Tickets per sample
It seemed to me like there were a lot more beers that required two or more tickets for a sample this year. While I haven't specifically counted in the past what I found this year was that of the 27 Main Beer Taplist beers/ciders/others at least seven required two tickets and four required three tickets. That's over 1/3 of the beers, enough to give me the feeling like I'm getting nickeled and dimed. Don't get me wrong, I understand a lot of fruit beers have a higher production cost, all I'm saying is that it's bad enough we have to deal with the OLCC's ticketing crap (entry price covers all, please). If there are that many beers that are more expensive, why not raise the entry ticket price a couple of bucks? With the number of people that attend this event I suspect the numbers would balance.
Lack of shade
It was my bad that I forgot to put sunscreen on before I went to the festival but in my defense I know in past years that by getting there when the gates opened on Saturday I should be able to secure a (usually high top) table that was tucked under a tent. Not so this year. All of the high tops were out in the full sun, even at 11 am, and I counted myself lucky to snag a barrel that at least offered shade for the new ink on my leg, my most important consideration all day. Sure, Burnside has a nice set up with their year-round picnic tables under the tent but there needed to have been another tent of equal size erected for this event. It was a gorgeous, sunny weekend but we all know heat and sun are the enemies of outdoor beer drinkers.
It's great that the organizers were able to use the car lot across 7th street (a 40% increase in size by their calculations) but it was still not enough. More specifically, it's the shape and overall layout of buildings and streets that no longer works for a festival as popular as this.
Sidewalk crossing snafu
If you attended surely you saw or were made aware by the alcohol monitors of the "No Beer On Crosswalk. Finish Beer First." signs. Apparently the sidewalk that sits between the car lot and 7th is a "public sidewalk" and the organizers were unable to secure a permit that would effectively close that sidewalk to people not attending the festival. This essentially negated the addition of the car lot space as people were unable to freely roam, beer in glass, between the two areas of the festival. Seriously, how many times has EVERYONE in your group had an empty glass at the same time, allowing them to migrate? I never even went to that area specifically because of this.
|Only 22 minutes into the festival on Saturday|
Again, I applaud the festival organizers for creating such a hugely popular festival. The problem (compounded by the aforementioned issues) is that very early in - I'm talking within two hours of gates open on Saturday - the lines to get beer were already an issue. An hour later I switched to full pours because I couldn't stomach the wait (in the hot sun no less) for just a sample.
That concludes one of the very few disparaging posts you'll see from me. And as I said at the beginning I hope that if the festival organizers read this they'll take it as constructive criticism, as it was intended, and make significant changes to the event before next year. I'd really like to continue attending.