This year, OC Brewers Guild 4th Invitational took place on a balmy spring Saturday at the Elk’s Lodge located Garden Grove. Festival-goers were met with a plethora of 100+ independent beers to choose from, it was hardly possible to imbibe samples of all of the beer offerings. Over the past several months I’ve largely bowed out of attending local beer festivals – sometimes from a lack of truly unique unique beer offerings, other times to avoid massive crowds at oversold events — however, OCBG curated a picturesque festival environment, filled with diverse beers, with spacious grounds and the overall feeling of a truly local beer gathering.
More Better | ABV 5.5% | Ambitious Ales
This easy drinking porter is a beer you want to wake up with on a lazy Sunday morning. Bold flavors of meaty coconut, coupled with coffee, complement and balance each other out beautifully. The end result is a decadent, dessert-y flavor with a light, drinkable mouthfeel.
Stop Asking Hazy IPA Inspired Mead | ABV 8.5% | Honeypot Meadery
Though Hazy IPA’s have become ubiquitous, Honeypot Meadery’s, the latest take on a Hazy offers something that stands apart from the norm. The mead has a 60 minute boil with Idaho-7, followed by Orange Blossom Honey, Peaches, Apricots, and Nectarines. Fermented with London Fog ale yeast, this mead is then dry hopped post fermentation with Citra to provide a genre-bending treat.
OC Negative | ABV 8.5% | The Good Beer Company (In Collaboration with Artifex Brewing Company)
Have your mimosa and beer too with this sour milkshake double IPA – one of two unique brews resulting from a collaboration between Artifex and The Good Beer Company. Blood orange lends bright citrus notes – lime, grapefruit, and bright orange – coupled with the sweetness of mango, lychee, and gooseberry. Milk sugar provides for a smooth mouthfeel; somewhere between a mimosa and an Orange Julius. Regardless of personal tastes, this beer is worth your time to try – and, despite and preconceptions, is guaranteed to surprise.
OC Positive | ABV 8.5% | Artifex Brewing Company (In Collaboration with The Good Beer Company)
Flip on over to the other side of the collaboration equation with Artifex’s OC Positive. While this ale’s doppelganger was a melt-in-your-mouth dessert drink, this Hazy Double IPA certainly has the smooth nature of its cousin – but with a more robust flavor profile that provides a backbone more suitable for an entree than a dessert. A dry-hop including zert ensures that this dense, silky, hop bomb full of citrus serves as a liquid monument to the old orange groves which gave Orange County its name.
P-POG Party | ABV 5.8% | Tustin Brewing Company
Drift away to a Hawaiian paradise with Jerrod Larsen’s latest specialty beer offering. This uber-refreshing, fruit-forward IPA highlights lush notes of passionfruit, orange, and guava. After a few sips, you can imagine sitting on a beach with a ukulele playing in the background; the juicy, hoppy, tropical flavor setting you afloat on a sea without worry. Tiki addicts take notice, throw on your Hawaiian shirts, skirts, and shorts – and let your taste buds set sail to an island of flavor amidst an ocean of substandard mass-produced beers.
Check out these upcoming summer events!
A sophisticated event hosted by the Orange County Brewers Guild for people who appreciate taste and flavor featuring OC’s top independent craft breweries and some of the best Orange County Chefs.
Summer Crawfish Boil | Wine vs. Beer Dinner Series
Join The Culinary Underground & BXCR to celebrate summer with a traditional crawfish boil and live entertainment! Attendees can look forward to a communal crawfish meal served with buttered corn, potatoes, and andouille sausage. This low country feast will be accompanied with local beer from Unsung Brewing and sommelier curated wine.