating breweries from noon to 3:45pm, plus free parking. Around this small area, other activities include live music and some recreational games, like bocce ball, beanbag toss, hula hoops, Jenga, and more. Towards the entrance, guests can purchase food from any of the available food vendors. The majority of the beers’ alcohol percentage range from six to eight percent, with a few going above or below that. As this event takes place mostly outdoors, make sure you prepare to spend all that time under the sun, so dress for warm weather, and have sunscreen applied just in case. Attendees can find plenty of free parking in the nearby neighborhoods, or can park in a structure adjacent to City Hall for free that day.

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With Spring now underway, the weather starts to warm up, and the daily daylight starts to extend, providing even greater incentive to get out there and explore the world. Events around town occur regularly, and most people understand the basics of most of these events, such as 5k runs, art shows, or beer fests. But what happens when a traditional event comes up with a spin? Enter Firkfest, a beer festival celebrating the wonders of cask ales. Traditional beer fests see breweries or home brewers bringing in their brews to sample to the large crowd of attendees over a short period of time. This past Saturday at Farmers Park in Anaheim, Firkfest did that same thing, except the participating breweries brought only casks to this party. A one-of-a-kind festival, cask ales rarely get this type of exposure, largely due to the portability of it. As a result, only cask ales from breweries on the west coast could survive the trip here. Aside from the drinks featured here, Firkfest operated largely like most other beer festivals. Admission to this festival cost $55, and included unlimited beer tastings from all the participating breweries from noon to 3:45pm, plus free parking. Around this small area, other activities included live music and some recreational games, like bocce ball, cornhole, Jenga, and more. For the majority of the beers, the alcohol percentage ranged from six to eight percent, with a few going above or below that. I managed to try something from every brewery since none of the breweries held any timed releases like some have in the past – all attendees could receive any beer right from the start.

Now in its third year, Firkfest has solidified itself as one of the staple Orange County beer festivals for craft beer fans to attend. Last year, the organizers also incorporated a chili cookoff into the event, allowing local businesses to enter their best rendition of chili to a contest, while also allowing attendees to sample the chili. This year, they appear to have ditched that idea, intending to focus solely on the brews at hand. As a persistent problem since their first year, the staff clearly could have handled the entrance line a lot better. The front gate volunteers did not start checking tickets and handing out wristbands until 12pm on the dot, losing valuable time for the attendees way at the back of the line. To mitigate this issue, they could have ran two lines: one line to check in & receive a wristband, and another line for the express entrance with just showing the wristband. As a notable experience, the attendance remained below average for a beer fest. Some of the larger beer festivals have you standing shoulder to shoulder with other people, waiting in long lines for generic beer that may even include macro beers like Shock Top. Those “drunk fests” do not emphasize the quality of the beer – they focus on quantity and getting people as drunk as the next person. Firkfest got the quality beers for a fest with a manageable attendance, keeping things slightly more intimate and allowing greater interactions with the attendees and the representatives from the breweries. The organizers also resolved parking by allowing guests to park for free in a parking structure that normally would not allow so many people to park in for so long. The venue worked out great for the wide space, and the weather made it even better. With nothing outstanding to complain about, I foresee Firkfest standing strong for many years.

The vernal equinox arrives this weekend, meaning that the weather will start to warm up, and the daily daylight will start to extend, providing even greater incentive to get out there and explore the world. Events around town occur regularly, and most people understand the basics of most of these events, such as 5k runs, art shows, or beer fests. But what happens when a traditional event comes up with a spin? Enter FirkFest, a beer festival celebrating the wonders of cask ales. Traditional beer fests see breweries or home brewers bringing in their brews to sample to the large crowd of attendees over a short period of time. This Saturday at Farmers Park in Anaheim, FirkFest will do that same thing, except the participating breweries will bring only casks to this party. A unique fest of its kind, cask ales rarely get this type of exposure, largely due to the portability of it. As a result, only cask ales from west coast breweries can survive the trip here.

Aside from the drinks featured here, FirkFest operates largely like most other beer festivals. Admission to this festival costs $55*, and includes unlimited beer tastings from all the participating breweries from noon to 3:45pm, plus free parking. Around this small area, other activities include live music and some recreational games, like bocce ball, beanbag toss, hula hoops, Jenga, and more. Towards the entrance, guests can purchase food from any of the available food vendors. The majority of the beers’ alcohol percentage range from six to eight percent, with a few going above or below that.

* = Use promo code boozeblog to receive $5 off admission

With Spring having officially started last Friday, businesses leave behind the slowed months of January and February behind to pave the way for increased volume moving into the summer months. What better way to kick off the new season exists than with a nice cold one? Enter the 2nd Annual FirkFest Cask Beer Festival & Chili Cookoff, a event that celebrates Southern California’s booming craft beer industry and up-and-coming restauranteurs in the Orange County area. Unlike many other beer tasting events out there, FirkFest sets itself apart from the rest by featuring only cask ales, a feat that virtually no one else has accomplished, or accomplished first for that matter. Due to the nature of cask ales, all of the brews available at FirkFest only existed for that day – no one will find any of the brews anywhere else ever again. Over 25 Southern Californian microbreweries appeared to serve their one-of-a-kind brews, while 12 different chefs & restauranteurs vied for the best chili of the fest.

Every attendee could eat as many chili samples as they could until it ran out. Some of the chefs brought vegan chili, while a few concocted something that more resembled a stew than a chili. Alternating between beer tastings and chili samples helped attendees reduce the intoxicating effects of the beer.

Any successful beer festival cannot operate without the people. FirkFest organizer Greg Nagel followed up with a successful first run last year with this improved event. By including food in the price of admission, Mr. Nagel upgraded this event while keeping the main operations intact. From the field games to the lively music that got people dancing, all of the attendees never wanted the day to end.

Just look at the joy expressed on their faces!

And now for the curve ball – these guys. Local craft beer enthusiasts know these guys very well for their great contributions to the SoCal craft beer industry. They decided to leave a lasting impact with these flamboyant outfits.

Just like last year, the attendance remained below average for a beer fest, albeit this event sold out a few days prior. Some of the larger beer festivals have you standing shoulder to shoulder with other people, waiting in long lines for generic beer that may even include macro beers like Shock Top. Those “drunk fests” do not emphasize the quality of the beer – they focus on quantity and getting people as drunk as the next person. FirkFest got the quality beers for a fest with a manageable attendance, keeping things slightly more intimate and allowing greater interactions with the attendees and the representatives from the breweries. The organizers also resolved parking by allowing guests to park for free in a parking structure that normally would not allow so many people to park in for so long. At this rate of improvement, we can expect great things for next year’s FirkFest.

This Saturday marks the arrival of Spring, meaning the weather will start to warm up, and the daily daylight will start to extend, providing even greater incentive to get out there and explore the world. Events around town occur regularly, and most people understand the basics of most of these events, such as 5k runs, art shows, or beer fests. But what happens when a traditional event comes up with a spin? Enter FirkFest, a beer festival celebrating the wonders of cask ales. Traditional beer fests see breweries or home brewers bringing in their brews to sample to the large crowd of attendees over a short period of time. This Saturday at Farmers Park in Anaheim, FirkFest will do that same thing, except the participating breweries will bring only casks to this party. A unique fest of its kind, cask ales rarely get this type of exposure, largely due to the portability of it. As a result, only cask ales from breweries in California can survive the trip here.

Aside from the drinks featured here, FirkFest operates largely like most other beer festivals. Admission to this festival costs $50, and includes unlimited beer tastings from all the participating breweries from noon to 3:45pm, plus free parking. Around this small area, other activities include live music and some recreational games, like bocce ball, beanbag toss, hula hoops, Jenga, and more. Towards the entrance, guests can purchase food from any of the available food vendors. The majority of the beers’ alcohol percentage range from six to eight percent, with a few going above or below that.

UPDATE: This festival has SOLD OUT. You may encounter after-market tickets at this point though, but I do not condone that method of acquiring tickets.

Craft beer has a huge market in Southern California that continually expands annually. This past weekend, MacLeod Ale Brewing Company opened their doors to the public with a grand opening complete with food trucks, bagpipe players, and of course, beer. Now you may think to yourself, “Oh great, another brewery.” Let me tell you that this brewery with a Scottish background sets themselves apart from the others by focusing on cask ales. Most breweries have their own niche with what they brew, and MacLeod chose cask beers. Out in the San Fernando Valley, breweries have not established themselves as part of the community, largely due to Anheuser Busch’s dominance in this territory. MacLeod hopes to break ground and start getting microbreweries out to this area.

At the grand opening this past Sunday, MacLeod celebrated it by hosting four two-hour tasting sessions starting at noon and running until 8pm. Each session cost $15 to attend, and included up to 50 ounces of beer in any combination of their four brews available. Guests wanting more beer could purchase more at $3 per 10oz. Hungry guests could munch on food from any of the available food trucks that rotated throughout the day. The four cask beers they had available:

  • Little Spree – 4.3% pale ale
  • King’s Taxes – 4.3% light Scottish ale
  • Session Gap – 3.5% ordinary bitter
  • Jackie Tar – 3.5% brown stout

MacLeod Ale plans to have seasonal brews throughout the year, so check them out in Van Nuys, or keep an eye out for them at your favorite beer store, restaurant, bar, or pub!

With Spring now underway, the weather starts to warm up, and the daily daylight starts to extend, providing even greater incentive to get out there and explore the world. Events around town occur regularly, and most people understand the basics of most of these events, such as 5k runs, art shows, or beer fests. But what happens when a traditional event comes up with a spin? Enter Firkfest, a beer festival celebrating the wonders of cask ales. Traditional beer fests see breweries or home brewers bringing in their brews to sample to the large crowd of attendees over a short period of time. This past Saturday at Farmers Park in Anaheim, Firkfest did that same thing, except the participating breweries brought only casks to this party. A first fest of its kind, cask ales rarely get this type of exposure, largely due to the portability of it. As a result, only cask ales from breweries in California could survive the trip here.

Aside from the drinks featured here, Firkfest operated largely like most other beer festivals. Admission to this festival cost $50, and included unlimited beer tastings from all the participating breweries from noon to 3:45pm, plus free parking. Around this small area, other activities included live music and some recreational games, like bocce ball, beanbag toss, hula hoops, Jenga, and more. Towards the entrance, guests could purchase food from any of the four available food vendors: Adya, Wheat And Sons, The Kroft, and The Iron Press.

A grand total of 31 breweries attended to serve drinks to all the attendees: Valiant Brewing, Tustin Brewery, Twisted Manzanita Ales, Strand Brewing, Smog City Brewing, Saint Archer Brewing, Phantom Ales, Pizza Port, Noble Ale Works, Karl Strauss Brewing, Monkish Brewing, Los Angeles Ale Works, Figueroa Mountain Brewing, Bravery Brewing, Hangar 24 Brewery, Haven Brewing, Firestone Walker, Golden Road Brewing, Eagle Rock Brewery, El Segundo Brewing, Coachella Valley Brewing, Dale Bros Brewery, Cismontane Brewing, Bottle Logic Brewing, Bootlegger’s Brewery, The Bruery, Belching Beaver Brewery, Ballast Point Brewing, Beachwood Brewing, and Anaheim Brewery. Non-alcoholic drink providers included Portola Coffee Lab and Los Angeles Ale Works with their craft sodas.

For the majority of the beers, the alcohol percentage ranged from six to eight percent, with a few going above or below that. I managed to try something from every brewery, opting out of any spicy beers or sour ales. Only Bottle Logic hosted a timed release with their Leche Molé, garnering a huge line that surpassed the porta potty lines. Even Noble Ale Works did not time a release for Man’s Milk, a derivative of their popular Naughty Sauce – they had it available since the start. Aside from Leche Molé, no other brewery had a crowd of attendees waiting for beer.

For its first run, Firkfest largely concluded as a positive experience, but not sans a few criticisms. The staff clearly could have handled the entrance line a lot better. The front gate volunteers did not start checking tickets and handing out wristbands until 12pm on the dot, losing valuable time for the attendees way at the back of the line. To mitigate this issue, they could have ran two lines: one line to check in & receive a wristband, and another line for the express entrance with just showing the wristband. As for another issue, this fest only boasted five porta potties, which had a continuous line of attendees the entire time. As we all know, renting those things cost a fortune, so finding the balance of the right amount of them will keep attendees happy without having to overspend.

Other than those fixable issues, Firkfest did everything else right in the books. As a notable experience, the attendance remained below average for a beer fest. Some of the larger beer festivals have you standing shoulder to shoulder with other people, waiting in long lines for generic beer that may even include macro beers like Shock Top. Those “drunk fests” do not emphasize the quality of the beer – they focus on quantity and getting people as drunk as the next person. Firkfest got the quality beers for a fest with a manageable attendance, keeping things slightly more intimate and allowing greater interactions with the attendees and the representatives from the breweries. The organizers also resolved parking by allowing guests to park for free in a parking structure that normally would not allow so many people to park in for so long. The venue worked out great for the wide space, and the weather made it even better. Should Firkfest return next year, we hope they take things up to a new level, keep the attendance rate similar, and resolve the lines issues.

St. Patrick’s Day
March 17
Worldwide

Too many places to name will do something special on this day, so check with your favorite local establishment to see what they have going on. Have a good time, and stay safe!

Burlesque Fandom Battle: Star Wars vs Star Trek
7:30 pm – 10:30 pm, March 18
Bar Lubitsch, West Hollywood
http://www.facebook.com/events/258706104303437/

The age-old debate of Star Wars versus Star Trek remains in a stalemate, and will remain that way for eternity. You can witness a more entertaining take on that debate this Tuesday night with this burlesque show depicting one world versus the other. The cover for this show costs $10. No one under 21 may enter.

Bottle Share @ The Rookery
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 19
The Rookery, Pomona
http://www.facebook.com/events/785839171443598/

Share your favorite craft beer with other craft beer enthusiasts at this bottle share this Wednesday night in Downtown Pomona. Bring in a 750ml bottle of craft beer and order at least $10 of food in order to participate. Guests can find plenty of free parking in the area, and can avoid paying for parking entirely.

Scrapbook Expo – Orange County
10:00 pm – 6:00 pm, March 20-22
Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim
http://www.scrapbookexpo.com/

The nationally-famous Scrapbook Expo comes to Southern California this week! Admission to this all-ages expo varies in price, starting at $8 for a one-day general admission adult ticket.

IPA & Curry Night
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 20
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/663635343693616/

Beachwood BBQ returns with another special food night. This time, they will serve five variations of curry, similar to Curry Night last year. In addition, catch special IPA pairings for each curry variation. No reservations required – simply show up, have a seat, and order!

7th Annual Musink Tattoo & Music Festival
3:00 pm – 11:00 pm, March 21
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, March 22
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, March 23
OC Fair & Events Center, Costa Mesa
http://musink.org/

Welcome to Musink, an all-ages music, tattoo, skateboarding, and pin-up festival that takes place at the OC Fairgrounds this weekend. Some of the largest names in punk rock will perform this weekend, such as The Descendents and The Vandals. Over 300 tattoo artists from around the world will fly in for the weekend. Tickets will remain on sale until the end of the fest on Sunday, so do not worry about not obtaining a ticket. Bring cash, as most of the vendors do not accept cards. Parking costs $10 per vehicle, so I highly recommend carpooling or getting dropped off.

Free Punk Show @ Blacklight District Lounge
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 21
Blacklight District Lounge, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/582092611881278/

Catch a free local punk rock show this Friday night in Long Beach. No one under 21 may attend.

Free Punk Show @ The World Famous Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 21
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/226477260890909/

Take our some inner aggression at this free show this Friday night in Anaheim. No one under 21 may enter.

Dirty Ass Punk Night
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 21
Loaded Hollywood, Hollywood
http://www.facebook.com/events/1480269448867416/

Local punk bands hit up Hollywood this Friday night. Check out this fun lineup for just $5 at Loaded Hollywood. No one under 21 may enter.

The Zombie Run Extreme/Black Ops – Los Angeles
9:00 am – 10:00 pm, March 22
Acton Movie Ranch, Acton
http://thezombierun.com/location/socal/

You never truly run a 5k or obstacle course until you have to run it under fear! This two-part zombie run places you in the shoes of a survivor or zombie. In the morning, participate in a 5K obstacle course, where you can register as a fleeing human, or as a zombie seeking to capture the humans. At night, participate in the same setup, but under the cover of darkness with little to no light. Registration varies depending on the course, time, and role, starting as low as $45 for a single zombie.

3rd Annual Winners’ Circle BBQ Championship
10:30 am – 4:00 pm, March 22
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://santaanitabbq.com/

Enjoy some traditional BBQ meats this Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. Admission to this all-ages food fest costs around $12 per person, and once inside, tasting tickets cost $1 each. Each vendor takes a varying amount of tickets depending on the item offered.

Holi on the Beach 2013
11:00 am – 3:00 pm, March 22
Will Rogers State Beach, Pacific Palisades
http://www.aidla-events.org/holionthebeach/

Missed Festival of Colors last weekend? You have another chance at it this Saturday. For those unfamiliar with Holi, if you have ran in a color run before, Holi takes the running part out of it, and adds music, dancing, and other activities, such as yoga. Celebrate Indian culture by getting covered with color and listening to entrancing music. Admission to this all-ages events costs $10 presale and $15 on the day of the event. The first 150 cars receive $2 off the parking fee, so try to arrive early! Most importantly – wear old clothes, and keep spare towels in your car.

Let There Be Light: A Spring Equinox Design Fair
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm, March 22-23
405 Mateo St, Downtown LA Arts District
http://parachutemarket.com/

This all-ages design fair showcases the latest seasonal trends in furniture, objects, fine arts, sculptures, and fashion. Tickets cost $8 presale and $10 at the door, and admit you for one day only. Attendees should park at any metered parking spot on the streets nearby, which only requires coinage until 4pm. Attendees can park on the street for free on Sunday.

FirkFest – A Cask Ale Festival
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, March 22
Anaheim Farmers Park, Anaheim
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/539158

Craft beer fans will want to travel to Anaheim this Saturday, as Anaheim hosts FirkFest, a beer fest with only cask ales. FirkFest will feature over 30 breweries, and costs $50 to get in. Use promo code mothercolony to save $10! No one under 21 may attend.

Sam Fest – The Inaugural Los Angeles Barleywine Festival
12:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 22
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra
http://38degreesalhambra.com/event/sam-fest-the-inaugural-los-angeles-barleywine-festival/

This Saturday, 38 Degrees will tap over 30 different barleywines in honor of Sam Samaniego, a beer enthusiast who traveled to Toronado Barleywine Festival annually. Come enjoy some barleywines, and check out some of the rare beers available too. This event requires no admission fee – simply show up, and pay as you drink. Guests can park for free in the parking lot behind the restaurant.

Ska Night @ The Glass House
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, March 22
Glass House, Pomona
http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/503029-code-name-rocky-gogo-13-pomona/

Get your skanking on this Saturday night in Pomona with this great lineup of local ska bands. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $10. Guests can park for free around Downtown Pomona, so avoid paying for parking where possible.

Punk Night @ The World Famous Doll Hut
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 22
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/1377882519125212/

For just $5, rock out with some great local punk rock bands at the Doll Hut in Anaheim. No one under 21 may attend.

CH3 @ Redwood Bar
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, March 22
Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/247991278713224/

CH3 headlines a small show this Saturday night in Downtown Los Angeles. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may enter. Street parking meters go off at 8pm, so guests can park on the street for free.

Naked Aggression @ Billy O’s
9:00 pm – 2:00 am, March 22
Billy O’s Restaurant & Saloon, Ventura
http://www.facebook.com/events/741595079186066/

Naked Aggression will headline a small local show this Saturday night in Ventura. The cover for this show costs $8. No one under 21 may attend.

Los Angeles Seafood Festival
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, March 23
Olvera Street, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.lafoodfestivals.com/

Dozens of food vendors will serve up delicious seafood along Olvera Street this Sunday afternoon. Free to attend for all ages, visitors can simply pay for the food that they want without the worry of paying to enter.

Voodoo Glow Skulls @ Dipiazza’s
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, March 23
Dipiazza’s, Long Beach
http://www.dipiazzas.com/index.php?option=com_events&task=view_detail&agid=2048&year=2014&month=03&day=23&Itemid=12

Voodoo Glow Skulls currently tours along the west coast, and they will swing by Long Beach for an all-ages show this Sunday night. Although not specified, this show should cost around $10.