Sabroso – Beer, Tacos & Punk Rock On The Beach

The 4th annual Sabroso Craft Beer, Taco & Music Festival presented by KLOS took place this past Saturday, April 8, 2017, at its new location: Doheny State Beach!  The event featured lucha libre style wrestlers, $3 gourmet tacos, craft beer from renowned breweries, and performances by: The Offspring, Sum 41, Rival Sons, Lit, Unwritten Law, and Metalachi.  Fans who purchased VIP tickets were able to enjoy beer tastings beginning at noon, while those who purchased general admission tickets had to wait until 1 p.m.  Unlimited tastings were available until 4 p.m., and then cash bars opened up.  If you are planning to attend a beer festival, I highly recommend purchasing a ticket with early entry.

Frosty, Heidi and Frank

The Sabroso Festival was completely sold out, which resulted in long lines for the shuttles, general admission and beer tastings.  Despite the large crowd, however, the event seemed to run smoothly for the most part.  Shuttles arrived at the pickup location, the Outlets at San Clemente, in a timely manner, and the security team did their best to prevent people from cutting into the front of the general admission line.  Since only people who were 21 years of age, or older, were allowed to attend, brewers were able to pour tastings quickly and without concern.

Towards the end of the night, the cash bars began to run out of beer.  While this situation was not ideal, it was a craft beer festival after all, it could have been much worse than it ended up being.  To remedy this issue, the bars pulled whatever kegs were left over from the tastings earlier.  Anyone who ordered a beer at this point could specify a type of beer, but not a specific brand.  There was also no mention of which brand, or brew, you had been given.  A short time later, the bars began to run out of the 16 oz. cups they had been using, so they switched to 8 oz. cups and discounted the beer by $4.  Let’s hope the event planners learned from this experience, so that it doesn’t happen at the next Sabroso Festival.

Slidebar Battle for Sabroso winners, Fused By Defiance, were the first to perform.  Next up was Metalachi – the world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band.  Fans were intrigued by Metalachi’s seamless blending of mariachi music with classic heavy metal songs.  If you haven’t checked Metalachi out, they are definitely worth a listen.  I have to admit, it’s strange to hear classic heavy metal songs played in the style of mariachi, but it works surprisingly well.  After Metalachi, it was Unwritten Law’s turn to perform.  I had the privilege of seeing Unwritten Law perform at MUSINK a few weeks ago, and once again they did not disappoint.  Scott Russo and Chris Lewis will be performing as part of the Music 4 Cancer Benefit at Thee Parkside on April 15, 2017.

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Lit’s performance consisted of hits from their most popular album, A Place in the Sun, as well as some new songs from their album which is due out later this year.  Lit currently has pre-orders for their new album, as well as merchandise and experiences available through Pledge Music which include everything from a digital download of their new album to a private performance.  After Lit, it was time for Rival Sons, a blues rock/rock and roll band from Long Beach.  I was unfamiliar with Rival Sons prior to seeing them at Sabroso, but I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for these guys.

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Following the Rival Sons’ performance, the Taco Awards for “Best Taco” were given out.  The winner was Mess-Hall Canteen, Falasopy was the runner up, and The Kroft was 3rd.  If you want to check out Mess-Hall Canteen or Falasopy, their schedules are available on their websites.  The Kroft currently has two locations: Tustin and Anaheim, and will soon be opening a third location in Los Angeles’ Chinatown.

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Just as fans began to grow impatient while waiting for Sum 41 to arrive on stage, “Introduction to Destruction” from 2001’s All Killer No Filler began to play over the speakers.  Sum 41’s performance also included “Walking Disaster”, “Over My Head (Better Off Dead)” and “In Too Deep”.  Fans were invited to join Sum 41 the following day for the filming of the music video for “Goddamn I’m Dead Again” from their album 13 Voices, which was released last October.

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The 7th annual Gringo Bandito Chronic Tacos Challenge was held prior to The Offspring taking the stage.  The contest consisted of professional eaters from around the world, including Takeru Kobayashi who was defending his 2015 world record of 144 tacos in 10 minutes.  Also featured was Molly Schuyller who ate 132 tacos in 10 minutes at last year’s competition, but lost to Kobayashi who ate 137.  Schuyller hoped to overtake Kobayashi this year, however, the 139 tacos she ate were not enough to beat Kobayashi’s world record setting 159.

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The Offspring headlined the Sabroso Festival, and it was the perfect way to end the day.  The Offspring have been around for over 30 years, and in that time they have recorded numerous hits.  Surprisingly, it felt as if they managed to fit them all into their 75 minute set.  Their performance included “All I Want”, “Have You Ever”, “Gotta Get Away” and “The Kids Aren’t Alright”.  Towards the end of their performance, vocalist Dexter Holland turned to guitarist Noodles and suggested that they perform at Sabroso every year.  Clearly The Offspring had a great time performing at Sabroso, and the fans definitely enjoyed the performance as well.

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I was able to try tacos from four different vendors at the festival: Haven Gastropub, the Kroft, Meat Up, and The Viking Truck.  I ordered the “Octopus Taco” from Haven which featured: grilled Spanish octopus, preserved blood orange, and black bean puree in a fried corn tortilla.  An octopus taco probably sounds gross, but it was delicious!  Next, I ordered the “Spicy Pineapple Pulled Pork Taco” from The Kroft.  The spiciness of the pulled pork combined perfectly with the sweetness of the pineapple.

Octopus Taco (Haven Gastropub)

Spicy Pineapple Pulled Pork Taco (The Kroft)

Unfortunately, my experience with the next two taco vendors was not as great as the first two vendors.  The line at the Meat Up truck moved incredibly slowly, and once I received the tacos they weren’t even hot.  I had high hopes for the Meat Up truck, but they did not deliver.  Finally, I ordered a Swedish style meatball taco and pork schnitzel taco, called “The Schintz!”, from The Viking Truck.  The tacos were made fresh, and hot, however, the ingredients used to make them were not high quality or fresh.  Despite not being known for tacos, I expected The Viking Truck to use better ingredients than they did.  Perhaps The Viking Truck should consider sitting out the next taco festival.

Overall, the Sabroso Festival was a great experience for all who attended, and I’m eagerly awaiting its return next year.  If you were unable to attend Sabroso at Doheny State Beach, or just want more beer and tacos, a second Sabroso Festival, presented by 98 KUPD’s BRUFEST, will happening this Saturday, April 15, 2017 in Phoenix, AZ.  Tickets are still available, and the lineup includes: The Offspring, Pennywise, Atreyu, All That Remains, Hell or Highwater and Through Fire.

– Martin Shook

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All photos by: Martin Shook

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