How do you improve on perfection? Just ask the organizers of the OC Brew Ha Ha. This is my third time attending the OC Brew Ha Ha and they keep getting better. I was a little disappointed initially when I found out that camping for the public was not an option. I had brewed a traditional Czech Pilsner in May and had five gallons to run through the tap on my trailer. I also wanted a place to sober up after all the wonderful sampling that I planned to do. Oh well, I guess I have plenty of beer for the poker game later this month.
There was a total of five of us and we hired one their son’s to be our designated driver and I took full advantage of having a driver. I was emailed a map prior to going and noticed a big change from last year. It was in the same beautiful location as last year, only they increased the size of the festival and the breweries that were attending. As soon as I checked in I noticed another small change, the pint glass that was given out in previous years was replaced with a small sample glass.
The OC Brew Ha Ha had over 75 craft breweries from all over and a healthy representation from southern California. They sold out this year but you couldn’t tell from the size of the crowd. We never waited more than a minute to get a sample. The largest line I saw was for Slater’s 50/50 Burger samples. Mmm bacon. Other than the 50/50 line, the largest beer line was only about 5 people deep and that was when my group showed up. The heat was not an issue last Saturday, there was plenty of cold beer, lots of shade in Oak Canyon Park and multiple misters scattered throughout if you needed some additional cooling.
The thing I enjoy most about this event is the variety of breweries that show up. Many are new to me as I don’t get to go out on epic breweries tours. The map that was provided included the locations of the breweries and it was easy to create a list of must visits and would like to visit. On the top of the list was the Belching Beaver and Clown Shoes. With names like those how you pass them up. Neither one disappointed.
The OC Brew Ha Ha always delivers on their promises, over 175 different beers from the well-known established breweries to start ups, lots of food trucks, great location, and live entertainment. In my opinion, this is the best beer festival is southern California.