Orange County Beer Festival 2010

Another great beer festival at Irvine Lake.  The second annual (hopefully) Orange County Beer Festival was held on May 15 instead of August like the previous year, and that resulted in much cooler weather.

I went with a friend and two designated drivers (always good to have a backup at an event like this in case one succumbs), and we arrived almost an hour early.  Very good plan, since we avoided the traffic and the lines, and had a chance to eat before they opened the booths.  In the pictures below you’ll see the place was really packed, but there was never a significant wait of more than, say, thirty seconds at any of the booths.  On the food front, the organizers did a much better job this year, offering three food vendors serving really outstanding choices.

In a perfect world I would probably take some notes on the beers as I sample them, but there is just too many booths to hit in the three hours.  I settled for picking up literature on the standouts so I could remember them later.  Some of my favorites were from the Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery (Long Beach), the Cismontane Brewing Company (Rancho Santa Margarita), Bierbitzch’s always refreshing Golden Pilsner (they always have great merchandise too), Tibet Brewing and their Lhasa Beer, and my favorite of them all, the new Duvel Green.

One major criticism of the beer fest is the traffic leaving the event.  We sat in the traffic leaving the parking lot for 45 minutes and never moved.  I finally had to see what could possibly be going on, and walked to the exit.  The traffic on the road was so crowded, that none of the cars could get an opening to pull out.  I helped stop traffic on the main road to get the traffic flowing out of the parking lot, and then other “civilians” from the festival joined in and we put together an impromptu traffic system, blocking traffic for a minute at a time to let the cars exit.  Had we not done this, everyone would still be sitting in the parking lot.  A special commendation goes to a woman from Bierbitzch (or who may simply have been wearing a Bierbitzch t-shirt) for stepping up and getting really aggressive with the slow-moving drivers.

The point of the story is, the organizers must hire traffic cops for the event.  And get more porta-potties.  Lots of people drinking lots of  beer.  Do the math, then multiply by ten.

I took a complete lap of the festival with my flip camera running. It’s noisy and jerky, but you’ll certainly get a sense of the party atmosphere.

P5150467P5150463 P5150461P5150458   P5150464 P5150466  P5150468 P5150470 P5150471 P5150472 P5150474 P5150475 P5150477 P5150479 P5150483 P5150492 P5150494 P5150495 P5150496 P5150501


P5150424 P5150383  P5150397 P5150398 P5150399 P5150403 P5150406 P5150409 P5150410 P5150413 P5150414 P5150415 P5150420 P5150422 P5150423

P5150456 P5150455



8 Responses to “Orange County Beer Festival 2010”

  1. […] Visit link: Beer, Motorcycles, Cigars | Beer, Bikes and Butts | Reviews, News … […]

  2. 2011?

  3. Oops, got a little ahead of myself there, Dale. But since you asked, yes I will be there in 2011.

  4. Yes the traffic was really bad. The gal with the BierBitzch shirt was awsome. I gave my orange(I always keep them in my car) reflective vest to a young gentleman who helped working the main street and between the 3 of us, got things moving.

    The Security lady originally doing traffic control almost envolked a riot and walked off the position. It was apparent to me that she had no prior experience doing event traffic control.

    I have quite a few years working gate and traffic control for large outdoor events and was glad to assist.

  5. That explains something I saw. I saw you hand the reflective vest to him, and I initially thought you must be the traffic person giving up and saying, “You think you can do better, here take my vest!” I was the crazy guy screaming at everyone to keep moving. The hysterical part was, seeing me directing traffic, a lot of people assumed I must be with the organization and were yelling their complaints about what a poor job “we” had done with the traffic planning. That’s okay, I’m happy to let them vent. I thank you for your help, Kate, on behalf of everyone trying to leave the event.

  6. I’m proud to say Kate was with us rowlin…….rowlin ……rowlin…keep them doggies rowlin. She can use a whip……not that I know…..on me at least

  7. Next Beer Festival, contact me and I will have my crew out there doing parking/traffic control like a well oil machine.

  8. Blame it all on the Boy Scouts! The Scout-O-Rama on the other end of the lake ended at the same time. That’s where all the traffic came from!

Leave a Reply