This past Saturday, I attended the 3rd annual BeerX, presented by 91x. I arrived early as I had early access and thank goodness because those lines to get a taste of some of the 120 breweries there got long very quickly. I had an hour to get to as many breweries as I could before the crowds and the heat got to me and I made a very good effort to fill that 2oz glass. Unfortunately, that hour went by very quickly…
At 1pm, the gates opened for general admission and if there hadn’t been a slowdown due to bag and body checks, you would have thought that people were preparing to knock down the doors at Walmart on Black Friday! The attendees were not messing around when it came to the beer and this was evident when I turned back to see which brewery I should visit next.
I tried to have brief conversations with the breweries I hit up because I wanted to know what I was drinking. That was somewhat necessary if I wanted to write about how much I LOVED “X” beer or wasn’t too pleased with “Y”. Unfortunately, I could feel eyes burning holes in the back of my head and understandably so. The attendees who did not have VIP or early access had to basically run to each stand and to make the cost of admission worth it. (I think they forgot the music was included… Beer was the most important thing.) So, in the end, I said a quick hello, grabbed photos of their setups and went on my merry way.
For those of you who have met or seen photos of me, you know I am extremely pale. The sun repels me. I am like a vampire, desperately seeking shelter to ensure I do not burst into flames. No, I do not sparkle (and anyone who tells you vampire do should be slapped…) Back to the topic at hand. After searching for what felt like an eternity, I found a small bit of shade where I could sit and enjoy my newly made purchase of lumpia from Lola’s Lumpia. The lumpia was quite tasty, but they were larger, like eggrolls. I think I would have preferred a smaller portion with a smaller bill. But for 4 large lumpia at $10, it wasn’t a bad deal. What was bad was the 8 minutes (more like 12) that I had to wait for my food. But I saw the chefs back there hand rolling EVERYTHING, so that made it worth the wait. At least I didn’t go to the pizza stand where I could have sworn I heard the guy say it would be a 25-minute wait because they didn’t have dough? Or the maybe their oven didn’t work. All I know is I saw one of the vendors running over with dough.
Finally, we get to some super chill reggae music. Sorry folks, no video was allowed, so you will just have to see if 91x has anything for you to listen to. Or you can look up bands like JBOOG and Chicano Batman and enjoy in the comfort of your own home. Don’t suffer like I did and get a random sunburn because your tank top moved and that part of your skin was not covered in SPF50 sunscreen (Yes, I know they make 100 but anything after 50 is just wasted money).
My overall feeling of the event is that it was good. However, that is because I had early access. I was able to get in there before there was a huge crowd and enjoy the beer and food. Unfortunately for the attendees that had general admission, they had to fight chaotic lines that merged into one another. Don’t you know you’re not supposed to cross the streams??? Most of the reviews I read and comments I heard while passing was that people felt the event was oversold and that you couldn’t get what the cost of admission was worth. Again, I think they were forgetting that you were getting some good music out of it as well, but I wasn’t about to argue.
I will definitely agree that there needs to be a better setup for the beer stands. The lines crossed far too much and it made it difficult to find the end. It also made it exceptionally difficult to get to the exit or to the opposite side where the restrooms and the stage were. Staggering the stands may help, but I would have to look at the floor plan to give better suggestions. Another issue was the food vendors. I am not sure if many of these vendors were new to an event like this, but many of them were struggling to get food out. People want fast food so they can get more beer before their time runs out. I appreciate freshly made food, but I am in the minority this time.
91x definitely has a lot of potential to make this a fantastic event. You can’t please everyone, but minor adjustments can be made so that a majority is happy. This is only their 3rd BeerX, so they have a lot of time to tweak things. I would definitely go again and recommend it to my friends. I would just warn them that the lines get crazy and if you don’t want to wait for “fancy” food, hit the Carl’s Jr. food truck. Now that was a well-oiled machine.
I would like to take this moment to give a special shout out to Ashley, Kristine, and the rest of the team for getting us all taken care of and into the event very quickly!
Below are some photos from the event. I took most prior to the crazy swarm of people so you could really see how they had things setup.