Of all the boring weeks of the year, we’re granted 10 glorious, consecutive days devoted to locally made, independent beer. The festivities start Friday, and a multitude of daily events go until Cinco de Mayo. Here are my top picks:
- The Fourth Annual OC Brewers Guild Invitational: This is the group’s largest fundraiser, with each brewery inviting another from outside the region, allowing attendees to sample the best of the best. Elks Lodge, 11551 Trask Ave., Garden Grove, (714) 534-0226; events.ocbrewers.org Sat., noon-4 p.m. $15-$50 (use code nagel15 online for a nice little discount!).
- Brews & Bowl: Enjoy heavy-handed, lane-oiled high-fives with various bearded brewing giants. Sign up your team at (714) 666-2695, extension 238. Concourse Bowling Center, 3364 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim; www.concoursebowling.com. Mon., 6-10:30 p.m.
- Culinary Quest CO-OP Beer Dinner: Chef Andrea Machuca and the Culinary Underground join GameCraft’s kitchen for a special interactive dinner that features fare from the fantasy and game world. GameCraft Brewing, 23301 Avenida de la Carlota, Ste. C, Laguna Hills, (949) 734-0910; www.gamecraftbrewing.com. Wed., 7-9 p.m. $75-$85.
- Daily tap takeovers: It starts Monday with Green Cheek and Riip Beer Co., then continues Tuesday with Bruery, Offshoot and Beachwood; Wednesday with Artifex and Stereo. The rest of the week will let the beers ride. Haven Craft Kitchen + Bar, 190 S. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 221-0680; www.havencraftkitchen.com.
- May the Fourth Be With You: The Star Wars-themed party kicks off with a Blue Milk cask, costume contest, bites and more. Lost Winds Brewing Co., 924 Calle Negocio, Ste. C, San Clemente, (949) 361-5922; www.lostwindsbrewing.com. May 4, noon-10 p.m.
Visit the OC Brewer’s Guild at ocbrewers.org to find newly added events, as well as how to become a member.
Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, level 1 WSET in Wine, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest happening this June!