San Diego is known for its awesome craft beer, but what many travelers don’t know is that Orange County has its fair share of delicious local craft breweries too! The best way to taste them is at these 5 beer festivals, which bring all the brewers together in one spot for your enjoyment!
Pro tip: one of the best ways to enjoy a place is to come to a local event! Find them with this guide.
Brews & Blues in the Garden
Location: Fullerton Arboretum (on the Cal State Fullerton campus)
The Fullerton Arboretum is one of my favorite spots in Orange County because there’s so much to do there (check out their spring events)! Not only is this botanical garden absolutely beautiful, but they also have an awesome beer festival every August called Brews & Blues in the Garden which helps support the non-profit garden.
Event tickets include unlimited beer tasters, free parking, and a souvenir glass. You can even buy a combo ticket for your designated driver! They typically have at least a dozen breweries plus live Blues music and food trucks.
OC Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival
Location: Rotates every year, in 2019 it was in Silverado canyon
Date: Early September
One of the biggest craft beer fests in the OC, the Brew Ha Ha event has 160+ craft beers on tap every year with unlimited tastings and a festival glass. If beer isn’t your thing, there’s free soda and water as well as a cigar lounge.
They also offer live music from headliners like The Aquabats and Save Ferris. Don’t miss the food trucks, there are also activities for kids like bounce houses. You can grab your tickets here including non-drinker/designated driver options.
Old World Oktoberfest
Location: Old World Huntington Beach
Date: Early September-October
A longer-term event, Oktoberfest at Old World is open Wednesday – Sunday. Pro tip: go Wednesday or Thursday night and get in for free! Otherwise, you’ll pay around $5 for admission. People under 21 are welcome Wednesday/Thursday/Sunday, with special wiener dog races on Sunday afternoons!
At this authentically German event, you’ll be helped by servers in dirndls and lederhosen (check out my Munich Oktoberfest experience!). There are plenty of snacks like bratwurst and pretzel necklaces available, as well as a ton of beer options. If you visit during the first week you can even see the parade.
Location: Anaheim Packing District (a great rainy day activity!)
Date: Late June
Set in an awesome food hall, FirkFest features only cask beers! For those of you who aren’t beer connoisseurs, this means that the beer is unfiltered and unpasteurized, then conditioned and served from a cask without any additional pressure. Beer purists tend to love this type of brews. To find out more about grab your tickets, visit their site.
Location: Downtown Santa Ana
All Californians know it and visitors love it – this event combines In-N-Out burgers with 30+ local brewers. Enjoy live music while you chow down on themed beers like animal-style IPA (a nod to In-N-Out’s secret menu). Grab your tickets before they sell out!
Now you know the best beer festivals in Orange County! Tell us your favorite craft brewery in the comments below!