You may have had beer on cask. Probably a staid British ale. Others may have had casks with weird stuff added in in the grand American style of experimentation. Others still may prefer Don the Beachcomber styled cocktails.
Well now, you can get all three in one place as Firkfest, the annual celebration of cask ale in Orange County. Founder/Organizer Greg Nagel has set a new theme for the 2017 edition of his fabulous festival and it is TIKI. Nagel was inspired by both the tiki cocktails as well as when El Segundo Brewing mixed their hoppy creations with the theme.
The Caskaway will be held at the park next to the Anaheim Packing District complex as in years past. This great location brings new surprises each year. 30 breweries will be on site to tackle the tropical theme, so expect coconut, rum, papayas, pineapples and much more as Orange County and Los Angeles brewers create exciting one-off beers that may never be seen again. Though the breweries aren’t required to go tiki if they have something else in mind.
You will also be able to pair your tropicalia to International Food from Adya, The Iron Press, Pour Vida Latin Flavor and Lebanese Street Food. A large portion of proceeds from the event go to the OC Brewers Guild to help grow beer in Orange County.
According to Nagel, there are “Lots of newcomers! Mikkeller San Diego, Modern Times Beer, Unsung Brewing, Gunwhale Ales, Riip Beer Co., Stereo Brewing, Chapman Crafted, and rumors of Andy Black’s new gig at Yorkshire Square and Kip Barnes from Hawthorne’s LA Ale Works. It’s sort of an invitational beer fest, but give priority to new OC breweries over bigger regional operations.”
No need to take a three-hour tour, but don’t be a Gilligan and get your tickets in advance.
Your Beer of the Week can be found on Saturday only at one location. I usually eschew the whale hunting culture and the waiting in line when other great beer can be had but when a brewery with renown in IPA circles comes to town, you might want to check it out. Melvin Brewing will be bringing an armada of Wyoming IPAs to Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach and you should start wth their 2×4, which is the reason for their visit. This Double IPA clocks in at 10% ABV and is a two-time winner of the Alpha King Competition held in Denver that crowns the best in hoppy beers.
Your Homework is to check out the line-up of beer and food pairings that The Cannibal in Culver City has planned for their beer dinner with The Bruery. The theme for the four-course dinner from Chef de Cuisine Jude Parra is wine/beer hybrids. The following beers will be poured: Confession – sour blonde with Riesling grapes; Bourgogne Blanc – sour blonde with Bourgogne blanc; (chardonnay) Grues, Rue Sans – sour rye ale with Roussane grapes; Jurassic Gose – Gose (sour wheat) aged in port barrels with Chenin Blanc grapes; and Vindictive (formerly Winefication) – bourbon barrel aged stout with Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre.
Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.