All Hops Blazing: OC Brew HA HA Craft Beer Festival 2016

The Experience

Hot day, cold beer. The perfect combination to say goodbye to the summer. The annual summer tradition of Brew Ha Ha helps us deal with the (coming) change of seasons (it’s always an Indian Summer), the return of kids to school (my poor Friday commute…), and the beginning of the holiday season. Pull up a chair, listen to Sour Jim tell some tall ale tales, and drink in the beginning of autumn. And then go drink a lot more, because this festival is jam-packed with more beer than a single person can handle (along with food, swag, music, and knowledge being laid down on stage).








The Food

Having already carb loaded earlier that morning on pumpkin pancakes (yay fall!) and duck eggs (yay…ducks?), I was ready for multiple samplings of great OC/LA beer (and some indulgent snacking). Once such pop-up tent caught my eye – I already have a deep admiration for Side Door (Corona Del Mar), an English style gastropub that serves craft beer, sustainable/seasonal small plates and innovative craft cocktails all amidst cozy couches and a lovely picturesque hearth – like a cushy hobbit hole in the ground. Side Door was happily serving a flavorful spicy kielbasa sausage in between a pliable hot dog bun, caramelized onions and earthy sauerkraut. This savory sausage paired perfectly with Unsung’s Marzenbier – the perfect American take on a German beerfest.




Noble AleWorks – Anaheim

Yoga Pantz – ABV 5.4%

As if Naughty Sauce wasn’t enough to please, Noble Ale Works has taken it to the next level. Infused with all things basic bitches love about fall, this is the pumpkin spice latte of beer! Pumpkin spices are paired with coffee and creamy lactose to fill the PSL needs. Required uniform includes yoga pants and Ugg boots.


Stereo Brewing Company – Placentia

Big Star Pale Ale – ABV 5.5%

A refreshing sessionable pale ale brewed with Columbus, Cascade, Centennial and Amarillo hops , this is the first track of Stereo’s premiere album. Clean, refreshing, and true-to-style, this beer is a preview of the promise that is Stereo Brewing.


Hint: Stereo Grand Opening is October 15th! Don’t miss out!


Unsung Brewing Company – Anaheim/Tustin

Okterberfest/Marzenbier – ABV 5.5%

Paying homage to German tradition, Hunt and Crea’s version of Märzenbier is true-to-style, full-bodied, robust, pleasantly toasty and pours a beautiful dark copper hue. Most Märzen’s (meaning ‘March’) were brewed in March (1800‘s) and kept in cold storage over the spring thru summer months and brewed to a higher gravity to help them keep. Prior to having refrigeration, it was impossible to brew beer in the summer due to hot temperatures and potentially common bacterial infections. Production ceased with the coming of spring and began again in Autumn.

Marzen pairs well with roasted and lightly smoked meat and wild game (Like Side Door’s spicy kielbasa sausage)


Stable Orbit – AleSmith Brewing Company (San Diego) + Bottle Logic (Anaheim)

Double India Pale Ale – ABV 9.0%

Double India Pale Ale – ABV 9.0% The official festival collaboration beer this year was dubbed ‘Stable Orbit’. Luckily there wasn’t a huge line to try this so I was eager to taste this ALL South African hopped DIPA!  The nose imparted a vigorously fresh hop aroma and ended with delectable tropical fruit notes. I’ll be curious as to how the bottled version stands up to the draft.


Ahoy Mateys!

If you haven’t heard yet, Brew HA HA productions is hosting a brand spanking new event within a bird’s-eye view of the high seas at Waterfront Park – YE SCALLYWAG! This epic event will feature local craft beer and wine tastings, artisan food trucks, pop-up restaurants and impressive music line up of legendary bands: NOFX, BAD RELIGION, GOLDFINGER, AGAINST ME!, REEL BIG FISH & WAKRAT!!! For more information visit


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