The typical beer festival can be a scary endeavor if not run properly. The thought of an overcrowded, drunken bro fest in a sweaty parking lot, where the beers are the same suds you can get at the average Yard House—blech. Save your hard-earned money and put 2018 to bed with these two great beer events:
Sort of like a nightmare before Christmas is the Brewers Mash, an epic four-hour event spent within the haunted confines of the Fullerton Arboretum. Did the person wearing a Little Shop of Horrors Audrey II costume pass gas, or is that the rotting-flesh aroma of the corpse flower in full bloom? Find out Oct. 20 at one of the area’s only evening festivals. All proceeds go to the OC Brewer’s Guild nonprofit, which uses the event proceeds to help pay for educating the public about OC’s rich brewing tradition, protecting its interests and participating in community events. You can even join the guild at the event! At the Fullerton Arboretum, 1900 Associated Rd., Fullerton; events.ocbrewers.org/e/brewers-mash. Oct. 20, 6-10 p.m. $50. 21+.
Looking to celebrate the Festivus for the rest of us? The BrewHoHo is one of my favorites of all the BrewHaHa events, with special ale pours from the area’s best breweries. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and Inland Empire. There’s usually fun live music, plus you can get an early start on gift shopping! At the Phoenix Club, 1340 S. Sanderson Ave., Anaheim; brewhoho.com. Dec. 8, noon-4 p.m. $20-$55. 21+.
Greg Nagel has been writing about beer since 2011, is an avid homebrewer of wine, cider, and beer, is a certified Cicerone Beer Server, a podcaster with the Four Brewers Show, and runs a yearly beer festival called Firkfest.