Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Taste of Brews 2012 Long Beach

Official Taste of Brews Mini Tasting Stein

The 2012 Taste of Brews Festival occupied beautiful Lighthouse Park in Long Beach this past Saturday and I have to say it was quite well run and enjoyable! We had early admission tickets (NOON-4PM) which was nice as it allowed us first dibs at the beer and food samples available. Even though it never got totally packed to the point where it got annoying anytime throughout the event, it was nice having the early admission tickets. Throughout the event the lines were pretty short, which was definitely nice. Waiting to long for brew is definitely a buzz kill! I had never been to Lighthouse Park before, but you couldn't ask for a prettier location for an outdoor festival and the weather was really nice too.

Lighthouse Park with Tents in Background

The brewers that participated in the event were headquartered in several different states but the majority were from California, including a number of OC based breweries. There were some well known craft breweries as well as breweries that I had not heard of which was cool. There were mass market beers such as Newcastle and ShockTop too ... So there was something for all tastes....unless you were expecting Bud Light. Complete list of breweries at the event is at  . NOTE: We are not sure if the same breweries will be present at the Taste of Brews on September 29th in Dana Point.

Magic Hat Brewing hailing from South Burlington,VT - Magical Beer!

ShockTop VW Bug..Had a working beer tap in the back!

Free Food Samples: In addition to the beer there were some local restaurants and food related places handing out FREE samples. Although it is hard to turn down a craft beer festival...the free food samples were definitely a selling point when we considered going to this event. The most generous restaurant giving out free samples was STACKED (  based in Cerritos. They were giving out plates of food...with a chocolate chip cookie!

Generous free plate of food from STACK(in Cerritos) restaurant

House of Big Fish based in Laguna Beach ,CA was offering up mini shrimp cocktails.

Hooters was giving out tasty little boneless chicken wings with a side of ranch. Venissimo cheese was giving out some tasty cheese samples , it looks like they have four shops in Long Beach,Del Mar and San Diego.

Free Boneless Chicken Wings courtesy of Hooters

Food : In addition to the food free food samples there were also a handful of food trucks at the event . All the food trucks we tried were new to us so that was pretty cool. When you are sampling dozens of beers you need some food in your system!

Komodo Truck - Tasty Asian/Mexican fusion
Tacos from Komodo Truck

Rebel Bite Truck: Specializes in Grilled Cheeses w/ Attitude!

Bacon/Tomato Patty!

The crowd at the event was pretty laid back and everyone seemed to be having a good time without drama. There were police officers on site which made the event feel safe.

There was a stage setup with live music playing, although most people were too busy sampling beers to pay too much attention having a live band playing definitely added to the atmosphere. The band was playing mostly classic rock covers....which is good beer tastin' music.

We were given drink tickets which seemed to be required by the alcohol dept (according to the email from the event organizers) , but a number of tickets were given and some places were not collecting them. The drink tickets seemed to be a last minute addition, so I'm not sure if all the brewery representatives were sure of what to do.

Conclusion: In all this was a great beer festival and one that I will look forward to next year. It was a nice relaxed way to sample many beers from dozens of breweries . If you missed the long beach event there will be another taste of brews sept 29th in Dana point. Tickets for "Taste of Brews" Dana Point are still available at

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