Tips for the 4th Annual OC Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival

The 4th Annual OC Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival is this Saturday, Sep. 7th, 2013, and here are our BeerSoaked tips and tricks.

  1. MAP– BrewHaHaMap2013Here’s a link to the 2013 OC Brew Ha Ha map of the event. It’s a PDF that you can print out ahead of time so you’ll know where your favorite breweries and food vendors are located and make sure that you don’t miss anybody. Plan a meetup spot with your group when you get there since cell reception is spotty at best.
  2. Stay hydrated, keep cool – There will be FREE soda and water at the event, be sure to take advantage of it. The weather forecast says that it’ll be in the high 80’s to mid 90’s (same as last year) so drink plenty of water. We generally try to drink a bottle of water after every three tastes. It’s near Irvine Lake and there are plenty of trees providing shade, but hot is hot. Last year, the misters were a favorite way to cool down.
  3. Take your time – Ten 4 oz. tastes in three hours (or 15 tastes in 4 hours if you scored VIP tickets) allows you to take your time in between beers. Use that time to walk around the venue, listen to some music, chat with brewers, play games, eat some food, and plan your next beer while enjoying the one in your hand. No need to burn through all your tastes in the first hour. And there’s no need to push and shove while in line. (Don’t be “that” guy.)
  4. Eat some food – Last year one of the guys in our group decided not to eat. He said, “It’s over at 4, I’ll just eat after.” Let’s just say that he had the window seat on the drive home and had to wash the designated driver’s car the next day. There are going to be plenty of great food trucks again this year; The Viking Truck, Sausage King, Burnt Truck, Dos Chinos, Rancho A Go Go, and more. Last year the Slater’s 50/50 burger was a highlight for me. The line was a bit long, but it allowed me to drink two much-needed bottles of water while waiting. I also had a slice of pizza from the fire truck that hit the spot. And for dessert don’t forget to checkout BrewCakesCJ and Sarah are very friendly and make delicious craft beer cupcakes.
  5. Reel Big Fish – Every year the Brew Ha Ha stage has great music, and this year they stepped it up a notch and booked Reel Big Fish. In my opinion Ska music is perfect beer drinking music, and Reel Big Fish are a fantastic live band. They bring so much energy on stage that it’s hard to resist skanking along.
  6. Beer Geek Island – It’s a little late to be mentioning it now, because it’s already sold out. So my “tip” is to join the OC Beer Society Facebook group so you’ll be able to take part next time.OC Beer SocietyOne of the best bottle share events in the OC is perhaps Beer Geek Island sponsored by the OC Beer Society. The spots on the “island” fill up pretty fast every year. This year was no exception. There is no cost other than the bottle you choose to bring. By donating a bottle to the island you get to taste some amazing beers provided by other beer geeks like yourself.I usually try to bring a bottle of something with some age on it, so two years ago I brought a 2006 Anchor Christmas and last year I brought a Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Black IPA to share. This year I’m bringing a bottle of Founder’s Doom that I got in a beer trade, so it’s something not distributed in California. It’s an Imperial India Pale Ale aged in bourbon barrels. I’m looking forward to trying it out while sharing it with others who also appreciate interesting craft brews.
  7. Drive Safely – We always bring a designated driver to beer events like this one. If you find that you over-indulged at the event and didn’t bring a driver with you, then please take advantage of Uber or the Yellow Cabs at the event. You can leave your car overnight if necessary and pick it up the next day. Stay safe.

If you haven’t already got tickets for Saturday, head on over to OCBrewHaHa.com or you can pick them up at the door (for $10 more) if it isn’t sold out.

Hope to see you there.

I’ll be posting my photos from the event next week, Cheers!

Beer Soaked Erik

The last 10 or so beers I’ve had and why I lag at putting up posts…

Hello all –

BeerSoakedStew here and I have REALLY lagged on posting anything beer related for quite sometime. I got a new job as a director at an outpatient clinic in Brea and also recently got engaged, so I guess that gets me off the hook somewhat! Ha! So here goes with the last 10 or so beers I’ve had.

1. Bear Republic – Cafe Racer 15 Real Ale

  • This was a tasty beer and it tends to bite you back, not in a hoppy/bitter way but in a 9.75% kinda way

2. Stone – R & R Coconut IPA

  • Not too strong in the coconut dept for all you hop heads out there. Very smooth.

3. Bootlegger’s – Far Out IPA

  • not sure why it’s “far out”, not once did I feel to channel my inner hippy! The Boot doesn’t usually disappoint! Continue reading

IPA Day – August 2, 2012

It’s that time of year again. That’s right folks, the 2nd annual #IPADay is on Aug 2nd, what will you be drinking?

What is IPA Day?

Well, here’s our take on it. Last year a few beer bloggers created a fake holiday to celebrate India Pale Ale, they called that holiday International #IPADay. IPA DaySounded good to us, we were already huge fans of the West Coast IPA style, and probably would have been drinking IPAs on that day anyway.

They created an EventBrite page for the event and started spreading the word to get folks to sign up.

On Thursday August 4th, craft beer drinkers across the social sphere and across the globe will raise pints in a collective toast to one of craft beer’s most iconic styles: the India Pale Ale. This celebrated style represents the pinnacle of brewing innovation with its broad spectrum of diverse brands, subcategories, and regional flavor variations – making it the perfect style to galvanize the craft beer’s social voice.

It quickly gained traction on Twitter, and soon #IPAday was creating a buzz in the #beer and #craftbeer circles. But like all things on the internet, it was met with various degrees of hate as well. Some folks thought it was a cheap ploy by the founders to merely promote their blogs. Others thought that due to its lofty wording it was intentionally exclusive to other beer styles and should have been something more like #CraftBeer Day. Some folks even staged protests saying that they would avoid IPA completely on that day, and it’s rumored that #StoutDay was created as a direct response. (Which was silly because we already have a “Stout Day” on March 17th. St. Patrick’s Day anyone?)

We stayed out of it and just drank beer.

This time, we’re doing the same, staying out of it and just drinking IPA. Last year IPA Day was on August 4th, this year it’s on August 2nd. Don’t ask us why, we’re just along for the beer soaked ride. Our guess is that the founders like drinking IPA on Thursdays.

IPA Day 2012

They created a new website for IPA Day this time around. http://ipaday.org, along with a new logo.

On that site they’re compiling information on the various Styles of IPA; American, Imperial, English, Black, etc. They have recipes for Cooking with IPA as an ingredient. They also have some IPA Cocktail recipes. All in all, it’s very informative.

A brief education on India Pale Ale

In order to pay tribute to the India Pale Ale style of beer we decided a little IPA education was in order. According to some of the craft beer folks I’ve talked to, there’s a UK beer writer who really knows this style of beer, and his name is Roger Protz

Roger Protz is the author of World Beer Guide and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die! He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

As you can see, he’s got some pretty good reasons to be considered an expert on the subject. Give these IPA articles on All About Beer a read and you’ll be well ahead of your beer soaked buddies at the pub the next time the subject of India Pale Ale comes up.

Other resources for IPA info

Whatever your favorite IPA is, we hope you enjoy one (or more) on #IPAday. We know we will, and for that matter, we’ll drink IPA whenever the mood strikes!

Cheers,

Beer Soaked Erik