Halloween and booze. Say those two words, and I’m in – no questions asked. So that’s how I ended up in Anaheim one evening, straight off of a 6+ hour drive back from San Francisco. The things I do for journalism.
BOO HA HA, A HAUNTED OKTOBEERFEST is a new event from the minds of Brew Ha Ha Productions, who just celebrated their 10th anniversary in September. This Halloween they decided to put a spooky spin on the festivities, with a two-day event that featured over 80 craft beers, face painting, and live entertainment from bands like Dead Man’s Party, an Oingo Boingo tribute band. Can you imagine a more perfect choice for a Haunted Oktoberfest?
A $55 ticket got you unlimited tastings from 6pm to 9pm, from breweries like Wild Barrel Brewing Company, Docent Brewing, and Firestone Walker Brewing Company. Whether you were looking for stout, sour, tart, sweet, hoppy, or otherwise – they had a beer for you.
Perhaps my only complaint was the lack of pumpkin beer, because basic witch that I am, when I heard Halloween event, I was ready for all the festive fare. But there was one, and it was everything I’d hoped for. There was also a VIP lounge, which featured a host of special beers for tastings that you couldn’t get out on the floor.
The amount of beer in that space was almost overwhelming. For example, when they said there’d be rare beers in the VIP area, I figured there’d be two or three. There were two full menus of everything from heavy stouts to sour berry beers. I’m not sure if it was physically possible to try everything and not wind up on the floor, but needless to say, attendees certainly had options.
This slew of beer made the witchy photo ops – as well as the face paint booth – all the more fun to observe. Costumes were encouraged, and – from a spot-on Greta from Gremlins 2 to Office Space’s Lumbergh – the OC crowd did not disappoint. They weren’t alone, either. Vendors dressed up their booths with everything from spiderwebs to boozing skeletons, setting the perfect Halloween mood.
BOO HA HA had festive backdrops and banners throughout the venue, including posters and name tags that encouraged you to find your Vampire name, among other things. Mine’s Midnight Venom, in case you were wondering.
Bottom line is, if you like beer and you like Halloween, BOO HA HA was a dream Friday night. They had all the beer you could ask for, German food trucks with salty, carb-y goodness to soak up some of the alcohol, and killer tribute bands so you could put those lowered inhibitions to good use.
VIPs got to commemorate the night with an adorable glass stein emblazoned with the BOO HA HA logo, while regular ticket holders could check out the merch table for their own keepsakes. There were also a handful of other booths to satisfy the spooky shopaholic. You could even buy a pretzel necklace that benefited the Big Brother Big Sister organization.
This was my first time checking out a Brew Ha Ha event, but it will certainly not be my last. Visit TheBooHaHa.com to stay in the loop for future beautifully curated boozy events so you can leave that FOMO behind.