ColLAboration: Winterfest @ The Belasco

This past Sunday I joined my friends Lindsey and Amber for ColLAboration‘s Winterfest at The Belasco in downtown LA. The event went from 12-5pm, and since Amber already owns 2 CoLAboration (which is basically your ticket in) all we needed to do was buy $5 beer coins (each coin gets you a glass full).

This was an awesome event. We all had such a good time. We got there just after noon and waited in a long but fast moving line. This was the first time we had ever been to The Belasco. The lighting was so low, most of my photos didn’t come out in focus, but click the link above for their website filled with nice looking professional pics. Here are my photos:

This photo was taken while waiting to get into the theater. The Belasco is right next to the Mayan Theater. We also bought our beer coins from Tony Yanow (owner of Tony’s Darts Away).

The theater was so well maintained. I got the feeling that when there aren’t any performances they use this space as a nightclub, but it was so much cleaner than a nightclub. Once inside, we made our rounds to all the different bars. There were 3 bar stations (?) inside the main theater, 1 bar set-up on the beer pong patio outside, and a side bar in a separate room (where they also served food). Amber and I each got 2 coins, so we had to use them wisely.

After scoping out all the options, I went with Lagunitas Cappuccino beer. I’ve been wanting to try it and now was the perfect opportunity. We brought our drinks to the beer pong patio to enjoy the beautiful Sunday weather. Eventually the place got more and more crowded and our tanning/drinking patio became the smoking patio (not fun for us non-smokers).

We went back into the main theater where they were showing a movie on three giant screens. I want to say it was Beerfest? But I have no clue. It was time for beer two around this time and we got into a line where they were serving The Bruery Chocosaurus Rye. Amazing. I mean with a name like that, you know it’s going to be delicious and dinosaursy. Try this beer if you have the chance.

Each bar had these bulletin boards. As they ran out of beer they would swap it for something else and change the board. This meant that a bar would change one, and tons of people would flock to that bar. You could tell which bar had the rarest beer because they also had the longest line. I know what you’re thinking, I paid money to wait in lines and be annoyed by smokers. Not at all. Waiting in the lines was really fun. We got to meet strangers who also love beer. Most people worked for bars, breweries, or home brewed. It was great to have conversations with new people who all have this common hobby. Such a collaboration! (titular moment)

We ended up staying for hours and buying more beer coins, of course. It was such a great way to spend a Sunday. Eventually we had to sober-up, so we said farewell to our new friends and walked over to Bottega Louie for their portobello fries and pizza. Yum. I’m eagerly awaiting the next (Spring?) ColLAboration event and will update on the details so you too can partake in the beer celebrations!

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Weekend Guide Dec. 2 + 3 + 4

Happy December! One more month until 2012, are you as excited as I am? Since I missed last weeks Weekend Guide, due to Thanksgiving and all, I figure I should post the weekend guide a day early to give you extra time to plan.

FRIDAY December 2, 2011

There are three fun events happening this Friday, all around the same time so choose wisely. One of my favorite holiday events is Toluca Lake’s Open House (from 6-9p), where local restaurants and vendors plant themselves on the sidewalk along Riverside and hand out free samples and hot cider. They have a bus that goes up and down Riverside with carolers singing classic tunes. It’s a festive celebration that really pulls out the community (and also adorable doggies in costumes). HERE is the Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce website that talks about more community events. HERE is the Open House info.

Another holiday fair happening ¬†on the same night, from 7-9p, is the Sunset Junction Holiday Party and Scavenger Hunt. Get ready for live music, drinks, and local shops. It’s another great way to get to know your neighbors, get off your butt and experience something different. This neighborhood has some great restaurants, so I say check out the party, shop local for unique Christmas gifts and then hit up a new restaurant. For more info and a map showing local venues check out more info HERE.

If you’re sick of holiday crap, and want to have a laugh, check out the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre on Friday Night at 6:30 to see Nick Kroll (The League, Fabrice Fabrice) as Jorge Luis Borges and of course Paul F Tompkins as HG Wells in Dead Authors Reading. The money goes to support 826LA, get your tickets before they sell out HERE.

SATURDAY December 3, 2011

Unique LA is holding their holiday event on Saturday and Sunday from 11a- 6p (both days) and tickets ahead of time are $10. 10% of ticket sales go towards 826LA. With the price of admitance, you get a cotton tote bag, entry for both days, free drinks, workshops and crafts, free portraits at the Oh Snap Photo Booth, acess to Amoebas Pop-Up Shop downtown, and 2 different cafe areas. This event is similar to the Etsy craft fair, with designers creating original goods that will make you look extremely artsy and sophisticated when you give out our gifts at Christmas time. So get your ticket (online is cheaper), help a local charity (826LA) and buy one of a kind Christmas gifts (boost the economy). Win. Win. Win. The event is located at The California Market Center (110 East Ninth Street, LA, CA 90079).

ColLAboration is celebrating the holidays with their Winter Wonderland event at Golden Road Brewing in Atwater, from 12p-5p on Saturday. ColLAboration is a group that holds craft beer events at different locations throughtout the year around LA. For those of you who’ve never been (that’s including myself), you pay $15 for a beer glass that essentially buys you a membership to future events. You keep the glass and reuse it at all the ColLAboration events. Once you have your glass you need to buy beer tokens which allow you to taste different beers when you are at the event. I hope to be here this Saturday, so Ill report back about it. I have been to Golden Road Brewery before (see that post HERE), but I’ve been meaning to explore other craft breweries that team up with ColLaboration.

SUNDAY December 4, 2011
The cute little Larchmont Village is having their Holiday Open House on Sunday from 12p-5p. I haven’t gone in past years, but I’ve gotten to know the neighborhood and expect it will be adorable. They have a great market/deli within Larchmont Village that is known for their sandwiches and a fun farmers market on the weekend. If you’re free you should come check it out.
** If you aren’t interested in any of these special events, message me and I can tell you about more things that happen around LA every weekend. These weekend guides are meant to highlight unique events, but I know of plenty of great walks, hikes and bars you should visit.