Strap on Your Stunt Livers: O.C. Beer Week 2018 is Here!

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34 local breweries are members of the O.C. Brewer’s Guild, and late April they all have one goal in mind: to enlighten you about our diverse and award-winning beer scene. O.C. beer week is back for the third consecutive year, running from April 21 to 28, with many breweries collaborating, holding tap-takeover events, special beer releases, and of course the coup de grâce, a huge invitational beer festival held waterside at Newport Dunes. Of the many events, here are my must-hit events for the week!

Ellyssa Miranda, Bootlegger’s Beertender. Photo taken at Bootleggers 10th anniversary

If you want to get a head start, the unofficial pre-party starts on April 20th at Asylum Brewing in Anaheim, where they will have food trucks, live music, special beer releases, and raffles all weekend to celebrate their first anniversary.

Saturday the 21st, I recommend having “Pints with the Brewer” at Stereo Brewing as co-owner/brewer Rick Smets is by far my favorite guy to chat with while sipping his award-winning oatmeal stout, Wall of Sound (one of my favorite beers of 2017). Protip: wear your favorite band T-shirt for the slight chance it’s also Rick’s favorite – I hear it might buy you a beer! Stereo will have events all week long, check their website for details.

Brian Rauso of Green Cheek, photos and story, Greg Nagel

Monday the 23rd at Concourse Bowling Alley in Anaheim at the 91 Freeway from 6 to 10 p.m., don’t miss Unsung Brewing, Bottle Logic, Lost Winds, and Chapman Crafted as they face off in an epic bowling tournament. Each brewery will be bringing two beers to complete a perfect tap-takeover strike!

Wednesday the 25th, First Class Pizza in Irvine is holding an IPA Festival, where every draft line will be pouring fresh IPAs from all O.C. breweries. I suggest getting the Nagel special: pineapple-jalapeno pizza with a crisp and clear west coast IPA. It’s a perfect pairing, ask any cicerone.

Thursday the 26th, Tustin Brewing is hosting a unique beer dinner with their new (ex-chef) general manager…it’s different as they’re letting him take the reigns in the kitchen for a night. Be sure to reserve a spot in advance as seating is limited. If you can’t make it in Thursday, Tustin will have a cheese plate available all week to pair with various beers. (Menu)

Friday the 27th, it’s all about Huntington Beach as Riip Beer Company and Beachwood Brewing take over the taps at The American Dream burger-beer bar. This is a perfect opportunity to congratulate brewer Ian McCall on leaving one award-winning brewpub at Beachwood and joining another at Riip.

Saturday the 28th is all about the O.C. Brewer’s Guild Invitational Festival at the seaside Newport Dunes. Tickets and info available here.

Tarin Almstedt & Friend at Bootlegger’s 10th Anniversary Party

Invitational Brewery List

Out of State:
J. Wakefield Brewing

San Diego:
Alesmith Brewing Company
Burgeon Beer Co.
Benchmark Brewing Company
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Mike Hess Brewing
Pure Project Brewing
Nickel Beer Company

Central Coast
Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company
BarrelHouse Brewing Co.

Los Angeles
Boomtown Brewery
Kern River Brewing Company

Inland Empire
Main Street Brewing
Skyland Ale Works

Orange County
All-American Ale Works
Anaheim Brewery
Artifex Brewing Company
Asylum Brewing
Backstreet Brewery
Barley Forge
Beachwood Brewing
Bootlegger’s Brewery
Bottle Logic Brewing
Bruery Terreux
Chapman Crafted Beer
Cismontane Brewing Co.
Docent Brewing
Evans Brewing Company
Four Sons Brewing
Green Cheek Beer Co.
Gunwhale Ales
Honey Pot Meadery
Hoparazzi Brewing Co.
Laguna Beach Beer Company
Left Coast Brewing Company
Legends Craft Brewery
Lost Winds Brewing Company
Network Brewery
Noble Ale Works
OffShoot Brewing Co.
Phantom Ales
Pizza Port San Clemente
RIIP Beer Company
Stereo Brewing
Stone Church Brewing
Taps Fish House & Brewery
The Bruery
The Good Beer Co
Towne Park Brew Co.
Tustin Brewing Co.
Unsung Brewing Co.

Be sure to tag #ocbw2018 #ocbeerweek if you make it out to any events! I’ll see you out there!

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