Many of us grew up during an era when the word "Malibu" appearing on a product meant that the product possibly had to do with a) the beach b) the sun c) getting a great tan d) driving down PCH with the top down or the requisite e) a little bit of all of that.
Call it the cleverness or sharp skill of the "Mad Men"-style of advertising, or call it one of the early examples of a town transforming into a sellable concept, but Malibu worked. Everyone wanted a part of it, even if they lived a thousand miles away.
But, here's the thing: The idea and the place are kind of the same thing, for once.
A good example of this the Malibu Beer Festival, which marks its half-decade anniversary on Saturday, June 8. Nope, it isn't large, like some brewski bashes; but then, Malibu isn't especially large. Yep, it is generally confined to the Malibu Inn and not some huge convention center-type place, which is a-ok, given that the iconic inn sits practically in the ocean. And, sure, the beer list is robust and interesting but you don't need to choose from 300 labels (you'll never try a tenth of that list, anyway).
It's just the perfect Malibu happening, combining leisure time, a Saturday, a longtime local hangout, sunshine, and a solid list of beers and spirits. You could practically put the "Malibu" stamp on it, the one that used to be on so many products, because sun + fun + ocean equals that hallowed Malibu ideal.
But before we get to lofty with talking about places becomeing ideas, let's look at some favorites o the beer list: Omer Traditional Blond, Piranha Pale Ale, and Harvest Hefeweizen all made the cut.
Oh, and about that sunshine? We almost put an asterisk next to it, because we are heavily into June Gloom. But raise a pint and your hopes that the marine layer will go bye-bye by 1 p.m., when the festival kicks off.
This is Malibu, right? Sunshine is practically mandatory for every outdoor event, June or not.