Monday, September 8, 2014

5th Annual OC Brew Ha Ha Recap

This past Saturday, one of my favorite events of the year took place, the OC Brew Ha Ha.  This was my third year attending the event and once again, it was great!  While I've attended and also helped out at many beer events, this year one of my friends who's never been to a beer event joined me.  My friend is a huge Smiths and Morrissey fan and when she found out the Sweet and Tender Hooligans were going to be playing, she was just a bit excited.

Yay, friends!
This year, as in years past, the OC Brew Ha Ha did a great job of organizing the event.  Although even more breweries attended this year, there was still plenty of room to wander around and even find a quiet shady spot to relax.  New this year was a giant foosball game which was a great way for attendees to take a break in-between drinking beers.  Also new this year, attendees were allowed to enter the grounds before beer started flowing to help with the processing of tickets.  This was a really smart move on the OC Brew Ha Ha organizers and I heard several people commenting on how happy they were that they didn't have to wait in a huge line missing out on valuable beer consumption time.

Beer Girls playing Foosball

The OC Brew Ha Ha does a fantastic job of inviting breweries which appeal to a wide variety of beer fans. Breweries in attendance included well-known local favorites such as Newport Beach Brewing Company, which brought some amazing sours, along with brand new breweries like Four Sons Brewing.  Four Sons Brewing, which had their grand opening the day following the OC Brew Ha Ha, brought a fantastically named and tasting beer, The Great One, a 9.9% ABV DIPA.  All in all, over eighty breweries participated in the OC Brew Ha Ha this year, quite an increase from last year's fifty-five breweries that attended.

Four Sons Brewing makes great beers!
From Bootlegger's Brewery Knuckle Sandwich DIPA to SanTan Brewing's Mr. Pineapple, the choices of beers available had something for everyone to enjoy.  Having such a wide variety of beers as well as unlimited tastings made it super easy for my friend to find several beers that she liked throughout the day.  

SanTan Brewing's Mr. Pineapple is delicious!
As in past years, a collaboration beer was made for the event.  This year Bottle Logic Brewing and Iron Fist Brewing worked together to create a saison, Dr. Strange Matter. Brewed using authentic farmhouse yeast and pink peppercorns with Wakatu and Waimea hops and a dash of locally sourced caramelized honey. Dr. Strange Matter was aged in Chardonnay barrels and is a perfect beer for a hot summer day.

Line for Dr. Strange Matter
While having brewery representatives on hand to talk about their beers is always welcome, the OC Brew Ha Ha also has fire fighters on hand to help pour beer.  This is a great way to remind attendees that the OC Brew Ha Ha helps to support the Fallen Fire Fighters Relief Fund.

Fire fighter pouring Einstook Beer
Along with a wide variety of breweries, several different food trucks, restaurants, and vendors were also at OC Brew Ha Ha.  From The Iron Press to Porko Rico BBQ, there was a great selection of food options. There was ample seating in shaded areas and of course, many people took advantage of sitting on the grass and having an impromptu picnic.

Food trucks!

The best way to end a great day of drinking delicious beers is by listening to live music.  The Sweet and Tender Hooligans had so much energy and were amazing!  They played a great selection of both the Smiths and Morrissey songs.  It was easy to forget that you were listening to a cover band!

Once again, I had a great time at OC Brew Ha Ha.  I am looking forward to seeing who performs next year as well as which breweries will be joining in an epic end of summer event!  

Cheers to another amazing Brew Ha Ha!

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