Things are brewing in restaurants and bars across the country and the blogosphere. If you’ve had a craft beer recently then you know what I’m talking about. Craft beers refer to beers brewed by small, independent brewers. Remember the microbreweries that were popular in the nineties? Well, out of its ashes, it would seem that the passionate craft beer makers and consumers have risen. Even actor Adrian Grenier has his own beer company, Churchkey Can Company, but that’s a story for another time.
This post is about the 3rd Annual OC Brew Ha Ha Festival – a festival featuring over 175 Craft Beers, 70 Breweries to benefit the Fallen Firefighters Relief Fund Honoring 9/11. On Saturday, September 8th, 3rd Annual OC Brew Ha Ha craft beer festival will be held at beautiful Oak Canyon Private Park in Silverado near Irvine Lake. The event features unique beer-parings with cuisines from local restaurants and food trucks, exclusive beer tasting seminars by renowned experts, and live entertainment.
I asked some of the participating brewers about this growing craft beer trend. Head Brewer for Pizza Port in San Clemente Ryan Fields said: “The recent popularity of craft beer is not a trend, it’s a revival. We’re bringing things back to the way they are supposed to be and have been in the past.” Head Brewer for Alcatraz located in The Block at Orange Robb McLeod echoes this sentiment. He said:
“Craft beer is going off because an increasing number of beer drinkers are realizing that they need not drink the same old beer all the time. As for trends, these things have a cyclic waxing and waning. The way it has been since it all started decades ago.”
The mission of OC Brew Ha Ha is to bring high quality beer and food to connoisseurs with a discerning palette and celebrate the fast growing craft beer industry. The event brings together Beer Appreciation Seminars led by industry leaders including Ed Heethuis of Celebrator Beer News and Ritual Brewing, Jonathan Porter of Tustin Brewing, and Jace Milstead of Firestone Walker; world-renowned Cicerone and “Craft Beer Ambassador” for the award winning Stone Brewing Company, “Dr. Bill” Sysak, will present a special seminar and rare beer tasting for VIP guests.
There will be free food samples offered at the fun Farmer John Tailgater, Slater’s 50/50 station and more. Stone Catering from the famous Stone Brewing World Bistro, Rasta Taco, Sausage King, and top food trucks Bacon Mania, Chomp Chomp Nation, Company 77, The Garlic Truck, Rancho a Go Go, and the Viking Truck will be on-site serving up perfect beer pairing eats.
In memory of 9/11, proceeds from the festival support the Local 3631 Firefighters Union and Fallen Fire Fighters Relief Fund, a non-profit organization that aids surviving spouses and children of Orange County Firefighters lost in the line-of-duty. Local off duty firefighters join the brewers on-site to pour beer for this special event.
General admission tickets are $40 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. VIP tickets are $55 and entrance begins one hour earlier at 12 p.m. All guests receive a commemorative festival glass, ten 4 oz. tastes, beer appreciation seminars, free food samples, complimentary water, soft drinks, and free parking. VIP guests receive fourteen 4 oz. tastes, plus a VIP exclusive seminar by ‘Dr. Bill’ Sysak of Stone Brewing with a complimentary taste of a rare beer personally selected by him. Additional tastes may be purchased on-site at the event.
For the first time OC Brew Ha Ha is presenting a Friday night Brewers’ Dinner and Campout on 9/7/12. Limited spaces are available for sale. To learn more about the new campout visit www.OCBrewHaHa.com.
These events are restricted to those 21 years and older and are sponsored in part by Farmer John, SWELL, and the World Famous KROQ 106.7FM.