We are about to do our last couple of beer fests, ever. When we first started our brewery, we did all the festivals we could. You know, on the road, promoting the brewery. It's been exhausting at times although we do enjoy seeing other brewers and friends. For the past few years, we didn't feel like we were introducing our beer to a new audience. So we decided to do only charity events. You would think that good causes would attract good beer drinkers. Why? Well, the ticket prices are usually higher and the events seem to attract better breweries. But I don't really think that's true anymore. I think that the majority (there are exceptions) of the fests attract drunks. Most of them want 'our light beer' or just something really cold. My wife's got a stare that could freeze them. To be fair, there are some good fests. The BA fests are well run and there are several in the Philly burbs that are good as well. The thing is, I'm just tired of them. Offering food and lodging to the participants are great but in my opinion, offering to pay for the beer sends a better message. Even if it's a charity cause, it demonstrates that the beer and the brewery are important to the success of the event.
The other thing is, most of even the well-run fests are no longer sampling events. They are merely opportunities to get pie-eyed on 35 dollars. I don't know, maybe I've just gotten grumpier and crotchety in my old age. I just long for the days in my myopic memory, when festival attendees asked about the beers and styles and also asked me to pour a smaller sample so they could enjoy the rest of the fest responsibly. Or maybe that was a dream I had last night.