One night events are not uncommon in the beer world. There are tap takeovers, anniversary parties and bottle shares that come and go with alarming frequency, each one a small, quick look into a single brewery or bar. But a whole beer garden, popping up and disappearing in the space of four hours? That's the stuff of magic.
Well you'd better believe, because the Nepenthia Beer Garden is coming (and going) on Saturday, June 8th at TeWinkle Park in Santa Ana. Not only will there be dozens of great Southern California breweries hanging around and pouring their best, you'll also be able to snag bites from fifteen of the area's finest eateries. Combine the imbibing with a heavy dose of art and live music, plus picnic tables, open grass and a manmade lake -- complete with a waterfall -- and the quest for the perfect early summer beer event seems to be over.
The list of attending breweries alone seems worth the drive. Hangar 24 will be on hand, no doubt pouring their refreshing Orange Wheat to help keep you cool under the Orange County sun. Stone Brewing will be on hand to refresh you with their crisp, hoppy brews, and The Bruery will be there too, offering unique Belgian-inspired beers that range from light and golden to dark, complex and even fruity. Cismontane is scheduled to attend, as is Firestone Walker, Pizza Port, Noble Ale Works, Ballast Point, Valiant Brewing and more. You'll be able to enjoy unlimited pours from all of the vendors, which is fittingly perfect for a magical here-and-then-gone beer event like Nepenthia.
To keep you from wasting away during the four-hour event, there will also be a handful of Orange County eateries slinging their favorite snacks to hungry drinkers. Slater's 50/50 has been rumored to attend, no doubt lugging along some of their famous beef and bacon burgers. There will be bar bites from the likes of Mick's Karma Bar and Crow Bar and Kitchen, outlandish eats from Bacon Mania, plus a selection of meats and cheeses courtesy of The Cellar Cheese Shop from Costa Mesa. All of these delicacies will also be unlimited during the entire event, which means you can literally eat and drink to your belly's content.
There will also be art installations scattered throughout the open park, plus screen printed t-shirts and an assortment of other goodies, much of which will be for sale on site. Tickets for Nepenthia are $55 and -- again, magically -- include parking at the nearby Orange County Fairgrounds. VIP tickets cost $75 and include a cordoned off lounge area that will be pouring special bottled beers (while supplies last) into commemorative glasses that you can even take home with you. And don't worry about having to wait in line to fill up your next pour from one of the brewery's kegs, there will be an entire staff of runners on hand to do that for you. That certainly sounds like Shangri-La to us.
Advanced tickets are available between now and Friday, June 7th, with only 300 total VIP tickets available. A small number of day-of general admission tickets will be available at the entrance for $65 as well, but with a weekend beer event this special -- and this fleeting -- you'd better go ahead and snatch up your ticket now.