The 4th Annual OC Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival is this Saturday, Sep. 7th, 2013, and here are our BeerSoaked tips and tricks.
- MAP– Here’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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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 BrewCakes, CJ and Sarah are very friendly and make delicious craft beer cupcakes.
- 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.
- 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.One 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.
- 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