Best of SoCal: Craft Beer Festivals
Warm sun and cold brews—what more could you ask for? We’ve got plenty of both here in Southern California, and what better way to enjoy them than at a festival celebrating everyone’s favorite sudsy beverage? In honor of American Craft Beer Week, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite Southern California craft brew festivals featuring local microbrews and their passionate creators. No matter which one you choose, you’re guaranteed a day of malty deliciousness.
2014 OC Beer Festival
Saturday, June 7
Phoenix Club, Anaheim
Admission: $40 general, $50 VIP
When it comes to drinking beer and having fun, no one does it better than the event champions Drink, Eat, Play. This year marks the sixth return of OC Beer Festival, and once you attend this perpetually sold-out day of drinking, you’ll realize why it’s a favorite. During your afternoon at Anaheim’s Phoenix Club, your cup will be filled to the brim time and time again with dozens of beers from near and far. Dance to the tunes of some entertaining cover bands, and snack on selections from some of SoCal’s best food trucks.
The Great Southern California Beer Festival
Saturday, June 21
Sea Terrace Park, Dana Point
On June 21, picturesque Sea Terrace Park will turn into a magical beer oasis with the 2nd Annual Great Southern California Beer Festival. Dozens of breweries – both local and international – will be featured, like Germany’s Franziskaner and Spaten, Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Company, NorCal’s Lagunitas, and SoCal’s Hangar 24. This brewfest doesn’t require an admission fee, so you’ll just be paying for the beer you drink, which is a nice change from the popular all-you-can-drink model.
San Diego International Beer Festival
Friday-Sunday, June 20-22
San Diego County Fair, Del Mar
Admission: $58 general per session, $100 VIP per session
The holy grail of beer festivals has arrived! If you’re looking for the ultimate in beer drinking experiences, San Diego International Beer Festival is sure to please your palate. With more than 200 breweries in attendance boasting 400+ kinds of beer, this event is the pinnacle of imbibing. Not only is it a festival, but it’s also a competition between brewers – large and small alike – for the coveted titles of “Best of Show” and “Champion Brewery.”
Taste of Brews
Saturday, August 23
Shoreline Aquatic Park, Long Beach
Admission: $26.25-42.50 plus fees, depending on group size
Grab a group of friends and head to the hip and happening hub of Long Beach for the 4th annual Taste of Brews! Taste dozens of craft and seasonal microbrews from all over the states and beyond, while meandering along the shoreline. Choose either three or four hours of craft brew fun, and if you have a group of six or more you can get a discount on ticket prices. We’ll drink to that!
OC Brew Ha Ha
Saturday, September 6
Oak Canyon (near Irvine Lake)
Admission: tickets on sale June 7
The 5th annual OC Brew Ha Ha is not only a great time in a beautiful location, it also benefits a great cause. The first ever OC Brew Ha Ha was held on 9/11/10, and benefitted the Fallen Firefighter Relief Fund. They’ve continued the tradition, partnering with the Local 3631 Firefighters Union, and almost all the beer is served by off-duty firefighters. Speaking of beer, OC Brew Ha Ha has more than 70 breweries serving 175+ varieties of craft and seasonal suds. Mark your calendars for this incredible day of fun and giving back.