Ah, late summer in Orange County. The days are long, the A/C units all hum in perfect unison, and sunburns seem to molt into the fall breeze. Thankfully, we have beer festivals. There’s no better reason to raise a tiny glass to the sky, build an intricate pretzel necklace, and give a toast to another great summer. Luckily, we have three great festivals to choose from!
Tustin Brewing Co. 19th Anniversary Party: Sunday August 23rd.
Why it’s great: The best in the local industry come out to show support for one of the first breweries in Orange County. After two brewpubs closed in Orange County last year, Tustin Brewing lives on to show that it’s not only relevant, it’s one of the greatest around. The party is pretty much inside the restaurant and patio, so it sells out pretty fast.
What to look for: Tustin’s Great American Beer Festival award winning sour, Jon Flanders. Also check out Bagby Beer Co’s line up and the highly talked about RIIP Beer Co. Dan K IPA.
Tickets available at Tustin Brewing.
OC Brew HaHa: September 12th
Why it’s great: By far the largest beer festival in the county, the Brew Ha Ha team specializes in events and has been doing them for six years. Their formula is simple: invite the best breweries in our region (100 breweries, 350 beers), run a great event from top to bottom, and make it educational…all while supporting a great non-profit: the Fallen Firefighters Relief Fund.
What to look for: Phantom Carriage sour beers from L.A., a dozen pro skateboarders riding a half-pipe, the Hop Monster collaboration beer with three San Clemente breweries, and of course the cigar lounge. Look for me at the food truck area or under the misters, mister.
OC Fest of Ales: September 19th
Why it’s great: Back after a year hiatus, the Fest of Ales is all about celebrating Anaheim, O.C.’s “Brew City”. This year there’s no 5K Beer Run, but that shouldn’t stop you from running to buy tickets for this great event held on Anaheim’s Center Street Promenade.
What to look for: Food bites paired with beer are now part of the regular festival! If you’re still hungry after the fest, the Anaheim Packinghouse is a short walk away. There’s also a homebrew competition; winner gets to brew their winning recipe with Anaheim’s Bottle Logic Brewing, and can possibly go on to the Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am competition to win on the national level.
Bonus: Use code OCBEER for a special BoozeBlog discount!
Photo credits: Jerrod Larsen (Tustin), John Holzer (Brew HaHa), and Jessica McNew (Fest of Ales).