Hail the Ales

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By: Jante Ziarra

Anaheim was host to a fantastic beer festival on Saturday, September 19, at the Center Street Promenade. The 3rd annual OC Fest of Ales kicked off at noon with a line that wrapped around the building. The festival goers were lucky to have tall structures create some shade on this 90-degree day and were even greeted with a cool breeze from time to time.

The music of The Rayford Brothers along with scent of onions and sweet potato fries welcomed the crowd as they entered the festival. Of course, just about all breweries at this event were California natives like Noble Ale Works, Ballast Point and Golden Road, with the exception of Oregonian’s Ninkasi.

This year’s Fest of Ales did away with the Beer Run 5K as well as the food trucks (sad!). It did, however, still have unlimited tastings of gourmet food from local restaurants such as Gypsy Den, Umami Burger and a newfound favorite€“ Pour Vida Latin Flavor, which just opened in Center Street Promenade. Chef Jimmy Martinez encouraged the crowd to try his food€“ salmon sashimi on squid ink tortilla tacos€“ the most gourmet out of all the food, which included everything from Out of the Park Pizza‘s wings to Sweet Temptations Chocolate Stout S’more.

There were unlimited pours from over 80 beers from 40 craft breweries. Ballast Point’s Grapefruit Sculpin and Noble’s Naughty Sauce were out before the festival ended, go figure.

Among the attendees was Anaheim Mayor, Tom Trait (who had his very own mug that was four times bigger than the rest of ours), with his wife, Julie, and celebrity in local beer world Greg Nagel of the OC Beer Blog.

The mayor wrapped up the festival with an award ceremony and gave the mayor’s trophy, which he claimed he’d miss sitting on his coffee table, to Anaheim Brewery.

The awards marked the last hour of the festival. The Rayford Brothers wrapped up the festival as the mayor and his wife danced to Rockabilly Boogie.