OC Beer Week (May 19-28) is in full swing, which means there’s no better time to drink local! Kicking things into high gear is today’s marquee event: the second annual Orange County Brewers Guild Invitational, taking place at Center City Anaheim. The brewery lineup isn’t limited to those located in Orange County though—prepare to take your pick from over 140 beers provided by 70+ of California’s best craft breweries!
If you’ll be in attendance, be sure to hunt down Asylum’s booth and get a beer from yours truly! If not, what are you waiting for?! Tickets are still available here. The pours are unlimited, so naturally I recommend you get a tasting of both Monsters We Breed (double IPA) and Casanova Frankenstein (imperial stout). Even if you’ve already had a chance to try them, come say hi!
For those not in Southern California this weekend, you’re still in luck! Expanding beyond the reaches of OC Beer Week are two other equally important and much larger libation celebrations: American Craft Beer Week (May 15-21) and World Whisky Day (today, May 20)! So make sure you support an independent craft brewery near you (or two, or three…), or sip on your favorite bourbon, rye or Scotch! If you’re a bourbon fan (like myself) and want to try something different, check out this year’s signature WWD cocktail: The Oak Tea. If beer is still your one-and-only, don’t worry. There are plenty of killer bourbon/whisky barrel-aged beers that I think more than qualify as a celebration of both American Craft Beer Week and World Whisky Day! Check my suggestion list at the bottom of this post!
If you want to earn some extra credit in the good karma department, don’t just drink local and independent beer yourself—save a friend from the perils of terrible, corporation-owned macro beer! And don’t just preach to them about it, buy them a round and prove you care! In 2016, craft breweries composed 99% of all the breweries in the U.S., but held less than 13% volume share! If you’re going to drink those beers regardless, make them count and support small, local businesses! You’ll find greater variety, higher quality and best of all, just better tasting beer.
Wherever you are this weekend, cheers, prost and salud!
Here’s those barrel-aged suggestions:
- Bottle Logic – Fundamental Summation, BA imperial vanilla coffee stout, 13.8% ABV
- Prairie Artisan Ales – Barrel Aged Bomb!, BA imperial stout, 11.2% ABV
- The Bruery – Mash & Vanilla, BA vanilla barleywine, 13.3% ABV
- Boulevard – Bourbon Barrel Quad, BA Belgian-style quadrupel, 11.8% ABV
- The Bruery – Black Tuesday, BA imperial stout, 20.3% ABV