2nd Annual OC Brewers Guild Invitational Recap

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This year the OC Brewers Guild Invitational event was hosted at the Center Street Promenade in downtown Anaheim, where there has been many events like the Fest of Ales, etc. It’s a unique space where it’s almost like a lowercase t, with a long main strip and two small off-shoots. What’s great about this space is the parking, there are two big parking structures and it’s easy to get in and out of the event. As we walked up we noticed the long line that snaked its way through an entire side of the parking structure and around the corner. Thankfully most of the people who where waiting were in the shade, but nevertheless they looked pretty unhappy to be waiting. I heard claims that it took some people almost an hour to get in. There seemed to be a few issues with this event, so I will break them down into likes and gripes:

Like: Having the event in the early evening, it helped a little because the day was super hot and having it be later in the day helped quell the heat just a little. Plus it’s nice to take photos in the magic hour!

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Gripe: Only 1 water station in the whole place. This is a major gripe of mine, to have an unlimited drinking festival without ample water is dangerous, especially on a hot day. It’s almost reckless in a sense, and the level of drunkenness I saw at  the event was likely caused by the lack of water availability.

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Like: Lots of great beer selections! There was super rare beer poured, especially by The Bruery. I mean, they had Chocolate Rain in bottles, that’s just nuts. But – the problem with that was Chocolate Rain is 18.5%ABV, so serving that when it’s hot and lack of water = really drunk people.

Gripe: There seemed to be a lack of fun music options, and the space in the small part of the t shape of the street seemed to be under-utilized. It was mainly lined with port-a-potties.

Like: The glassware was really nice, the gold leaf option for those who got VIP was a nice touch.

Gripe: In general, there was a lack of organization from what I heard from my friends who worked the event. There was beer that was overly foamy because of the heat levels, people had to move their stations after they were set-up, and I noticed extremely intoxicated people were still being served.

Like: I think the event has really great potential and I am glad to see the OC beer scene being celebrated. I think events like Firkfest is a good example of a well-run beer event in Anaheim, with several water stations, a well-known and well-liked DJ, and several people running the line check-ins. A few small tweaks and next year could be a fantastic event!

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Summer of Beer… Events

It’s hot out. Like sit in your undies in front of the fan on the floor hot. When it’s miserable outside what better to do than go and drink a bunch of beer and forget about how sweaty and sticky you are? Ok – so you might just get sweatier and stickier but at least you had fun.

oc-brew-hee-haw-2016-edited-5oc-brew-hee-haw-2016-edited-4 There are a ton of really fun events in the summer around Orange County for beer, so drag your friends out of the AC for an afternoon of fun in the sun for these upcoming events:

July 15-16th : OC Brew Hee Haw!! At the OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, they have the OC Brew Hee Haw (yee-haw!) again and I am looking forward to it. Last year there was a spontaneous dance party, complete with dance battles, it was such a great time! There are three sessions: 12-4pm & 6-10pm on Saturday and 12-4pm on Sunday. It’s really cool that you can do 4 hours of unlimited beer tasting then enjoy the rest of the day at the fair with the price of admission. Check out one of my previous reviews of the event here !


August 5-6th: High & Mighty Fest! This is the first annual High & Mighty fest and is set to take place at the Village Green Park in downtown Garden Grove. There are major music acts like Sublime with Rome and Dirty Heads and Jurassic 5 set to attend, with different music acts each day. Like other events that also has large music elements, it’s unlimited beer until 4pm, and music until much later with paid beer sales. I think it’s a neat way to mesh beer events with music events, and certainly helps people discover new craft beers they might have never tried before. It sounds like so much fun!


Sept 23rd: 8th Annual OC Brew Ha Ha!! My favorite OC Beer event every year! I love this event. Despite the inevitable suffocating heat that descends upon Silverado Canyon every year, this is the event I look forward to all year. It’s great to see all the familiar faces and enjoy a beautiful day amongst friends, drinking delicious beer of course.

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Let me know if I missed any can’t miss OC Beer events coming up! Cheers 🙂

Tiny Rick Beer Cookies

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Me and my husband are huge Rick and Morty fans so when I came across a Tiny Rick cookie cutter on etsy, it had to be mine! This time, I made them with Bottle Logic’s Recursion IPA. I know Bottle Logic is huge fans of the show too, so it just felt right. So wubba lubba dub dub, it’s time to get schwifty!


4 cups of sifted AP Flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 cup or 2 sticks of unsalted butter

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (or beer!)


1 lb. of powdered sugar

1 tablespoon of light corn syrup

2/3 cups of beer

1 tablespoon of lime juice

Gel food coloring

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1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together into a bowl.

2. Beat butter and sugar together on medium speed in an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix until pale and fluffy, for 3 minutes or so. Add in the vanilla (or beer) and eggs and mix until incorporated. Add flour mixture in slowly until incorporated.

3. Put cookie dough in plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge about 1 hour or until firm. I wrapped it into three disks and only used two of them and froze the third. This yields a good amount of cookies.

4. Roll-out the dough in between two sheets of plastic wrap until about 1/4 inch thick. Using the plastic wrap will help keep the cookies from getting too dry from adding extra flour during the roll-out process.

5. Cut out the shapes and place on cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats. Put in the freezer for 15 minutes so the cookies will keep the shape while baking.

6. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Cook for 15-18 minutes until the edges are brown. Let cookies cool before icing.

7. Whisk icing ingredients together, make sure that the icing is very thick so it will keep the piping shapes you want. Make sure to add more powdered sugar if necessary. I made three colors of frosting: one black for the eyes and pants, and one light blue for the hair, eyebrows and shirt and white for the lab coat. They will get completely dry overnight and will be pretty hard so they can be put in an airtight container to travel if needed. If it gets too hot the frosting will get melty again.

These turned out great. I got the bitterness and beer flavor, but it wasn’t overpowering. The cookie wasn’t really sweet, it just had a nice crunch to it. The frosting was an interesting balance of sweet, tangy and hoppy. I am a bit of a perfectionist so I wish my frosting was a bit neater but everyone loved them so much I didn’t feel that bad. I got my cookie cutter from this store – but it looks like it’s gone now!

Let’s Taco ‘Bout Sabroso

The 4th Annual Sabroso taco, craft beer and music festival was a huge hit. It sold out two weeks in advance (which is untypical of most beer festivals – especially in Orange County) and I had a bunch of people asking me if I could get them tickets last minute. Besides from always killing it in the taco and beer game, for the music they booked some heavy-hitters footing the bill with the likes of: Offspring, Sum 41, Lit, Unwritten Law, Rival Sons, and Metalachi to name a few. The event changed locations this year and was located at Doheny State Beach, and thus was able to accommodate a swelled crowd of over 8,500 people.

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I was asked to be a judge of all the tacos again this year, this time besides the loveable Frosty from KLOS (yes, that Frosty from Fosty, Heidi and Frank) and FoodBeast. It was really cool to be able to meet Frosty because I’ve listened to their show on and off for years, since they were on the indie station over 10 years ago. He was so nice! We were tasked with judging over 21 tacos (up from the 16 last year) and I think this was the best year yet! There was so many creative and interesting taco choices, it was such a fun time.

Onto the tacos! Let’s jump in. I had documented what was in each taco on my phone and my tasting notes, and would you know it – my phone took a dump so this is all from memory.

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This was the first taco. It was blind judging so I have no idea who made what, but this taco was good. It had decent heat, but was overall a bit soft. Besides the carrots, it needed more crunch!

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This taco was beautiful – just look at all that color! It had good flavor, I just was frustrated by the meat, it was kinda chewy and stringy – and that made it harder to eat. I liked the addition of the bell peppers, the texture overall was really good.

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I wasn’t a big fan of this one – the green apples made it pretty sour. Plus – if you guys read my last year’s post – I am not a fan of the crumbled cheese. Not this taco’s fault. It had way too much cabbage for me, but I liked the meat! It was slow-cooked and juicy.

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This taco was pretty basic – it had nothing too remarkable. It was not terrible and not amazing, it was like someone on top chef who wanted to play it safe.

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WTF taco. It was hard to get past all the stuff on top to the fish buried under there. Also, the tomatoes had no business being on this, was it salsa or just fresh tomatoes? You confuse me, taco.

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I’m pretty sure this was the teriyaki beef taco, and it was interesting. It was a one-degree separation from being a Kogi-inspired masterpiece but it was missing something. Kimchi maybe? The meet was super flavorful with sweet notes, it was tender, and the heat from the sriracha balanced it out.

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Ok – so I know I said the other taco had way too much on it, and this one looks crazy as well – but this worked in a strange way. If you move the lime and sauce and veggies, it’s just a true street taco, and that green sauce was on fire. Where can I get that green sauce?!

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This was not for me, stringy meat and the dreaded cojita cheese, it was destined for failure on my palate. I wasn’t a fan – but that’s just my taste – I am sure my husband would’ve loved this cuz it was a meat bonanza. It could’ve also used a bit more brightness in color with some fresh herbs or something!

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Another taco that could’ve done without the added tomotes, but it was not terrible. I liked the red cabbage addition, and the tortilla was nice and fluffy with a nice chew to it.

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I normally don’t eat octopus, but I’ve had it a few times so I wasn’t terribly afraid to dive into this taco. It was served poke style with marinated octopus. It was successful for my tastes, mainly because it was one-note with everything tasting more like the marinade and the mushy sauce on the bottom was grey and unappetizing. Points for originality and color!

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This taco was my second favorite of the day, despite the addition of the crumbled cheese. The meat was enveloped by this fruity (I think pineapple) sauce that was spicy as hell while also being sweet. It invaded my tongue and I was in love. Well done!

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This was a very strange mash-up with the breaded chicken and taco marriage, but it was oddly satisfying. I wish it had something about it that was spicy, but I’d eat it again.

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Oh man, this might have been my least favorite. It had the makings of a good taco and I normally love lobster either in a po’ boy or on top of a sushi roll covered in sauce, but this was just unsuccessful. It was kinda warm when I had it – which I’m sure the chefs didn’t intend, but it was slimy.  Also the tortilla was greasy and tasted burnt.

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THIS TACO WAS AMAZING! Not only did it give me major nostalgia to when I went to the Squeeze In restaurant in Sacramento and had the cheese skirt burger (that’s cooked with the crunchy melted cheese around the burger) but it was such an original surprise. Under the sauce was delicious chorizo and tater tots. This taco killed it in all the categories: taste, appearance, creativity. I found out later this was from Mess Hall Canteen because they won First Place!

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Another taco that suffered by putting too much on it. I wish they added a bit less salsa on top because it was almost like having soup!

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The meat was marinated and had a lot of flavor but I wish it had a bit more acid. It was tasty enough, I’d try it again.

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I love crispy shrimp, so this was one I liked. The shrimp flavor was there, and the red cabbage was a nice touch.

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The pineapple was a strange addition, it reacted with the onions in a not-so-pleasant mouthfeel. The meat was tasty, and that green salsa was pretty bomb.

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I wasn’t a fan of this one. The duck was pretty fatty and the one lone clementine slice was kinda weird. I liked the daikon slices though!

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I liked this one! It had some really interesting flavors between the slow-cooked and shredded meat and the herbs on top, it had a lot of good stuff in there.

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This taco took a risky move making sweet potato fritters because some of us don’t like sweet potatoes. I am one of those people.

After all the judging was said and done, it turns out there was a tie for second and third place, so we had to taste two more tacos to determine a winner. Here was the second round tacos:

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I love falafel! I could eat falafel every day, and this was damn good falafel. It was crunchy, the peppers added spice, the tzatziki sauce added a tangy cool factor, and the avocados lended a smooth luxurious mouthfeel. It was damn good.

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This was another killer taco. The kimchi was spicy and tangy and crunchy, and the beef was thinly chopped and bursting with flavor. It was really hard to choose between these tacos, but the falafel won it by 1 point for me mainly because it had more overall flavor and texture that lasted on my palate.

Loaded with a veritable cornucopia of tacos in my stomach, I wondered into the crowd in search of beer. There was a bunch of tents set-up on the sand with several different breweries pouring together under the tents, so that’s where I spent most of my time. It was beautiful being by the beach, but the added winds were a new challenge. It was pretty funny to see all the ladies trying to keep their skirts down and hats on all day.

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The lucha libre was as fun as I remember, the ladies round was the best in my opinion. They were vicious! Overall it was a really fun event. It was well organized, on my end, but I did notice a few breweries without jockey boxes so they couldn’t pour… not sure what happened there. Besides that, there was plenty of delicious beer, giant water stations, and it was refreshing to finally have phone service at Sabroso (it’s normally in a dead zone)! They keep topping the previous year, so I can’t wait for next year to see what they come up with!

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Everyone Gets Lei’d at Firkfest

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Walking into Firkfest this year everyone got lei’d… with colorful flower lei’s that kicked-off the tiki beer event to a fun beginning. I always really enjoy Firkfest, partially because I know a lot of the attendees but it’s such a unique experience because all the beers are one-offs that you will never be able to experience again because they are cask beers (and normally including additives of fruits or spices not typical to general styles). Greg Nagel always puts on a well-organized and thoughtful event, and this year was no exception. The beer list was meticulous and exciting and I had a great time trying everything surrounded by good people.

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Speaking of the beers, here are some of my favorites: The Good Beer Co‘s Horchatorita, Tustin Brewing Co.‘s Greg’s Dole Hole, The Bruery Terreux’s Frucht:POG, Bottle Logic‘s Livin’ in the Limelight, and LA Ale Works‘ Bluume. The Good Beer Co’s Horchatorita was one of the most memorable because it was delightfully sour, but not too sour. It had good mouthfeel and the carbonation was there, but thanks to the lactose it wasn’t overpowering. In a sea of fruited and spiced beers, thank god for this citrusy sour beer because it woke my pallet up from the dead. Tustin Brewing Co.’s Greg’s Dole Hole had not only a hilarious name, but it was the most nostalgia-inducing flavors that closely matched a 50/50 ice cream bar or those dole whip’s you get at Disneyland. I’d go back for seconds, or fifth’s. The Bruery Terreux’s Frucht:POG is exactly what I expected when I saw “POG” a tropical fruit-bomb with wild yeast flavors. It was one of those beers you would give to both a beer noob and beer geek and both would like it. Bottle Logic’s Livin’ in the Limelight had a lime punch but the real accomplishment was the subtle tastes coming from the coconut and Madagascar vanilla beans. It has some of the best coconut flavor of the day because it wasn’t too much and it tasted fresh. I saved the craziest for last, the LA Ale Works’ Bluume, which consisted of a passion fruit Berliner Weisse with coconut whipped topping. I thought it was delicious, and the whipped topping was so different and crazy, I loved it until I tried to clean out my glass. It was really hard to get those residual oils off my glass so I am glad I saved that one till the end. No regrets though, it was super tasty!

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Overall, I love this event, it’s super fun and it gets better each year. I can’t wait to attend next year, and I hope they keep the tiki theme going! It was great to see everyone rocking floral shits, coconut bras, and straw hats. Cheers!

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Dry River Brewing Interview + Photo Journal



In the last few years, I’ve participated with Andrea of EatDrinkAndBeHoppy and contributed my photos to her interviews. On a workday, we hustled up to DTLA to have a quick shoot at Dry River Brewing. It was a trip to preview their brewing space before they open their tasting room, and get a feel of their steampunk meets Ron Swanson decor. If Ron Swanson was into decoration-only gears, this is how I think his brewery would look. There was beautiful woodworking featured tastefully throughout the room, and it had this subtle charm that brought a smile to my face.


Dry River sounds pretty exciting. Their mission is slow beer that is brewed responsibly and seasonally. On top of being sustainable, they are contributing to the community in other ways through local non-profits like CicLAvia, the LA Community Gardening Council, Fruta Y Cultura, the Arts Earth Partnership, and From Lots To Spots, etc. I find that refreshing since it’s easy to get sucked into the fast and competitive beer world. Here’s the whole interview.


Ritual’s 4th Anniversary


rituals-4th-anniversary-editedI’m gonna make this short and sweet, the 4th Annual Ritual Anniversary was a blast! It was mellow, the beer was delicious, and I had a lot of fun. It’s rare to go to a beer event, and be able to share a table with your friends and relax while you lazily sample the various offering a brewery has to offer. I am used to heat, lines, and nowhere to sit, so this was a lovely change of pace!


The beer was great, with some big hits from the year being the Extra Red with Mandarin (but my favorite is still extra red was the one with Tangelo) and the Java Deluxe. Cheers to the great team at Ritual for making such wonderful beers!


Punk’s Not Dead at Ye Scallywag


I realize that it’s becoming normal for me to be super late on my blog posts, so I took a long break to catch up on work, and now it’s time to catch-up with my blog posts! I have a long list. I am riddled with guilt on being so late – but screw it. My 2017 resolution is two fold in getting more done in a shorter time span, and take less bs. I feel like that is a pretty lofty goal, but here’s to challenging yourself and making things better for you, and not just for others. My problem is not realizing that working a more than full time job is demanding, on top of my personal life, and I need to be realistic in what I can juggle with the blog and photography. I love it, but it started to weigh on me. Taking a break really helped bring me back and I am energize and excited to begin again, and start doing some really creative stuff in the coming year! I also plan to launch a photography site, to showcase some of the really cool stuff I’ve been doing with my work, because I realize everyone here is missing out on all of that.

With that being said, let’s launch into one of many past-due blog posts with Ye Scallywag! It was the first of the punk-inspired beer event organized by my friends at OC Brew Ha Ha and this event was at the lovely Waterfront Park in San Diego. It was cool to make a weekend of it and stay down in SD, and the weather was hot AF but I had a great time overall. It was really cool to be able to have a photo pass that allowed media to inhabit the space in between the crowd and the stage, and get super close shots of infamous OC Punk royalty.


Like any downtown spot in a major city, parking was a bitch. But, as I get older, I just don’t care and realize parking close and paying $20 is better than walking a mile to save $5, especially after spending 5+ hours standing in the sun and walking all day taking pictures. So, we parked in the underground parking, and headed into the event. It was crowded, but not terrible. The lines that I did wait in went pretty fast. I enjoyed several delicious beers, the ones that stand out were the Mikkeller beers, the IPA from Clown Shoes, and the Unicorn Juice from Artifex. Maybe I was just feelin’ the IPA’s that day, which is certainly not the norm for me.


The worst thing for me was the sun, because I am so pale and even with SPF 50 or 75 or even 100, I somehow burn. I was able to sit behind the Ritual tent for a little while, that provided some much needed shade. I was missing the tree-covered venue that OC Brew Ha Ha is held, but it was cool to try a new venue every so often. I kept making my pilgramige over to the music stage to catch each band, with only missing a few acts because – well – beer. Reel Big Fish was as great as always, but my clear favorite act was Goldfinger.


I have a long history of going to shows, which started when I was 14 being a ska kid. I went to all the ska shows at Chain Reaction, The Galaxy, and the Hey Brother festivals, and later I was going to the big OzzFest shows in San Bernardino, NIN at Qualcomm, Tool, Radiohead at the Hollywood Bowl, etc. I’ve seen Goldfinger with Fishbone at the race track, and I remember enjoying them back then, but seeing them again they were electric. Perhaps Fishbone being the raucous and fun band they are overshadowed how great Goldfinger was, but either way they were by far the most enjoyable band of the day. The lead singer, John Feldmann, had more energy than most of the younger singers that performed and jumped around the stage in a full suit despite the sweltering heat. It was great to see an old favorite, Bad Religion, and hear those frequently played tracks like Sorrow and Infected. It was John of Goldfinger that rekindled the love of live music in my cold, dead heart that believed punk was dead. I then really noticed and appreciated all those punk kids that I saw wearing their jean jackets adorned with punk patches and I realized good music is still around, and young kids are still into it. Thanks for restoring my faith in humanity, and giving me that music buzz that I had been missing Ye Scallywag!


Party Hard at OC Brew Ha Ha

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Someone wise once said, “when it’s time to party we will party hard” and I feel that is very fitting with the most anticipated OC beer event coming this Saturday! OC Brew Ha Ha is a local beer lover’s oasis of craft beer, fun live music, the most fun and funky buzzed masses – just waiting to get captured by my camera. I have to admit, this event produces some of the greatest moments I never publish but who knows – maybe one day I will host a an uncensored photo exhibition of all the gems I’ve stored away after all these events. Luckily, the event has a shuttle system this year to prevent drunk or buzzed driving or having to walk to the main road to get a signal for your uber driver.

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I had the opportunity to visit Bottle Logic and witness an interview with Wes Parker (Brewmaster at Bottle Logic), Dlyan Mobley (Lead Brewer at Bottle Logic), Anthony Chen (Lead Brewer of AleSmith) and OC Brew Ha Ha Event Organizer Cameron Collins about the new OC Brew Ha Ha Collaboration beer called Stable Orbit. This beer is really interesting with South African hops with sorghum and corn added to the malt bill to make this DIPA way different than the norm. Cameron really just went for it and admitted he was pleasantly surprised that he could get AleSmith to collaborate for this special event beer, “I honestly thought Alesmith was kind of a longshot. I was beyond thrilled when they said they were interested because they were the brewery that I got into when I first started in craft beer. Bottle Logic has been coming up and winning some awards as well, so the pairing just came together.”


Stable Orbit, clocking in at 8.5% ABV, features South African hops: African Queen, Southern Passion, Southern Star and XJA2. Enthusiasts can sample the beer at the dedicated tasting station at the festival on September 24. The collaboration beer will be available on shelves and in taprooms in late September.


Needless to say, if you haven’t already got your ticket for OC Brew Ha Ha, I suggest you get one now because it’s one of my favorite events, and because you can taste this creative DIPA along with a bunch of different tasty beers. Use code “beerandbaking” for $10 off VIP tickets!

I am feeling kinda guilty, because I never published my review of OC Brew Hee Haw so I’d like to mention that for a moment. It was a really fun event, and I loved the new location right near the blue gate entrance. I know the line was long to get into the event, but besides that it was a breezy, cleaner location sans the barnyard smell that invaded the previous location. One thing I noticed from this event is the people who attended were crazy and ready to party … hard (see how we’ve now come full circle?!). At the end of the event it felt more like a club, one that I would actually go to because it was fun and the dance moves people were doing were pretty incredible. Overall, it was really organized and a well-run event, and I loved attending. I don’t really love going to the fair with all the parking and crowds, but I usually go once a year when it’s here and going because of a beer event is the perfect avenue to get me there.


One more thing, if you haven’t already heard, Cameron’s got a brand new event that he’s organizing this year called Ye Scallywag! This event has a killer band list: NOFX, BAD RELIGION, GOLDFINGER, AGAINST ME!, REEL BIG FISH & WAKRATOn Saturday, Oct. 22nd at San Diego’s Waterfront park you can sample over 100 different beers and 100 different wines, food trucks, and listen to live music all day long starting at 11am until alcohol ends at 3 and music ends at 7pm. I know I am going (I am getting a hotel room and making a weekend of it!), I hope to see everyone there!


And now – all the photos from OC Brew Hee Haw!


Beercation: Reno Road Trip

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I surprised my husband with a friends road trip to Reno for his birthday this year, and it was filled with beautiful scenery, lots of beer, and good friends.

Day 1

We had a long drive from Orange County to Reno, about 8 hours. We left very early Friday morning (like 6am) and took off to the 395 for our first stop at Mammoth Brewing Company. After about 4-5 hours in the car, it was a much needed pit stop. We were able to get there right at noon and share a few pints while stretching out our legs and taking in the snowy mountains in the distance. I got the saison, and it was pretty solid. After grabbing a few bottles, we loaded back into the car for the next location – Fifty Fifty Brewing Co.

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We stopped to take a few pics at Lake Tahoe and before you knew it we were at the infamous Fifty Fifty brewery and restaurant. We ate some food (pizza and onion rings – the staples of a good diet) and tried a bunch of beers. Afterwards we were invited to tour the tiny brewery and talk shop with the brewers. Peter generously showed us around the compact brewing set-up and I took a few pics as while everyone discussed how Fifty Fifty has such a large presence and how shocking the actual brewing space was so small.

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After a long day of driving we traveled the last hour from Truckee to Reno, did a bit of gambling and drinking before crashing out. We had grand plans for day 2 to be spent brewery hopping around Reno!

Day 2

After a big ass breakfast, we went to the first stop of the day: Great Basin Brewing! We walked in and noticed the place is more like a restaurant then a brewery, but seeing as we had just ate we posted up in the bar area and ordered a few tasters. Overall the beer was kinda underwhelming with a few decent beers and a few unpleasant beers. What really stuck out was how confused the staff was when we said we didn’t want food, and they looked at us like we had just kicked their dog. Oh well, we had more places to go!

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Next stop: The Brewers Cabinet! Upon first impression, they seemed like a restaurant first and beer bar second, which is cool but they had the same attitude about the food thing. Maybe most people don’t go around beer hopping in Reno as much as OC but damn… we just wanted to chill at the bar and enjoy some beers! At least the Brewers Cabinet had some really decent beers on tap from their own brewery and guest taps as well. Nice selection of sours too!

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The third stop was by far the most anticipated – Brasserie St. James! We really planned the whole trip around this brewery and it was by far and away the best beer we had the whole trip. The 1904 cranberry which is a 100 % Brett Ale aged in wine barrels with cranberries. It was so tasty and slightly tart I had two. We got a few snacks to much on (because they also had food, but strangely they had more of a beer-y atmosphere) and we could do no wrong. The food was delicious and basically every beer we ordered was good AF. Inside it was so tasteful with exposed brick, lots of places to sit and chill, and the service was A+! I wish they weren’t so far because I would come back all the time!

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While we were at Brasserie, a fellow craft beer lover commented on my photo and said we needed to visit The Depot so that’s where we headed next! The Depot was in a historic looking brick building with clean accents of subway tile, warm lights and archways that was so inviting. We decided to just have a few drinks, hit one more place then get dinner so we sat at the bar again. We were able to sample some liquor as well as beer because they also distill which was a unique surprise. We hung out until it began to get really crowded with the dinner rush (because – you guessed it – they are a restaurant too) and I could tell if we weren’t gonna order food they were looking to have our group move along. The beers were good, but nothing was too memorable. I was more impressed with the beauty of the space, and I would’ve liked to sample the food but perhaps I will go back another day. They also were doing distilling which was rad, the person who tasted the gin said it was tasty.

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The last stop of the day before getting dinner was Imbib which was the first brewery only space we went to all day. I think they had a food truck but there was no restaurant aspect, only people drinking beer and hanging out. They had a decent beers but I was more relieved to not feel guilty about not getting food and have a safe judgement-free zone. It was a chill spot but we were eager to get some food in our systems by this point. We left and ended-up eating at one of those claim jumper-type places and stuffed our faces, and was really tired from such a long day of beer tasting!

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Day 3

We drove back through the picturesque 395 and on our way back stopped at my buddy Brian’s brewery Bravery in Lancaster. I’ve never seen his space and was really excited to visit! Brian’s beers a really good, he does a nice job making clean well-made styles that are sure to bring a lot of praise. If that wasn’t enough, Brian is a charming and humble human being who I love to shower in compliments whenever I see him if only to see him scoff and politely brush off the attention. Bravery doesn’t get the attention it deserves because, well it’s in Lancaster, but you won’t regret making the drive up from LA to visit Bravery. Be sure to tell them how good their beers are!

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