January Beer and Wine Events

It’s a new year with plenty of great places to visit for wine tasting, beer festivals, tap takeovers and more. Check out some of the activities taking place around the Inland Empire on my monthly listing of beer and wine events on IEShineOn.com.

November Beer and Wine Events


ieshineon-inland-empire-november-beer-and-wine-events-guide-673With November comes the start of the holiday season, beginning with our nation’s observance of Veterans Day on Nov. 11 and the long Thanksgiving weekend on Nov. 24-27. Annual releases of big beers, along with a host of other events, fill our November calendar. Cheers!

We’ve got your November guide at IEShineOn.com. And always remember to drink responsibly and designate a driver.


Beer and Wine Events For October

ieshineon-inland-empire-october-beer-and-wine-events-guide-623Oktoberfest celebrations dominate the adult beverage event calendar this month, but there are plenty of other options for tasting wines and sampling brews and spirits. Take a look at our October calendar at IEShineOn.com to plan your next outing. But be sure to plan ahead and designate a driver or call Uber. Cheers!


Beer and Wine Events for September

1994-ieso-inland-empire-september-beer-wine-guide-623Summer’s just about over, but there is no shortage of events where you can quench your thirst and sample great craft beers and fine wines. Check out IEShineOn.com for my guide to some of this month’s special events in the Inland Empire.

Beer and Wine Events Guide for August


Image courtesy of IEShineOn

What else would you do during the dog days of August than find a good event to sample wines, beers or spirits? Okay, there’s probably a lot, but this is the only place to find a comprehensive guide to alcoholic beverage tasting events in the Inland Empire. Check out my Inland Empire Beer and Wine Guide for August at IEShineOn. And check back periodically for updates. If you know of an event I’ve missed, please let me know and we’ll be sure to add it. Better yet, let me know well in advance so it doesn’t get overlooked in the first place. Thanks!

Cheers! 12072825_1085262341491843_5867455890284977700_n


Brewery Special Releases and Anniversaries

12339414_10100582973778029_5829703369428039815_oThe line stood more than 100 people deep as it wrapped past the dumpster and around the corner. As the clock ticked toward the magical hour on a cool sunny mid-December day, a somewhat startled Josh Hamilton peeked his head out the door to the delight of those waiting outside.

No, Hamilton isn’t a famous celebrity or the Major League Baseball player with the same name, but to those who waited he was a rock star. His Hamilton Family Brewery was releasing its Big Night Oil bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout. With fewer than 200 of the $19 bottles available to purchase, and only a small amount on tap at the Rancho Cucamonga brewery, you were left out if you didn’t plan ahead.12360408_10100582973877829_4040009132784299317_n

Such is the case with special craft beer releases. Many coincide with brewery anniversary celebrations, while others are timed with first-time or exclusive once-a-year seasonal offerings. Dale Bros. introduced a new beer for its Brews and Bros festival in January, and Claremont Craft Ales has tapped special brews at each of its three anniversary events. Such occasions are definitely cause for celebration – and a new highly anticipated beer.

Of course, the introduction of a new beverage could be cause enough for festivities. Rök House in Upland recently celebrated the draft release of its new Sledge Hammer quadruple IPA with the bottle release of its Hammer of Thor IPA.12650954_528264124019740_4805205808284948777_n

Most craft beer makers also limit the number of bottles of a special brew they’ll sell to each customer, in part to slow potential secondary market sales. Resale, trade and the collection of highly desirable craft beer is not unlike buying sporting event or concert tickets from a scalper – it will cost you.

The fall and winter months bring a lot of barrel-aged releases. Goose Island’s famed Bourbon County stouts are traditionally released on Black Friday after Thanksgiving. Hangar 24 in Redlands hosted its annual Barrel Roll series release in December, with bottles sold online in advance of an afternoon bottle “pick up” event in which new and past Barrel Roll brews were offered on tap. Not surprisingly, the bottles sold quickly and the kegs emptied rapidly.

12301746_10153777106032162_3002814223613011929_nThe Lost Abbey/Port Brewing in San Marcos released its “My Black Parade” in October, and despite its $41 per 750 ml bottle price tag, it sold out within minutes. I’ve since seen it listed by after-market sellers for upwards of $200.

Local beer aficionado Bob Grider made the long trek to Truckee, Calif., in December in the snow for this year’s release of the Eclipse Fifty-Fifty barrel-aged imperial stout series. He came home a happy man with new additions to his “Imbibery” collection.

Brewery anniversaries and festivals also are cause for anticipation. Online tickets to this summer’s Firestone-Walker International Beer Festival in Paso Robles began at 10 a.m. on sale Feb. 1 and were completely gone by 10:02.