You can pop just about anything, any time, any place, and call it a beer festival these days. Then there's a Belgian beer festival. And this one is local, at the Library Alehouse -- if Santa Monica still counts as local in LA? Right. But that $3 public parking is still a heck of a good deal.
The waffle-worthy brewhaha kicks off tonight at 5:30 p.m. for those of you who can leave the old job at 4:30 to make the commute (kind of jealous, kind of not, as that means you probably hit the 405 at 5 a.m. this morning). Otherwise, show up over the course of the evening for what promises to be multiple toss-backs of La Chouffe strong pale ale (read: high alcohol) and other such (surprise!) Belgian brews. Early arrivals are also being wooed by what has only been described as a "sharp" red hat giveaway. Finally. Gnome hats are back in fashion.
For this beer fest, if you spring for the $15 keeper glass (one of those squat, approachable Chimay numbers), you can refill it for $5 with any of the rotating Belgian brews on tap at the alehouse during the festival's tenure over the next two weeks (Does two weeks not turn a festival into a bar special? Semantics). In Pabst Blue Ribbon terms, that $5 "deal" stinks. But for Belgian ales, which tend to be pricey numbers (hey, they traveled a long way, plus they tend to sit in the barrel longer and have, well, flavor), it's good. Really good.
The rotating eight beers to be tapped are one-keg only types, so you need to drink up that St. Feuillien Blanche in one night and move on. There will also be a few Belgian-style California beers featured, including one of our favorites, Russian River Brewing's Consecration (from the same namesake Sonoma wine country region up north), and we hope -- really hope -- at least one sample from our hometown favorite, The Bruery. If not, we say toss that souvenir glass and get thyself directly to The Bruery's anniversary party. Surely parking in Placentia is free.