Posts Tagged ‘The Pike’

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.

As part of their annual seasonal series of free live music events, Summer And Music launched Twisted At The Pike last Saturday night. This free and all-ages outdoor event took place in front of the ferris wheel at The Pike in Downtown Long Beach, and featured four local bands, and a handful of wacky actors. In addition to the live music, visitors found fire dancers, magicians, and many characters, which included monsters, ghouls, and other scary figures. Between music sets, a live DJ filled the air with dance music, and visitors could check out the food and drinks sold by the Auld Dubliner.

To better understand the theme, imagine a carnival from a horror movie. Many roaming characters portrayed an evil clown, while some simply donned a monster mask or costume. Various props around the area allowed some interaction with visitors, such as a twisted mirror. To complete the panoramic experience, the bands played psychedelic music, almost putting listeners into a trance. Words cannot accurately describe the atmosphere of this event – you had to attend to understand what transpired here.

Miss out on Twisted At The Pike? Summer And Music will host many more events this summer in Long Beach. Check out their website (linked above) for a full list of events to look forward to. Pay attention to their Facebook page for an event coming up in August. If you like music, and you like free stuff, you definitely owe it to yourself, your friends, and your family to check out anything put on by Summer And Music.

Downtown Long Beach‘s series of tasting events moved down to the waterfront for an evening of sampling eats on the pier last week. The Taste of Downtown Long Beach invites many of area’s restaurants, bars, and other food businesses to come together to serve samples to all visitors looking to explore what Downtown Long Beach has to offer. Due to Long Beach’s structure of regional neighborhoods, a sole Taste of Long Beach would require too much work, and would come up to a loss rather than profit. With Belmont Shore running theirs in the summer, and Naples Island running theirs once a year, Downtown Long Beach runs their series of tasting events approximately three-four times per year, each in a different location. Participating businesses remain largely consistent between each event, with a few changes to accommodate for new businesses and others that could not or did not want to return. With each event, the location moves around from place to place within Downtown Long Beach, from the East Village Arts District to the bustling Pine Avenue on a busy weeknight. Last week, the taste moved down to Rainbow Harbor for an evening of feasting on the pier.

Unlike previous Tastes of Downtown Long Beach, this one did not feature as many participants. In fact, this one contained the fewest amount of participants out of all the events of the year. Many of the standard businesses made an appearance, while some others could not bring a setup out to the pier, such as Federal Bar or Beachwood BBQ.

The Sky Room‘s Chorizo Potato Taco and Apricot Creme Brûlée

Gladstone’s Lobster Mac & Cheese and Chocolate Ganache Mini Martini

Michael’s Pizzeria‘s Polpete al Forno

HootersBoneless Hot Wings

Visitors to this Taste of Downtown Long Beach could receive 90 minutes of free parking at The Pike’s parking structure. However, the website only mentioned this once, and very few of the visitors knew about this, and either resorted to paying for parking or took some other means to arriving that usually associated a cost or physical effort. I find this the fault of both sides – the website did not make parking an important point, and visitors must not have read the website thoroughly. Regardless, all visitors enjoyed tasting these fine eats out on the waterfront, despite the weather warmer than usual. Things will cool down by the next Taste of Downtown Long Beach which should occur in the winter.

As part of their annual seasonal series of free live music events, Summer And Music launched Twisted At The Pike last Friday night. This free and all-ages outdoor event took place in front of the ferris wheel at The Pike in Downtown Long Beach, and featured four local bands, and a handful of wacky actors. In addition to the live music, visitors found fire dancers, magicians, and many characters, which included monsters, ghouls, and other scary figures. Between music sets, a live DJ filled the air with dance music, and visitors could check out the food and drinks sold by the Auld Dubliner.

To better understand the theme, imagine a carnival from a horror movie. Many roaming characters portrayed an evil clown, while some simply donned a monster mask or costume. Various props around the area allowed some interaction with visitors, such as a twisted mirror. To complete the panoramic experience, the bands played psychedelic music, almost putting listeners into a trance. Words cannot accurately describe the atmosphere of this event – you had to attend to understand what transpired here.

Miss out on Twisted At The Pike? Summer And Music will host many more events this summer in Long Beach. Check out their website (linked above) for a full list of events to look forward to. I can tell you right now to pay attention to their Facebook page in about two weeks for an event on the first Saturday of August. If you like music, and you like free stuff, you definitely owe it to yourself, your friends, and your family to check out anything put on by Summer And Music.

California Brewmasters Book Signing Party
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, July 9
Beach City Brewery, Huntington Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/666873693400359/

Join brewers from local breweries at Beach City Brewery this Wednesday evening as they congregate for a signing of the book California Brewmasters. Guests may park and attend for free. Books and beer come at cost. Guests of all ages may purchase a book as well as receive autographs, but minors cannot have any beer.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 10
Downtown Los Angeles
http://downtownartwalk.org/

This free monthly event takes place over many blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. Many galleries will open late, and some parking lots will contain more art, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, and more. Unless you know business owners, free parking barely exists in Downtown LA, although some meters only operate until 8pm. First-time visitors should attend with someone who has gone here prior.

Deschutes – Tap Takeover
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 10
The Rookery, Pomona
http://www.facebook.com/events/476444565819032/

Oregon’s own Deschutes Brewery will take over the taps at The Rookery in Downtown Pomona this Thursday night. Come on down and enjoy a nice cold one.

2014 Orange County Fair Opening Day
12:00 pm, July 11
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://ocfair.com/

The OC Fair this year runs Wednesday through Sunday each week starting July 11 with the final day on August 10. The fairgrounds open 12pm until 12am on weekdays, and 10am to 12 am on weekends. For opening day, all guests receive FREE parking and enter the fair for FREE. Click this link for special ticket promotions. Click this link for info on the Super Pass. Every year, a new fried food gets introduced, such as deep-fried Kool Aid or deep-fried butter. In previous years, they allowed guests to bring their own foods to get fried, and they will continue that tradition this year.

The Aquabats @ House of Blues Anaheim
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 11
House of Blues, Anaheim
http://www.houseofblues.com/anaheim/events/eventdetail/?viewNav=/event-detail&eventId=09004C8F2DE8ED6E&oid=0

Have a ball with The Aquabats and The Interrupters at this all-ages show this Friday night. Tickets cost $22 presale.

1st Annual Orange County Brew Hee Haw
Four 4-hour sessions, July 11-13
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.ocbrewheehaw.com/

The OC Brew Ha Ha team has struck again with this weekend-long beer festival taking place at the Orange County Fairgrounds. Covering four 4-hour sessions throughout the weekend, this beer festival takes the concept of the locally famous Brew Ha Ha and steps it up by adding beer from breweries outside of the Southern California circuit, so expect to see some unfamiliar beers here. Tickets per session cost $50 presale or $55 at the gate, and all ticket-holders receive 15 beer tasters plus a complimentary pass to the OC Fair for that day. A session will take place 6-10pm on Friday, 12-4pm and 5-9pm on Saturday, and 12-4pm on Sunday. The two afternoon sessions occurring at 12pm also include a free concert ticket to a performance at the Pacific Amphitheatre later that night. No one under 21 may enter the Brew Hee Haw area, and can only stay out in the fairgrounds. However, guests may freely leave and enter between the Brew Hee Haw area and the fairgrounds. Parking at the OC Fair costs $10 cash per vehicle. On weekends, guests may park for free at select parking lots and ride a shuttle to the fairgrounds – consult the OC Fair website for details, linked above.

Read up on the last event put on by the OC Brew Ha Ha team.

Twisted At The Pike
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 11
Rainbow Harbor, Long Beach
http://summerandmusic.com/event/twisted-at-the-pike/

Immerse yourself into the world of weird this Friday night in Long Beach. Free to attend for all ages, this twisted carnival has live music, dance, magic performers, a beer garden hosted by Auld Dubliner, local food vendors, and more.

The Offspring & The Adolescents @ The Pacific Amphitheatre
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 11
Pacific Amphitheatre, Costa Mesa
http://www.pacamp.com/pa/schedules/2014/The_Offspring.asp

Orange County natives The Offspring and The Adolescents will headline the opening night of the 2014 OC Fair this Friday night. Tickets to this all-ages show start at $40 and includes admission to the fair.

Agent Orange & Guttermouth @ Borderline Bar & Grill
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 11
Borderline Bar & Grill, Thousand Oaks
http://borderlinebarandgrill.ticketfly.com/event/609945-agent-orange-guttermouth-thousand-oaks/

Punk rock heavyweights Agent Orange and Guttermouth will headline this local show this Friday night in Thousand Oaks. Tickets to this show cost $12. No one under 18 may attend.

Punk Rock Night @ The Redwood Bar
9:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 11
The Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/443428575794238/

Check out a great lineup of local bands this Friday night in Downtown LA. The page does not specify a cover charge, so have cash available for that. No one under 21 may attend this show.

Weird Band Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 11
California Institute of Abnormalarts, North Hollywood
http://www.facebook.com/events/1409594345995678/

For just $10, guests of all ages can check out this show featuring some of the weirdest bands in the industry.

2014 Rental Car Rally – Los Angeles
9:00 pm – 3:00 pm, July 11
Location TBA, Los Angeles
http://www.rentalcarrally.com/

What do you get when you mix Halloween with Mario Kart? You get the Rental Car Rally! This race abandons all conventional means by pitting themed teams against each other as they drive from point A to point B overnight. Instead of which team arrives first, winners reach the destination with the fewest miles traveled while hitting every single checkpoint along the way. Along the way, teams may attempt to interfere with other teams, using methods such as water balloons, water guns, powdered balloons, and other wacky ways that you would normally see in a video game. Words cannot accurately describe the mayhem behind a Rental Car Rally. To understand this, one must commit to competing in this wacky ride.

6th Annual San Diego Doggie Street Festival
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, July 12
NTC Park, Liberty Station, San Diego
http://doggiestreetfestival.org/

This event focuses on dog & cat adoptions, providing people an opportunity to add a pet to their lives. Free to attend for all ages, this event comes with food vendors, live music from local bands, speakers, pet merchandise & accessories, pet services, and more.

1st Annual Horton’s Hayride
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 12
Shannon’s On Pine, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/hortons-hayride-tickets-11378069111

The streets of Downtown Long Beach at Pine & Broadway will shut down to traffic for this all-day all-ages rockabilly festival. Enjoy live music from the great sets of the Reverend Horton Heat, Jello Biafra, and more, and check out the great food, classic cars, and pinup models. Tickets to this event costs only $10.

Grindcore Fest 2014
4:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 12
333 Live, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/509243209165428/

Can you handle this many hours of hardcore music? Test your stamina at this lengthy grindcore show this Saturday night in Los Angeles. The event page has released limited information about the event, so have cash ready on you, or prepare to not even enter if the event has an age minimum.

Chinatown Summer Nights
5:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 12
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.chinatownla.com/calendar.php?eventId=281

Have a fun time this summer at Chinatownin Downtown Los Angeles. Free to attend for all ages, this nighttime festival brings together food, music, art, and beer in a multicultural setting. Expect to see food trucks, merchandise, arts & crafts, live music, live DJ’s, a dance floor, a beer garden hosted by Eagle Rock Brewery, and more. Guests can find free street parking on Spring St and the side streets connected to Spring, including College St.

Colorado Street Bridge Party
6:00 pm – 11:30 pm, July 12
Historic Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena
http://www.pasadenaheritage.org/bridge

Celebrate the history of a really old bridge by partying on it this Saturday night. Catch a night of music, dancing, classic cars, arts & crafts, food, drinks, and more all on the bridge. Tickets to this event cost $16 presale or $18 at the gate.

Neon Dash – San Diego
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 12
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
http://www.neondash.com/locations/sandiego/

Run, jog, or walk your way through a brightly lit course at night with the Neon Dash 5k. This all-ages fun run combines the spectrum of a color run with the brilliance of a glow run with specially formulated glow-in-the-dark glow. Throughout the 5k course, live music will pump up the runners while course staff and volunteers will spray participants with the magical glow to give them that special something that lights them up in the night. Following the run, all participants can stay for the after party that goes on all night. Registration costs $30 online and $40 on the day of the event. As a color run, all participants should wear white during the race to absorb the most color possible, and have spare clothes to change into when going home. Parking will range from $5 to $10, but since spectators can enter for free, feel free to bring friends & family to watch the run. Note that the race will start at 8pm, and with thousands of participants, I highly suggest arriving at least an hour early to circumvent traffic.

Smut Peddlers – Album Release Show
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 12
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/smut-peddlers-album-release

Legendary punk band Smut Peddlers have a new album coming out, and they will celebrate with this album release show this Saturday night at The Observatory in Santa Ana. Tickets to this all-ages show cost just $10. Arrive early and park in the venue’s parking lot for free. Arrive too late, and end up parking in a parking lot down the street for $10 per vehicle.

Jerm & Merrie’s Birthday Bash
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 12
The Screamin’ Chicken, San Bernardino
http://www.facebook.com/events/316714931837786/

Enjoy some of Southern California’s hardest rocking punk rock bands this Saturday night all the way out in San Bernardino. The cover for this show costs only $8. No one under 21 may attend.

Los Creepers @ 13th Frame Lounge
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 12
13th Frame Lounge, La Habra
http://www.facebook.com/events/542896765819227/

Rock out to some hardcore street punk in La Habra this Saturday night. The cover for this all-ages show costs $10.

Beach Babe Bicycling Classic
7:00 am – 2:00 pm, July 13
Shoreline Aquatic Park, Long Beach
http://californiagirlseries.com/

Join hundreds of women cyclists tour the SoCal coastline from Long Beach to Huntington Beach in this beautiful annual bike ride this Sunday morning. Go on a bike ride for 15 miles or 36 miles along beach trails and bike lanes with a handful of catered rest stops along the path. Following the ride, attendees can enjoy a mini women’s expo at the finish line complete with merchandise and accessories. Registration costs $95 for a solo rider. Have cash available for parking, as the nearest free parking location lies in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue. The website does not specify if men can participate, but photos from previous years show absolutely no men.

101st Kit Collectors Expo
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, July 13
UFCW Local 324, Buena Park
http://www.kitcollectorshow.com/

Hundreds of vendors will gather here to showcase their model kits of cars, ships, planes, miniatures, armor, sci-fi/fantasy, space, and more. Admission to this all-ages expo costs just $5.

Los Angeles Cuban Festival
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, July 13
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://www.fiestalegre.net/

Bring out your family to this Cuban festival this Sunday in Long Beach. Tickets cost $30 presale or $35 at the gate, and allows full access to all the Cuban food, drinks, music, dancing, arts & crafts, and more.

Ballast Point 18th Anniversary Celebration
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, July 13
Maritime Museum, San Diego
http://www.ballastpoint.com/events/ballast-point-18th-anniversary-beer-festival/

Ballast Point Brewing turns 18 soon, and would like to invite you to come celebrate with them! At the San Diego Maritime Museum this Sunday afternoon, guests can find all things Ballast Point, as they enjoy their drinks aboard historic ships and submarines. Ballast Point will provide over 40 different beers, which will include rare beers and some unreleased beers. Live music will play on multiple stages throughout the venue. Local food vendors will also set up for guests that get hungry, although food comes at its own price. Admission to this one of a kind beer fest costs $40, which includes full admission to the museum, fifteen 3oz beer tasters, and a souvenir glass. No one under 21 may attend.

German Heritage Day
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, July 13
Old World Village, Huntington Beach
http://www.oldworld.ws/

Do you love Oktoberfest? Show off your German pride at this FREE and all-ages celebration this Sunday afternoon at Old World Village in Huntington Beach. Enjoy German food, music, arts & crafts, and more. The first 500 guests receive a FREE meal, so act quick!

Punk Rock N’ Fiesta
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 13
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/1438254613098011/

Relax with this daytime punk rock show this Sunday afternoon, with catering available. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may attend.

The English Beat @ The OC Fair
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 13
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://ocfair.com/2014/shows/TheEnglishBeat.asp

Old school ska band The English Beat will headline a show inside the OC Fair’s Hangar this Sunday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $15 and includes admission to the fair.

The Auld Dubliner Irish Pub in Downtown Long Beach has brought a taste of Ireland down to Long Beach, as they threw the first ever Long Beach Fleadh Irish Music & Oyster Festival. Pronounced ‘fla’ in its native language of gaelic, this traditional summer festival celebrates Irish culture with music, oysters, other Irish food, beer, whisky, and more. Now finding a place here in Long Beach, all visitors to this festival could sample a bit of Irish culture at this two-day all-ages festival that took place this past weekend at The Pike in Downtown Long Beach. A handful of activities awaited all visitors, such as a kids’ area, an Irish film tent, multiple music stages, and plenty of food & drinks.

In the main oyster tent, a handful of local restaurants catered fresh oysters from local sources. This tent also included champagne, beer, and whisky from Tullamore Dew along with acoustic music performances.

This festival featured three stages: a main stage, an acoustic stage, and a traditional/storytelling stage.

Visitors could find some of Southern California’s more prominent Celtic/Irish bands here at the Fleadh, such as The American Wake and the California Celts, shown below.

For as much as they marketed this festival, the organizers could have done a lot more to make this fest as grand as they made it sound. Take into consideration that it cost $20 for adults to enter this festival. Compare that with other Irish festivals that cost no more than $15 and comes with much more content. This Fleadh surely felt underwhelming, as it only featured exactly what they advertised and nothing more. We only ever saw the music, food, drinks, and film session that the website mentioned. They could have expanded this festival to contain more Irish culture and traditions, but then they started to dabble into Scottish culture with all the bagpipes. At that point, I could tell they did not obtain all the content they originally wanted for this festival. The organizers also left a lot of empty space around the festival that they could have filled but chose not to because they assumed a larger capacity of visitors. This festival has lots of room to grow, and plenty of potential to live up to the original Fleadh festival found in Ireland. Hopefully they can pull off a complete rework of this festival for next year, as Long Beach truly deserves its own Irish festival after housing so many Irish pubs for the longest time.

Downtown Long Beach‘s series of tasting events moved down to the waterfront for an evening of sampling eats on the pier. The Taste of Downtown Long Beach invites many of area’s restaurants, bars, and other food businesses to come together to serve samples to all visitors looking to explore what Downtown Long Beach has to offer. Due to Long Beach’s structure of regional neighborhoods, a sole Taste of Long Beach would require too much work, and would come up to a loss rather than profit. With Belmont Shore running theirs in the summer, and Naples Island running theirs once a year, Downtown Long Beach runs their series of tasting events approximately three-four times per year, each in a different location. Participating businesses remain largely consistent between each event, with a few changes to accommodate for new businesses and others that could not or did not want to return. With each event, the location moves around from place to place within Downtown Long Beach, from the East Village Arts District to the bustling Pine Avenue on a busy weeknight. Last week, the taste moved down to Rainbow Harbor for an evening of feasting on the pier.

Unlike previous Tastes of Downtown Long Beach, this one did not feature as many participants. Many of the standard businesses made an appearance, while some others could not bring a setup out to the pier, such as Federal Bar or Beachwood BBQ. Surprisingly, I saw for the first time Village Bakery, who had taken over the building last occupied by Shortnin Bread.

Shenanigans Irish Pub‘s Corned Beef Sliders and Fish & Chips

Wine Down Lounge‘s Cuban Pulled Pork w/ infused rice, Fresh Fruit w/ Chile & Lime, Homemade Potato Chips, and Mini Crème Brûlée

Pier 76 Fish Grill‘s Langostino & Lobster Roll and Watermelon Lemonade

The Village Bakery‘s Peanut Butter Brownie

Gladstone’s Lobster Mac & Cheese and Chocolate Ganache Mini Martini

Michael’s Pizzeria‘s Polpete al Forno

Visitors to this Taste of Downtown Long Beach could receive 90 minutes of free parking at The Pike’s parking structure. However, the website only mentioned this once, and very few of the visitors knew about this, and either resorted to paying for parking or took some other means to arriving that usually associated a cost or physical effort. I find this the fault of both sides – the website did not make parking an important point, and visitors must not have read the website thoroughly. Regardless, all visitors enjoyed tasting these fine eats out on the waterfront, despite the weather warmer than usual. Things will cool down by the next Taste of Downtown Long Beach which should occur in the winter.