When you see off-duty volunteer fire fighter’s in the parking lot of a beer festival casually chatting, you don’t suspect anything. Not to even think they would be pre-gaming by drinking whiskey and Corona’s out of their truck. I knew the day could only get more interesting from this point on. Not to mention the humming and pumping pipes of bagpipes from the Fallen Orange County Firefighters Pipe and Drum band. If this is just the beginning, I don’t ever want this day to end.
I kicked up my feet and headed into the OC Brew Ha Ha, clenching my donation to the OC Beer Society’s Beer Geek Island (PS The BrewHouse opens soon!) It was a very bright day with blue skies, scattered clouds and a very thick settling heat. I slapped and lathered sunscreen all over, knowing that i’ll probably have too much of a good time to remember again later. If I walked away from the Brew Ha Ha with anything it would be smiles, a muffled thirst for craft beer and a maybe a red neck. I thought to myself, I can walk out of this place and be the hero for craft beer I should be! Within the first half hour of the event I quickly saw all the friendly faces of friends and volunteer fire fighters pouring beers from all over California and beyond the golden state.
One of my first beers of the day was Cascade’s Blueberry, a tart and fruity sour ale that was light and truly a wonderful start for such a hot day. In-between pours you could usually find us in the shaded areas of the park; provided by plenty of overhanging trees, screens, misters, and umbrellas. Also did I mention the tremendous number of breweries at this event? 89 breweries were pouring beers from: IPA’s, Stouts, Fine Belgian Ales, Session beers, and even the unusual and never before seen. Breweries like Noble, Firestone Walker, Beach City and Ritual were all pouring specialty beers at certain times of the day. Many others like Bottle Logic, Modern Times, Eagle Rock, and all the craft breweries served amazing beers. I missed on a lot of goodies but i’m thankful for what I had when I could have it.
Lot’s of great moments capitalized my experience at the 5th Annual Brew Ha Ha. I’m proud of the fact of quitting cigarettes, but lately after being introduced to the wonderful world of cigars. (Thanks Cameron and Chris!) Grey Cloud sold cigars to attendees and brought the goods! A wide variety of fine crafted cigars at a great price. I loved the opportunity to enjoy beers and smoke a cigar that can complement the beer. Dr. Bill Sysak and Chris White offered advice and insight to all of the cigars including background and manufacturing. Truly great to be around such fine purveyors of the cigar world.
For explorers of craft beer and the finer things club. Beer Geek Island sponsored by the OC Beer Society, offered just that. With a lovely spread of craft beers from the not distributed, cellared gems, or traders relics. A garden of brews nestled in a soft sheet of ice water were all ready for ticketed tabs. It was an experience for the truly dedicated to the craft and offered a nice quiet recluse while still enjoying walez bro brews with a view of the fishing pond. See photos in the gallery below.
Games and entertainment were readily available including human foosball, the sexy sax man and cornhole. Myself being a Smiths fan, I could not wait to hear the Sweet and Tender Hooligans set. My ears were filled with joy as they gracefully and sweetly played wonderful renditions of Morrisey and The Smiths music. Great hits like “How Soon Is Now” and “There is a Light That Never Goes Out.” I had a blast listening and watching them perform with such attention to the vocals and the musical choreography.
With great beers, fun people, and exceptional entertainment this is not just a beer festival. It’s the best and most well run beer adventure I have attended this side of the Rockies. I have to give a huge thank you to all of the volunteer’s, breweries, and planners involved in bringing this event of pride and joy to the masses of beer lovers from around the country, putting Orange County and Southern California on the map.My coverage of the 5th Annual @OCBrewHaHa #OCbeer #beerfestival When you see off-duty volunteer fire fighter’s in the parking lot of a beer festival casually chatting, you don’t suspect anything.
PREVIEW: 5th Annual OC Brew Ha Ha on 9/6
On September 6th, the 5th Annual Orange County Brew Ha Ha will commence, gathering beer fans from all over Southern California to celebrate great craft beer with proceeds going to the Fallen Fire Fighter’s Relief Fund. I attended last years Brew Ha Ha and had an amazing time.
This year will be no different; over 80 breweries pouring their best beers, amazing food from food trucks and restaurants…