This past weekend country music and craft beer came together to produce lively, high-spirited fun. The 2017 Driftwood at Doheny State Beach expanded to two days for Veterans Day Weekend in Orange County, CA. The Driftwood festival featured live country music, craft beer, BBQ and more at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, CA on Saturday and Sunday. Music festival production company Synergy Global Entertainment (SGE) and craft beer festival producer Brew Ha Ha Productions produced Driftwood at Doheny State Beach.
Festival attendees roamed throughout Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, right off the shore of the Pacific Ocean. On Saturday, a beautiful ocean view, warm and sunny sky, and cool ocean breezes combined for a perfect festival day. Sunday was overcast and cooler but the evening produced a breathtaking sunset with surreal pink sky.
The festival featured two full afternoons and evenings of music. A large grassy area provided the perfect setting for blankets as attendees enjoyed the music performances. In addition, the layout featured an area reserved for standing.
Driftwood Doheny created an eclectic and top-notch daily music lineup:
- Saturday: Chase Rice, Frankie Ballard, A Thousand Horses, Cassadee Pope, Lit, Caroline Jones, and Mark MacKay
- Sunday: Kip Moore, Dan + Shay, Maddie and Tae, Canaan Smith, RaeLynn, and Gethen Jenkins
I especially enjoyed the vocals and music of Caroline Jones. Caroline Jones is an independent singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and Sirius XM host. She co-produced her country EP, Bare Feet, with Grammy and Academy Award-winning producer Ric Wake. Released on Aug. 25, 2017, The Bare Feet EP features the single “Tough Guys,” which spent five weeks at #1 on CMT.com’s 12 Pack Countdown. Caroline was recently named one of Rolling Stone’s “10 Country Artists You Need to Know,” and lauded for single-handedly performing the guitar, banjo, harmonica, keyboards, and lap steel on Bare Feet.
Craft Beer and BBQ
Most importantly to me, a large and diverse number of craft breweries participated in the festival. Breweries offered unlimited craft beer samples until 4pm each day. The lineup included three of my hometown breweries – Artifex Brewing, Left Coast Brewing and Lost Winds Brewing Company.
This year the festival hosted its very own ale, Driftwood Blonde, created specifically and exclusively for the event. Driftwood collaborated with the brewmasters at San Clemente’s Artifex Brewing for the beer, which is a 5.5% ABV delicious Honey Blonde Ale.
Out of the beers I tried (and there were many I did not try), here are four of my favorites:
- Arrow Lodge Brewing Co. Hibiscus Gose – Floral aroma, light body, tart with a perfect salty balance; a perfect outdoor festival beer for warm, sunny days
- Wild Barrel Brewing Co. San Diego Vice with Pink Guava – A Berliner Weisse style beer kettle soured with Lactobacillus delbrueckii. Pink guava is added resulting in cloudy pink appearance, tropical and floral aromas, and refreshing tart guava fruit taste.
- Ninkasi Brewing Co. Green Haze – This fresh hopped pale ale incorporates 400 pounds of fresh Centennial hops that are transported directly from farm to brew kettle in just over an hour. Loaded with leafy, floral and citrus flavor.
- Revision Brewing Co. Dr. Lupulin 3x IPA – Smooth and deceptive. Any amazing melding of malt and hops to create a dank triple IPA with pine and mango components. Truly diabolical.
All-in-all, a spectacular lineup of breweries occupied the beach. The breweries presented well over 100 different craft beers. Any craft beer drinker would be delighted. Samples of some of the world’s finest craft beer flowed. Also, the brewers offered a wide selection of craft beer styles. And I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single beer of the very many that I tried. In addition to craft beer, the festival presented some artisan wine and hard liquor samples (whiskey, tequila, and vodka).
BBQ was the food theme of this event. Ribs, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, tacos, and pizza trucks lined the festival grounds. Honestly, I thought the food quality did not hold up to last year’s Driftwood at Doheny festival.
If you love country music and craft beer, Driftwood at Doheny delivers. So if you didn’t make it to Driftwood this year, don’t miss next year.
Every time I go to a festival, I always ask myself if I would go again. In the case of the Driftwood Doheny Country Music, Craft Beer and BBQ Festival the answer is “Hell yes!”