OC Beer Fest 2009 at Irvine Lake

I may have well experienced the biggest tease of my adult life, and it was all self-imposed.  Here is how it came about.

Weeks ago I signed up to go to the OC Beer Fest at Irvine Lake, to be held on Sunday, August 30, 2009.  I think it was a first time thing, because I didn’t see anything about past events on line.  But it involved beer, so I was in.  Admission was $40 for all the plebs, but being an influential member of the beer press I got me and my St. Pauli Girl both in for $25 per (using a coupon I found on line).

The experience started on a down note.  All the aforesaid plebs were waiting in the will call lines, but I expected to be waived in — “Right this way Mr. Morris, your VIP table is waiting.” (Plus, I had actual tickets.)  So I walked past the lines, waived my tickets, and was told by a large security person that I had to get in the line, adding the unnecessary remark, “Why do you think EVERYONE ELSE is standing in line?”  To which I responded, “Oh, I don’t know, maybe they’re all standing in those lines with the big WILL CALL signs to pick up their tickets; I’m guessing you don’t get a lot of calls from NASA seeking a consultation?” thereby almost being ejected before I was ever in.  (And I’ll bet my St. Pauli Girl would have gone in anyway – that’s just the way she is.)

So anyway, they hand us two small plastic beer mugs, probably five ounce size, and we head into the festivities.  OMG, it was like Christmas in August for a beer drinker.  There were probably more than 50 breweries represented there, all of them pouring multiple beer types as fast as you could drink them.  I’ve been to food tastings like this, but in those cases there is a line at every station, and the sample they provide is a mere morsel.  At the OC Beer Fest, they filled the mug.  Indeed, many people were asking for half portions just to pace themselves.  And no real lines to speak of.  At most I would wait perhaps two minutes to get a sample at any given station.  It was a particularly hot day for Southern California, so the only real lines were at the stations that were in the shade.

So, where’s the tease you ask?  I was in the middle of a jury trial, and even though it was a Sunday I had to get back to the office to prepare for the next day’s witnesses.  I had to limit myself to little more than an hour and just a few half samples.  Damn.  Driving away in true, clear-headed depression, having sampled less than one-half of one percent of the available beers, I check my voice mail and, just to twist the knife, a friend had left a message saying he and others had arranged for transportation so we could drink with impunity.  Double damn.

Part of me hates to invite participation at the next event because I don’t want to lengthen the lines, but if you promise to keep it to yourself I’ll tell you that if you live within reasonable distance of Irvine (technically Silverado) California (say, anywhere west of Mississippi), you should go to OC Beer Fest 2010.

Some additional coverage:

OC Beerfest: Sweaty, Beery Fun

OC Weekly Slideshow 










One Response to “OC Beer Fest 2009 at Irvine Lake”

  1. […] an entire year for a repeat.  The event was both magnificent and munificent last year, and in my review I suggested that any self-respecting beer drinker west of the Mississippi should plan on attending […]

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