Kicking Back At This Laid-Back Beer Event in Malibu
The sun was out, the beer was flowing and the people were partying.
What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon in Malibu, CA?
That’s the way it was at the 2012 Malibu Beer Festival, held on a sensational Saturday, May 9.
Even though this was Malibu there were no celebrities present. Unless you count the 25 or so beers being poured.
And the biggest star of the day was the recently-released Shock Top Lemon Shandy, a lemonade-and-spiced wheat beer from Anheuser-Busch. The summer brew proved ideal for the setting of the endless summer, at the Malibu Inn bar and restaurant, just across from the famous Malibu Pier and the even more famous Malibu surf break.
In all, there were eight beer stations, each serving three to four selections, plus gin and a chocolate wine. The beers were not specialty craft or hard-to-find brews, but rather a lot of seasonal samplings anyone can pick up in the store or on tap at a bar. The Malibu Beer Festival enabled people to get to know these brews so they could sample before they buy.
In comparison to many other beer festivals, this was small, cozy and not crowded. There were a couple hundred people. It was both outdoor on the Malibu Inn’s spacious patio and inside at the rustic bar. The Malibu Inn is a locals hangout and features live bands on weekends; it’s reggae Friday nights are extremely popular.
Because of its size and location, there was a certain relaxed feel to the event. Unlike the wildly popular LA Beer Festival that attracts thousands, many of whom line up an hour before the event and rush through the gates like wild dogs when it opens, the Malibu Beer Festival is more calm. In fact, most people did not even show up until 2 or even 3, despite the fact the event started at 1 p.m., and ended at 5.
The servers were also generous in their pours, some even to the point of handing people the entire bottle. At most beer festivals, all you get is a taste. The was no need to beg for more: “Oh, come on, a little more, please!”
That probably explains the lack of a rush at the door; people knew they would be geting their fill regardless of when they arrived, so there was no need to act like holiday shoppers on Black Friday.
This attitude is due in part to the event’s setting. The hippie culture is alive and well in Topanga Canyon just behind over the hill, and the Malibu Inn reflects its immediate surroundings. An old Volkswagen is parked on the patio and at the beer festival, there were so many different musicians on stage playing soft background music it was hard to identify any of them as a band. It looked more like a jam session for Dead Heads.
The crowd was a good mix of locals and area residents. Some came in from the beach, others from nearby Woodland Hills and the Calabasas area. There were singles, people on dates, groups of guys and groups of girls (with a pleasantly surprising ration pretty close to 50/50), with the age group mostly 30s but also with a good share in in their 20s up to 50s.
The Malibu Beer Festival sold out, so it’s advisable to get tickets in advance for the 2013 event. Here’s its website: www.malibubeerfestival.com.
But you don’t have to wait until next year to have some similar fun, for the organizers are putting on the 6th Annual Calabasas Malibu Wine and Food Festival, June 23-24. Here are details and tickets: malibufoodandwinefestival.com.