It’s that time of year! It’s my birthday, it’s the Holidays, it’s time for OC Brew Ho Ho. This event is one of my favorites, where the dark and sticky beers flow, and people get weird. The people watching is like an event within an event, and I highly recommend getting the tasting out of the way early and post-up someone to watch all the hilarious costumes and tipsy attendee’s shenanigans.
It’s the beer event where local breweries pull out all the stops, and bust out all the dark, high ABV, special beers for one last hurrah before the year ends. I’ve had everything from White Russians, to Egg Nog, to whales at this event, and one thing I’ve never had was disappointment… (see what I did there?)
If you go to one party this Holiday season, make it a beer party.
When: Saturday, Dec. 9th from 12-4pm
Where: The Phoenix Club,1340 S. Sanderson Ave, Anaheim, CA 92806
Cost: $55 for unlimited 2oz tasters + taster glass
Music: The English Beat (cue fangirl moment – I am a ska kid at heart)
I had a blast at this year’s OC Brew Ha Ha! It was the first time the weather was super mild, and it made me very happy not to be a sweaty mess. In addition to great weather, the overall vibe was chill – partially due to the event not being over crowded. Most of the booths had little to no lines (minus Bottle Logic, where I couldn’t get a break in those damn lines for a beer) so we were able to bounce around the event and try most of everything relatively quickly.
Overall it was a great time. The corndog from Viking truck was satisfying as hell. The VIP area had some really interesting beers (rare beers, sours, etc.). I am really late getting this review out there, so most of the details are already covered. I’ll just leave the pics here for your enjoyment!
This year at the OC Brew Hee Haw event something magical happened: I was blessed with close parking to the event entrance. For those of you who have attended the OC Brew Hee Haw events, you know that because this event is located within the OC Fair you are likely gonna park super far away that will typically require a shuttle to get to and from. Not this year, I attended the 12-4pm event and there was parking really close, it was magic.
It was a hot summer day but luckily this event had several water stations and shade so I was able to avoid being burned or dehydrated. Most of the outside booths had a nice breeze or shade from trees so I was hot but not too bothered by the weather.
The DJ was really fun – it always makes for great people watching after the event has been going for a few hours and people loose their inhibitions a bit and start dancing. There was a funny moment when I spotted a man taking a photo that almost looked to be an “up-skirt” photo, so naturally I took pictures of him intending to report him to security. That’s when I noticed he was actually taking pictures of his companion’s injured foot, so that was even more interesting. As I photographed them, my friend and I was approached by a guy who asked what I was doing. I told him, and he was like “oh, I thought you had a thing for feet.” So we ended-up having a whole conversation about how there’s always porn out there for strange fetishes, and maybe this dude runs a “Misery-porn” instagram (ya-know … like the movie Misery? The one where she breaks his ankles?). I’ve met some fun people at beer events, and some of these people have ended-up being close friends who I hang out in real life (outside of beer events), and this dude was hilarious. He ended-up hanging out with us for like an hour after the event, walking around the fair, then walking off into the sunset never to be heard from again. I prefer to think he was a ghost, who walks around Costa Mesa and brightens people’s day with his antidotes.
I had a lot of fun at this event. It was well organized and I was able to enjoy the fair after the event which is always a good time. My only suggestion for next year is to have a few less IPA’s and more lighter beers like Kolsch’s Pilzners, and Pales. I met a lot of interesting people at this event, and ended-up becoming a group photographer of sorts in the end. Thanks for a great event!
This year the OC Brewers Guild Invitational event was hosted at the Center Street Promenade in downtown Anaheim, where there has been many events like the Fest of Ales, etc. It’s a unique space where it’s almost like a lowercase t, with a long main strip and two small off-shoots. What’s great about this space is the parking, there are two big parking structures and it’s easy to get in and out of the event. As we walked up we noticed the long line that snaked its way through an entire side of the parking structure and around the corner. Thankfully most of the people who where waiting were in the shade, but nevertheless they looked pretty unhappy to be waiting. I heard claims that it took some people almost an hour to get in. There seemed to be a few issues with this event, so I will break them down into likes and gripes:
Like: Having the event in the early evening, it helped a little because the day was super hot and having it be later in the day helped quell the heat just a little. Plus it’s nice to take photos in the magic hour!
Gripe: Only 1 water station in the whole place. This is a major gripe of mine, to have an unlimited drinking festival without ample water is dangerous, especially on a hot day. It’s almost reckless in a sense, and the level of drunkenness I saw at the event was likely caused by the lack of water availability.
Like: Lots of great beer selections! There was super rare beer poured, especially by The Bruery. I mean, they had Chocolate Rain in bottles, that’s just nuts. But – the problem with that was Chocolate Rain is 18.5%ABV, so serving that when it’s hot and lack of water = really drunk people.
Gripe: There seemed to be a lack of fun music options, and the space in the small part of the t shape of the street seemed to be under-utilized. It was mainly lined with port-a-potties.
Like: The glassware was really nice, the gold leaf option for those who got VIP was a nice touch.
Gripe: In general, there was a lack of organization from what I heard from my friends who worked the event. There was beer that was overly foamy because of the heat levels, people had to move their stations after they were set-up, and I noticed extremely intoxicated people were still being served.
Like: I think the event has really great potential and I am glad to see the OC beer scene being celebrated. I think events like Firkfest is a good example of a well-run beer event in Anaheim, with several water stations, a well-known and well-liked DJ, and several people running the line check-ins. A few small tweaks and next year could be a fantastic event!
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