California Beer Fests

California Beer Festivals -- Beer Run 5KI don’t normally associate drinking beer with running, but the Downtown Anaheim Association is going to attempt to bring them together on Saturday, September 22, 2012. At first I had visions of craft beer drinkers staggering through the 5K, or perhaps (and I like this idea), instead of the usual water stations, the local breweries would have tables with cups of beer for the runners to grab as they ran past. For added incentive, the first 100 or so across the finish line would be met with a table of rare beers.

Well, maybe next year. This year the functions will be separate, and there will be no beer drinking until after the 5K run. The OC Fest of Ales will be held at the Center Street Promenade in Downtown Anaheim, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be over 100 craft beers from more than 20 local breweries, along with food from local restaurants and food trucks.

This sounds like it will be a great event, and a VIP upgrade is available which adds earlier access to the Beer Garden and some other perks. For more information, go here and here.

— Aaron Morris

Beer Run California Beer Fests

California Beer Fests - San Diego Beer Week

Not to be critical (okay, exactly to be critical), but the folks at the San Diego Brewers Guild really need to spend a few minutes updating the website. True, San Diego Beer Week doesn’t start until November 3, 2012, but much of the information on the site is for the 2010 Beer Week. The headline proclaims, “Save the Date — November 3, 2012” but the calendar immediately below it shows the festival starting on November 4.

So, we’re a little thin on specifics, but we can tell you two things. First, the San Diego Beer Week is an impressive “week” (ten days actually) of events, and second that it will culminate on Sunday, November 11, 2012 with a beer garden, admission to which will bring you unlimited tasters of the best of San Diego craft beer, as well as food from local restaurants.

So, for now, with ink write down November 11, 2012 in your calendar so you don’t miss what will certainly be a highlight event in beer drinkerdom (really, that’s not a word?), and pencil in the prior eight days until the San Diego Brewers Guild gets around to telling us exactly what is in store. Rumor has it that there will also be a beer fest on Saturday, November 3, but details are proving elusive.

Click here for a list of all upcoming California Beer Fests.

September looks like a great month for lovers of beer in California. Here is a sampling of what September has to offer, but go to our Calendar of California Beer Fests for a complete list.

Labor day weekend, Southern California residents can drink quality craft beer at two different festivals. On Saturday, September 1, the Alpine Village Craft Bier Fest in Torrance offers beer from more than 50 breweries. On Sunday, September 2, the smaller Drink Good Beerfest offers over 30 breweries, and a homebrew contest.

California Beer Fests

Always important to carbo-load before exercising.

After a couple of week to exercise off all those beer calories, you can then attend the always good California Beer Festival in Ventura on Saturday, September 15, 2012. The CBF offers over 130 craft beers on tap, along with food and a Michael Jackson tribute band.

On Thursday, September 20, a smaller but very tasty event takes place in Huntington Beach. The Art of the Brew will offer beer from some local breweries, including The Bruery, Revel Brewing, Anaheim Brewery and Bootleggers Brewery.

California Beer Fests Union Station

Something to always ask yourself at a beer fest.

September 29 and 30 offer another chance at a weekend of beer if you are so inclined. Taste of Brews in Dana Point offers beers and food from local breweries and gastropubs. Then the month ends with the a big one – the Los Angeles Beer Fest at Union Station, with over 70 craft and artisan breweries.

We have our fingers crossed for this year’s Los Angeles Beer Fest, given last year’s problems. Usually, this is a great event, not only because of the tremendous selection of beers, but because of the venue. You can take a train to Union Station, sample beers right there in the attractive courtyard, and then return home in the same way. No concerns about parking or driving. Prior years were fantastic, but last year the organization was terrible, and it took an hour and a half to get in, meaning attendees missed the offered seminars and, more importantly, almost half the sampling time.

California Beer Fests Firefighters

The organizers blamed the problem on the fire department, saying they held up admission due to some safety concerns, but we witnessed the fact that there were far too few volunteers taking tickets. It was hugely frustrating, and we swore never to attend again. However, time has healed the wounds of lost beer opportunities, and we’ll be giving the Los Angeles Beer Fest another try because, when it works, it’s too good to miss. Every year we’ve attended Chimay has been pouring. How can you pass up a short train ride to unlimited samples of Chimay?