Fairplex in Pomona hosted its inaugural LA on Tap craft beer festival over the weekend, paying tribute to the winners from this year’s Los Angeles International Beer Competition. Not bad for a first-time event. Still, there is plenty of room for improvement in the future.
Great idea to have the winning breweries showcase their beers that won in the Los Angeles County Fair’s competition. Unfortunately, that format was also very restrictive. Many of the breweries that were there only poured their award-winners and not their other beers — many of which are better than those that took prizes in their respective categories. It appeared that the participants were unable to showcase much product variety.
The breweries that were there were outstanding. But the event promoters over-stated the event, claiming that the festival “brings over 65 of the finest breweries to Fairplex.” There were far fewer than that on-site, and far too many no-shows among the breweries that were advertised in advance as participants. Further still, there were many more breweries whose only presence were bottled beers at a section staffed by event workers and not brewery representatives. Many of those brews are readily available at local liquor stores.
Lastly, the souvenir tasting glasses were plastic. Nothing less than glass is acceptable to any true beer connoisseur or at any serious beer-tasting event.
With a generous number of food vendors and a stage featuring continuous live music, the event has the potential to be really great in the future — with considerable tweaking.