Tickets for the Pittsburgh Big Pour have gone on sale and I for one do not plan on going. I went to the first one and thought it was set-up wonderfully. They intermixed the beer vendors with the food vendors so that there were no clumps of drinkers blocking anyone out. The second Big Pour was packed and not too much fun for me. Over the years I have gone to several events and left after a short time. They are getting to be no fun for me. For the most part my liver has processed about every beer one expects to see at a beer festival. Seldom do I see a beer that turns my head away from some guy’s girlfriend. So, from the beer aspect, what’s the point of going?
Then there is the price. Ticket prices have gone up and when you factor in that you may have to buy them from a service the cost goes up more. As for the BP I am just not going to pay $65, nor the $140 (no early admit) for this years special. Anymore, due to popularity, it is a chore to park and wait in long lines to get in and a pain in the butt to get to a brewer. (Did anyone catch that sad attempt for humor?) And sometime the table does not even have the brewer. For me it is: “what am I getting for my money”? Can a vendor bring something that is soon to be released? How about a Beer Festival Only brew? Can we have some seminars?
This is not just the BP. I have walked out of the Penn Fest and my last one on Long Island. The only ones I would consider are invites only (never happens) or small intimate events.
For $65 I can spend a weekend at my local and get pretty well put away. I can use this opportunity to create my own festival. I can drink beers that I normally do not drink and eat food that I also do not normally eat. Parking is not a problem as I can walk to my local. Long lines are nonexistent and I can sit by myself, which seem to occur more often than not now that I think of it. (?) Anyway, not to diminish beer festivals for the younger lads but for me I am getting older and cranky and can honestly say been there, done that.