Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How to Miss Two Beer Festivals

Even though there was some turmoil surrounding the North American Organic Beer Festival last weekend, I'm sure I would have made it over to check it out at some point, if I had been in town. But instead of enjoying the onset of Portland's brief season of beautiful weather, we have landed in the middle of Austin's siege against the upper end of the thermometer. It's not the right timing for a trip to Texas, but we had a wedding to attend, so off we went.

But aha! there was a beer festival in Austin that weekend also -- the GABF. Oh, sorry, not the GABF, just a GABF: the Great Austin Beer Festival. I suppose I would have gone to that as a replacement for the NAOBF, except that Brady and Sarah's wedding was scheduled at the exact same time. Truth be told, the GAusBF didn't sound very appealing. As far as I can tell from looking at the list of breweries, it was a distributor-driven juggernaut with a couple of local breweries thrown in at the end as something of an afterthought. Here's an example of how lackadaisical the festival was: they never contacted my buddy Lee who is the beer writer at the Austin Chronicle to tell him about the festival. [Note to Portlanders: the Chronicle plays an even more important part in peoples' entertainment planning than the Portland weeklies do.] Lee found out in a roundabout way, and wasn't offered any kind of media access to the fest.

There are a couple of reviews that give the festival a thumbs-up, but if you read between the lines, neither review is very enthusiastic, and commenters had some complaints. Sounds like not too bad of a festival to miss.

So that's how you can miss two dodgy beer festivals. First, leave your hometown on a festival weekend; second, have your friends' wedding scheduled at the same time as the beer festival in their town.

1 comment:

  1. Travel is an adequate excuse to miss a beer festival.
    A wedding also qualifies as a valid excuse.

    In my case, my Boss is going to South America for three weeks.
    I will be missing a quality microbrew festival four blocks from my home due to this.