The 95.5 KLOS Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival returned to Doheny State Beach in Dana Point this past Saturday, bringing craft beer, mouthwatering tacos, and live entertainment oceanfront, a crowd of over 8,000 who enjoyed a punk rock fueled spring awakening.
As the first stop of the festival series (now in its fifth year in Southern California), craft beer connoisseurs and taco aficionados had the opportunity to sample over 150 brews and a variety of delectable tacos. While shot glasses provided didn’t hold much, the lines moved quickly and patrons were able to get their buzz on.
Curated by California’s most successful and respected craft beer festival producer, Brew Ha Ha Productions, and premier music festival production company Synergy Global Entertainment (SGE), the Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival brought together a diverse array of stellar breweries and the region’s top chefs and restaurants to spotlight the West Coast’s growing craft beer community and fascination with the popular Mexican dish.
For five hours, attendees tasted unlimited samples of craft beer from well-known SoCal breweries and beyond, including Abnormal Beer Company, Artifex Brewing, Avery Brewing, Belching Beaver, Modern Times, Pizza Port, Stone Brewing, and Three Weavers.
Foodies savored the scrumptious tacos provided by Fiesta Gourmet, Chicana Vegana, Panchos Tacos, Good Fellas Taco Catering, and more. West Coast’s popular Mexican grill, Chronic Tacos, also served their fan-favorite tacos, filled with choice of veggies or meat. Competing for the coveted ‘Best in Show’ award, many participating restaurants offered new and exciting taco creations like Romega’s alligator stuffed taco and Chef TLC’s Sidewalk Café’s Korean street tacos with kimchi.
Starting the day with sunshine and a cool off shore breeze, Naked Walrus and Los Kung Fu Monkeys hit the stage to modest crowds roaming the grass and sand. The stage facing the ocean provided a great centerpiece to the festival layout.
In between sets Lucha Libre wrestling matches took place on the beach where a ring was devised. Crowds would shuffle over and catch an entertaining match before returning for more tunes.
Unwritten Law would later play a fun set as fans began to grow in numbers. What once was a sunny afternoon became overcast as the band played their hit ‘Seein’ Red.’
Me First and The Gimme Gimmes followed with an upbeat set, getting the 90’s nostalgia in full effect with tracks “Rich Girl” and their Paula Abdul cover of “Straight Up.”
Another break in the action and I found myself watching a tag-team match beachside. Things got up close and personal!
— Michael Silver (@BigEastSilver) April 8, 2018
Not long after a taco eating contest hosted by Wee Man of Jackass fame took over the main stage where the infamous Kobayashi took the title, scarfing down 170 damn tacos.
The Vandals were up next and broke out their patented punk roots with songs like “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Euro-Barage,” and “My Girlfriend’s Dead” while consumers frolicked to and from the stage and drinking/eating areas.
When Pennywise took the stage a circle pit began immediately and everyone rushed the stage. The Hermosa Beach band is set to release their latest album Never Gonna Die (April 20th) and came out guns blazing, with gems “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “Can’t Believe It.”
Guitarist Fletcher reminded everyone to drink their Pennywiser beer to the delight of many and lead singer Jim jumped into another classic, ‘Society.’ The band capped things off in tradition with “Bro Hymn” as the faithful sang along in unison.
Headlining and OC natives, The Offspring, finished a long and eventful show in Dana Point. Their set was chalk full of hits which started with “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” and 17 songs later, capped off with our teenage angst anthem “Self Esteem.” Lead guitarist Noodles and singer Dexter were joyful and you could tell the band had a blast playing practically in their backyard.
The Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival brand expanded this year to include dates in Sacramento, Denver, Albuquerque, Tucson, Auburn, and Portland. We can only hope they return bigger and better next year to welcome spring back to OC.
Michael Silver is a journalist and photographer based in Southern California. He covers music, sports, technology, and enjoys the art of story telling. Also a dedicated sneakerhead.