The Orange County Ultimate Beerfest nearly became an Ultimate Fighting preview last Saturday due to poor logistical planning and the cancelation of the second half of the event.
According to social posts by attendees, the event was mired by long lines, a lack of staff, missing vendors, ridiculously small tasting flutes among other problems.
Check out our photos from session one of the Beerfest, where you can see the attendees being wonderfully pleasant people. Anger started brewing early as lines to get into the event grew. The Beerfest, which was held at the OC Fairground, promised to have doors open by 11 a.m. for VIP tickets but did not start allowing attendees to enter until roughly 10 minutes after noon, according to Craft Beer Guy Lloyd Brown. Once doors had opened, attendees complained about slow entry due to limited staff handling entry waivers.
Things weren't much better inside, according to social media posts made by attendees. Not all of the advertised 26 breweries had made the trip, and the event planner hasn't found enough volunteers to man all of the taps, resulting in long waits for only 2-ounce tasters. Attendees, reportedly fed up with the waits, began to have volunteers fill pint glasses that were being sold and Solo Cups from the beer pong competition.
After the scheduled end of the event's first session at 3 p.m., the event organizer sent an email announcing the cancelation of the second half of the event due to "unruly Session 1 attendees."
An update on the Beerfest website currently reads "The Ultimate Beerfest OC has been shut down by the order of the OC Fair & Event Center, due to the actions of some unruly Session 1 attendees. If you didn't get an opportunity to enjoy the craft beer selections in Session 2, we are woking to accomodate you."
However, no attendees reported unruly behavior and OC Sheriffs Lt. Steve Gill told the Reg that law enforcement did not close the event.
Attendees have been foaming on social media since Saturday. Conversely, the Beerfest's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been dark since Oct. 10.
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The Ultimate Beerfest's next event is scheduled for Pasadena on Nov. 23.