We're somehow convinced that Oktoberfests have been starting earlier and earlier each year, even sometimes slipping the bounds of September -- when Oktoberfests traditionally happen, of course -- and nudging into August.
That's not yet the case with SoCal's famously sudsy fall parties; they're still a couple of weeks out, and on the other side of Labor Day. So we must sate our hops-happy appetite in other ways, and here's a fine one: Taste of Brews, which is not an Oktoberfest but does have the elements of a get-together, in a fine outdoor location, with lots of crafty, gourmet beers to be tried.
The first of two Tastes is up on Saturday, Aug. 25 at Lighthouse Park in Long Beach.
General admission is $35 and the charity that will benefit from the day? Long Beach Marine Institute.
The list of breweries includes Bootlegger, Belmont Brewing Company, and Packinghouse.
If you can't make the day, the second Taste of Brews'll land in Dana Point on Saturday, Sept. 29. That will be in the thick of Oktoberfest season, but we like the counter-programming. Why not throw a craft brew festival, in September, that doesn't involve the chicken dance?
Don't get us wrong; we love that chicken dance something fierce. But there's room for everyone in the big brew tent.