Hops and Hopes Kicks Off the Beer Festival Season

The craft beer extravaganza takes over The Coliseum on April 25, and many great brew parties are coming this summer

I sometimes feel like a walking beer festival. My fridge is full of exciting bottles, I spend a good portion of my time getting people excited about beer, and I treat each day as its own special party. But from late spring into what passes as fall in Southern California, there are about a dozen official beer festivals open to experts and the curious alike. And this year, we’re getting an even earlier start than usual.

The autism-awareness charity Beer Autism Hope is hosting its inaugural Hops and Hopes Craft Beer Fest at The Coliseum on April 25. The festival has a killer list of breweries that’ll be slinging delicious beers (more than 50 have signed on already) and a fun lineup of activities as well. For instance, there will be a giant beer pong tournament. And I have the following questions about said tournament:

  1. Instead of red plastic cups, will the festival provide appropriately shaped glassware based on beer style? Because no one wants to drink a saison out of the frat-party equivalent of a shaker pint.
  2. And if the beer in the cups is good, shouldn’t the winners be the ones who have to chug? It hardly seems fair to allow the spoils of delicious craft brews to go to the losers.
  3. Something of a solution to the previous question, why not give a big ol’ middle finger to Anheuser-Busch and use Bud as the punishment beer?

But I digress. Activities! There are many. The aforementioned beer pong tournament and also panel discussions focusing on women in the beer industry and what it takes to become a master brewer. Tickets, which include unlimited pours and full access to each day’s schedule, start at $49.95, with proceeds going to autism-awareness charities.

And, of course, Hops and Hopes is merely an amuse bouche when it comes to the beer festival main courses of 2015.

Highlights: There’s the sixth annual Vegan Beer & Food Festival this May. Word came earlier this year that L.A. Beer Week will move from early fall to the height of summer–June 20 through June 28. And there’s the always-on-point Beer Art and Music Festival that drops each October.

And if you have to miss out on any of these great beer parties, consider becoming a walking beer festival yourself. That way, you never miss a good time.