Another year goes by and another OC Brew Ha Ha has come and gone, all too soon. This year felt like it went by really fast, and the same can be said for the OC Brew Ha Ha event. The day was over and the crowd disbanded and I found myself standing amidst the lagging taster crowd and the hurried vendor breakdown wishing we had a few more hours to celebrate this year in craft beer. I had a great time, and probably drank less beer than ever thanks to my constant picture-taking and chatting with the beer community. It truly is the best beer event of the whole year for Orange County.
Despite the brutal heat and sun (not as bad as last year but-bitches be pale) everyone was in good spirits. I stopped caring about sweating when I realized that all my clothes were moving over my skin due to the sweat instead of sticking to spots of me. Pretty graphic – right? Good, now that I have you in the right mindset I will begin to divulge into the events surrounding this year’s Brew Ha Ha. This year, it felt like I was surrounded by drunken make-outs (hopefully with their significant others), vagina-flashing falls, fake plowing from behind… you get the idea. I have to say, I loved every minute of it. The make-outs were the most frequent, and one couple in particular seemed to be following me (or vice versa…but not on purpose I swear), so I decided to react like any good photo journalist and started taking pictures to document it.
It may have been love, or just a general sense of comradery and jovial attitude. Everyone helped each other up, offered to get in line in front of each other, was polite and respectful while they accidentally barged in on each other in their porta potties. If you were there, I hope you felt the love as I did. It was magical.
The beer was as amazing as ever, and I feel sad that I missed some of my favorite breweries (like Barley Forge and The Good Beer Co) but was happy to sample some great beers. Noble’s Mexican Punch was really fun and I loved photographing Evan making his “punch pouring face” at the Noble booth. The flavors were super complex but I got a bunch of Mexican tamarind and some decent heat, and reportedly there was gosebusters in there.
I also really loved the RumBaltic Porter (Rum barrel aged Baltic porter with coconut from Bottle Logic that produced an epic line when they did the timed release.
There was some other surprises for the day like seeing Valiant bring a really decent Simcoe Pale ale at 5%ABV when they are well-known for their high ABV beers. I gushed over the beers I had from Bravery as the Hibiscus beer and the Kölsch were so freaking well done.
One more really notable beer was the ones I had from Sonoran Brewing from Phoenix… the white chocolate beer tasted the most like white chocolate I could ever imagine. Plus, I hadn’t really heard about them so discovering something new was pretty cool.
Overall I had a great time. I loved the new addition of the skateboarding ramp, that was super fun to watch. The extra extra VIP tickets got access to a air conditioned tent with free food (but I suppose that was paid for when you get the super VIP ticket) and special pours, fancy chocolates, cold water, chairs and music. I went in there for like 10 minutes and I concluded that if I let myself I would have spent way too much time in there. It was such a nice break from the heat but there was more beer to drink and someone’s got to do it. I am counting the days until next year. Somehow each time is better than the last. Cheers!