Michael Hepworth






By Michael Cohan

Anaheim (Spiritsman.com) 10/19/16 – The Rock ‘n Brew festivals of RockStarBeer Productions landed at the Grove of Anaheim on Saturday October 8th. The OC Beer & Music Festival that took place is the combination of what they call a “beerfest meets music party!” The timing couldn’t be more perfect as this is the month of Rocktober and Oktoberfest! In fact on October 12, 1810 the first Oktoberfest was held in Munich to celebrate the wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

The people at RockStarBeer work hard to develop the ultimate ambience incorporating national touring rock bands, dance DJ’s, event add-ons, and unique ideas that create their high energy craft beer festivals. Currently the company holds their events in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, and other counties in California and neighboring states. They focus on cultivating their professionalism by bringing together local and regional breweries within the event area to deliver the best craft beers. With expansion plans underway they are definitely “the most exciting craft beer festivals on the west coast!”

The night featured a VIP beer and spirits area, over 100 samples of beer, and a unique cocktail presentation from Auchentoshan & Ale who are taking their consummate Scotch Whisky and beer mix on the road appearing at beer festivals around the country. The entertainment included three local bands. Jill & Julia, The Ataris, and headliner band LIT provided the excitement inside the Grove of Anaheim. For more information on this review please visit Perfectmusictoday.com.

The VIP experience was dedicated to two breweries, The Slidebar Rock-n-Roll Kitchen, and from Cocktailcityvegas.com J-Sven, an Executive Mixologist who served versions of his award winning cocktails. He has won many mixology competitions including the Jim Beam Shakedown. Two attractive gals, Brittany and Amy, wearing Rockstarbeer t-shirts were serving drinks from this party club located in Fullerton. Owned by LIT’s guitarist Jeremy Popoff the theme of their restaurant is all things rock’n roll!

The first brewery was from Vista and they go by the moniker Belching Beaver established in 2012. They brought with them their Damned! Double IPA, a gold medal winner at the World Beer Championships in 2014. This beer registers an 8.8% abv with lots of hops and a clean finish without the bitterness. The Saison de Beaver pale ale has an abv of 7.3 % which delivers aromas of fruit and spice with a highly carbonated finish. A champion beer with an acquired taste, no doubt!

Track 7 began in 2011 as a small batch microbrewery producing an array of seasonal and year round artisanal beers. These ales and lagers are hand crafted 7 barrels at a time. That’s the second part of the name. The first part refers to how close they are located to the old Western Pacific railroad tracks in Sacramento’s Curtis Park area.

Track’s 7 dedication is set in the firmly-hopped west coast tradition, but without loyalty to just one “style.” Steven was the pourer and full of information about the craft beer industry. The current expansion includes areas in Orange County in which he has seen tremendous increases in consumption and response.

Their first sample is a year round beer called Panic IPA, an American IPA registering at 7% abv. Hoppy but smooth due to the use of high quality ingredients. Their seasonal beer is the Riot Act Rye IPA also at 7% abv. Just delicious and full of flavor without any bitterness.

Both of these beers were exceptional and void of the fruity taste that lingers in craft beers. Being from back east this Libations Analyst prefers straight up drinking! If you’re ever near one of these fine establishments you owe it to yourself to visit and experience them. But please go ahead and google them to explore their websites.

A beer that has a touch of fruit in the nose is New Belgium’s Fat Tire Sessions IPA without the flavor on the back end. This light body IPA has an abv of 4.5%. I was able to enjoy this beer because of the back end!

Getting back to the festival at hand while walking up to the entrance you can just marvel at some of the names of the breweries. Smog City Brewing Co., located you know where (Torrance) were bronze medal winners with their Sabre-Toothed Squirrel (American-style amber/red ale, 7% abv) over the past weekend at the Great American Beerfest, a prestigious Denver – based event that celebrates craft beer from around the country. The Smog City brew team was also honored with the silver medal at this years’ World Beer Cup in Philadelphia for this medium-bodied and well balanced beer. Squirrel will shine when paired with most BBQ’d meats and roasted vegetables. Join them and enjoy their vast arsenal of quirky quality beers at http://www.smogcitybrewing.com/

Taking a break from all this drinking debauchery, the reviewer decided to just slow down and take a stroll around. He recognized that everyone seemed to have a smile on their friendly faces much as the exhibitors. Everyone just seemed super friendly. The crowds’ mood was kick back and seemed to be strolling on and on from one brew sample to another. While smoking a cigarette I was exchanging pleasantries with an English couple. They were definitely cool and also enjoying the festivities staying at a hotel not too far away from The Grove of Anaheim, a concert venue that takes up a part of the parking lot at Anaheim Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I will be reviewing this area around Disneyland and the Platinum Triangle at Perfecttraveltoday.com

Moving on my pace quickened when I saw the taps pouring deliciousness by the pretty servers at the Network booth, the Brewery that is located on Carnegie Street in Santa Ana. They have created a Rustic Orange Saison named after the historic Orange Circle which its real name is the Orange Plaza. One of the servers educated me on what a saison beer incorporates into their flavor. It is a summer style beer with coriander and rye typically registering at 4.7% abv. The Drill Down IPA is a full bodied IPA at 6.8%. Said I, lets try’r out! This reviewer will definitely put this at the top of local breweries to visit!

Walking away from these beers, thinking it’s almost 730, I saw a gal with a wristwatch and confirmed it was time to soak up the suds. Everyone around me was munching or standing in long lines for the food trucks. What’s to munch? Then I spotted the foot long corn dogs and they were being held by three attractive women as if they were advertising them. While talking into my Olympus digital voice recorder Vanessa and Sunlane from Downey cornered me. Vanessa said she wanted a big fat corn dog and we all had a chuckle as I mentioned to her “you mean not the regular dog right now, it’s got to be deep fried.” I apologized and justified to them “it’s just the beer talkin’!” My Oktoberfest choice was the also gigantic Hungarian sausage. Follow my delicious review of this and The Viking Truck where it came from at Perfectmealtoday.com

After munching down that meal a tremendous thirst came over me. That’s when I discovered Dr. Jekyll’s Brewery where the beers are truly odd, yet oddly delicious. You know why, it’s because they are the world’s first and only non GMO, vegan friendly, craft beer made with organic hops and malt that is brewed with super foods in a synergistic way. Brewed with over 98% organic flavors, each one has a unique taste. The Double Biohazard IPA incorporates matakie mushrooms and garlic in this 9.2% potent potion! Their Beer Attack Irish-style Red Ale at 5.4% is crisp like an apple! The Biohazard is the first of the Mr. Hyde’s new series of mad scientry! Put this new word in my dictionary, but I think you got the picture! These new beers have won multiple awards already. Dr. Jekylls.com is definitely a beer with benefits!

The highlight of the whole festival was the special attraction, the “Auchentoshan & Ale” cocktail specialists! Brand Ambassador Robin Nance and Master Cicerone Pat Fahey have created the ultimate combination of beer and “Distilled Different” Auchentoshan (pronounced AWK-EN-TOSH-EN) Single Malt Scotch Whisky. They have been attending regional Beerfests around the country with their main focus of introducing their special and deliciously smooth cocktails to everyone! They have concocted two very different Ale & beer drinks for you! They are respectively named:

IT’S BITTER TO BE HOPPY (with an American IPA)

Jigger Auchentoshan American Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Half part Aperol                 quarter part fresh Grapefruit Juice          6 dashes Lemon Bitters

Two and a half parts IPA

Stir all ingredients and strain into a coupe. Garnish with a lemon wheel.

American IPA is all about the hops, it’s full of them! You can find hints of pine resin and tropical fruits like grapefruit in this beer. You feel the bitterness of the IPA blending with the bitterness of the Aperol. However, with the presence of the brown sugar and caramel textures from the American Oak diminishes this affect.


Jigger Auchentoshan American Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky

.5 parts honey syrup (1:1)             1 part fresh lemon juice                                   3 parts Belgium Witbier

Build in a tall glass or beer stein filled with ice. Stir. Garnish with a lemon peel.

(Honey syrup – 1 part honey to 1 part water, boil and cool before using)

The Belgium Witbier is a white ale from Maine that provides the drink with such spices as coriander and orange peel which surfaces with perfumey notes and a citrusy floral aroma. The orange flavor comes together with the lemon juice to emphasize the citrus nuances of the American Oak. This kind of beer is the perfect accompaniment to the Scotch as it lends a light and crisp texture to this sweet drink.

They also have a third cocktail that features their top of the line Auchentoshan Three Wood Scotch called Beer & Loathing. The ingredients are a jigger of Three Wood, half part chili liqueur, and four parts of Porter Ale. Slowly shake all together with ice and strain into a rocks glass. An American Porter has roasted flavors of bittersweet dark chocolate and espresso. In this cocktail, the dark fruit and chocolate accents from the Three Wood mesh with Ancho Reyes spice and the roast of the American Porter to give you the sense of a Mexican chili chocolate bar.

What this reviewer enjoyed the most was the Lemon Tell You Somethin’ Honey because I felt the whisky flavor from this cocktail had more of a balance and common taste than the Hoppy one. Of course, I also sampled the scotch straight up and found it top notch. I’m into BevMo for two of the American Oak bottles so far! Follow my review for this at Spiritsman.com also as this Libations Analyst might have to get a third? Just give me a little time to enjoy the luxurious flavorings of Auchentoshan and I’ll get it out to you as soon as possible.

All in all, this festival was superbly run by the professionals at Rockstarbeer Productions and their affiliates. I want to thank all the people involved in making this experience an enjoyable evening of mingling under the stars and connecting the public with the burgeoning nationwide craze of craft beers. Go to Rockstarbeer.com to find a Rock’n Brew Festival near you!



Michael Hepworth

287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211





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