Posts Tagged ‘Craft Beer’

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:

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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.

The popularity of craft beer continues to remain ever strong. The current times feel like the peak of the trend, with third parties attempting to capitalize on the popularity. Take the gourmet food truck trend for example. In the first year or two, we saw lots of great food trucks with actual good food. Afterwards, event organizers started to try to take advantage of this by charging exorbitant amounts to get into to food truck festivals. As the trend started to fade away, we saw a lot of gimmicky food trucks with less than stellar food. All of that appears to happen right now to microbreweries, as lots of bad beer festivals exist to take advantage of the fact that people will pay lots of money for a few hours of drinking. Throughout all of this, local entrepreneurs still desire to enter the microbrewery business to deliver a quality experience, as opposed to the ones just looking to turn a quick profit. It takes some careful searching to discover hidden gems, such as a fresh young microbrewery in Los Angeles County, Angry Horse Brewing.

Located in Downtown Montebello, Angry Horse Brewing opened just a few months ago sometime in March. They have not even had an official grand opening yet. Regardless, Angry Horse Brewing has managed to gain quite a solid following in such a little time. Like most of Southern California’s breweries, Angry Horse Brewing does not specialize in a particular style of beer – they brew it all. I did not spot any fermenters in the back – only a handful of brite tanks. This allows them to carry a lot of different beers, from IPA’s to Belgian beers to stouts and more. All of the beers that I tried have an approachable feel to them – not too strong in any particular note, and with familiar flavors that anyone can enjoy.

Despite still operating in a “soft opening” phase, Angry Horse Brewing already has a lot of fans, evident by having a full house late on a Saturday afternoon. Support this local microbrewery and stay updated with what goes on here by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center brought back their Summer Solstice Festival for its eighth year running this past Sunday afternoon. Free to attend for all ages, this event featured a handful of local vendors, artisans, and musicians, as well as arts & crafts for children. The event also contained a few local food vendors. The event did not feature too much else from their previous years, but they did add a beer garden that they called OC Beer Alley. Essentially a beer garden, four local breweries set up to pour their beers on this hot summer day. Visitors had to buy tickets at the entrance to the beer garden to redeem for beers. For such a hot day, drinking outside proved inauspicious – it certainly would have felt more safe and comfortable to drink indoors or at least in a cooler place. Still, this made for a nice afternoon for families, as the children can go play with the arts & crafts while the parents can enjoy themselves in the beer garden.

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center holds events very often at their facility in Fullerton, many of which have no cost to attend. Check out the Muckenthaler Cultural Center on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

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 22nd Annual Taste of Anaheim returns to the Anaheim GardenWalk this Thursday evening. This mega event covers an entire portion of the GardenWalk, closing the area off as guests can enter to savor the local flavors of Anaheim’s great food & drink businesses. For $40 presale or $45 at the door, all attendees receive free parking and admission to this all-ages festival, where attendees can sample all the food they can handle, bid in a silent auction, jam to live music, sip on finely crafted cocktails, and more. The entrance to the tasting area starts at the center of the GardenWalk, and the event covers the entire northern section.

  • Once attendees get past the entrance gate, the restaurants will start to line up, set up tables, and serve their food and/or drinks.
  • A silent auction typically takes place at the Taste of Anaheim. Items mainly include gift cards and event tickets to Angels games and concerts at The Grove, plus a few other random goodies. The location of the silent auction changes every year, as it could happen near the back, or near the front.
  • Once past this initial entrance area, guests enter the open promenade area of the fest, filled with chairs and stages for the bands.
  • While guests will find most of the food upstairs, the strong businesses generally take up residence downstairs toward the back, such as Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Slater’s 50/50, and Noble Ale Works.
  • Upstairs at the GardenWalk, plenty of participating restaurants set up to serve all the guests their unique eats. Vendors up here may include local restaurants like The Ranch and The Catch, local caterers like Sally Ann and Mother’s Market, local breweries Hangar 24 and Bootlegger’s, local artists selling their work, and corporate businesses like Rubio’s and Hooters. For all other spaces, Disney takes up the rest, with restaurants from inside the Disneyland park and from Downtown Disney.
  • Though the lineup of participating businesses will certainly change since last year, the general setup and structure will remain the same. Guests will find most of the food upstairs, while guests will find other things downstairs, such as more places to sit, the music stage, non-food vendors, guest services, and more.

Although the Taste of Anaheim usually has more Disney establishments present than anything else, this event still has great local establishments. If you do go to this event, spend more time with the local businesses as opposed to the corporate businesses, as supporting local business stimulates the local economy, providing growth and jobs necessary for that area to flourish.