Firkfest: A Different Kind of Beer Festival

Orange County’s most unusual brewfest is back for its third year
Photograph by Patty Mitchell

“YABF” stands for “yet another beer festival,” because many breweries bring the same stuff you can find in the local supermarket, and they’re run by organizers who don’t understand beer. Then there’s Firkfest, a silly-sounding festival hosted by yours truly.*

What the hell is a firk and why would there be a festival with them? A firk is short for “firkin,” which is a 10-gallon vessel (cask) that holds beer. It’s similar to a keg, but the beer inside is served ultra-fresh straight from the vessel in which it finished fermenting.

What makes Firkfest so unusual? Brewers use this event to one-up their competition by bringing something truly exotic. The event aims to highlight bright, cask-conditioned ale like one would find in a British pub, and sometimes ultra-fresh beer straight from the brewery. They often give their brews extra flair with creative ingredients. Think IPA with extra hops, a stout with fresh coffee beans, or a refreshing pale ale with ginger. The selection changes drastically from year to year, so if you miss out on Firkfest, you may never get to try these beers again.

What’s the food like? This year it’s inspired by international street food, done by local restaurants that also happen to love beer!

This is the first year Firkfest will include live music, including bluegrass from The Corzines and “Mood Maestro” Cesar Alfaro on the turntables. Attendees also can enjoy a giant Jenga game, bag toss, hula hoop, or just chill in the park sampling great beer. Parking is free in a local city lot, and valet is available via the Anaheim Packing District. Proceeds benefit the newly formed Orange County Brewer’s Guild.


Date: March 19
Time: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: 400 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim Packing District. Tickets ($55) and info at 
Discount: Enter code “boozeblog” for $5 off

Brewery List

Orange County
The Bruery
The Good Beer Co.
Noble Ale Works
Artifex Brewing Co.
Anaheim Brewery
Bottle Logic Brewing
Barley Forge Brewing Co.
Tustin Brewing Co.
Valiant Brewing
Backstreet Brewery
Bootlegger’s Brewery
Legends Craft Brewery
Left Coast Brewing Co.
Pizza Port San Clemente

Los Angeles
Beachwood BBQ and Brewing
Smog City Brewing
MacLeod Ale Brewing Co.
King Harbor Brewing Co.
Figueroa Mountain Brewing
Bravery Brewing
Monkish Brewing Co.
Golden Road Pub – Orange County
Strand Brewing Co.
El Segundo Brewing Co.
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

San Diego
32 North Brewing Co.
Stone Brewing
Mike Hess Brewing Co.

Inland Empire
Sanctum Brewing Co.
Hangar 24 Craft Brewery
Coachella Valley Brewing Co.

 * I also highly suggest going to the Brew Ha Ha events! Great people growing craft beer for the passion.

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