Sunday, August 09, 2009

Boise Beer Fest

I made it to the Boise Beer Fest on Saturday, arriving around 2:30 PM. It was wildly popular, or at least, extremely well attended, so much so that I think it would be more accurately name the Boise Drunk Fest. I'll explain that in a minute.

We arrived, and encounted a pretty lengthy line to get in, caused by the need to check IDs, stamp your hand, and attached a wristband. The line went pretty quickly, and soon we were at the first decision point. Buy a mug ($5) and then buy however many tokens we might want ($1 ea), or buy a mug and 17 tokens for $25, a saving of $2. so, my campanion and I bought one mug with 17 tokens, and one other mug. The tokens were supposed to be good for one 4 oz pour. The mugs were 12 oz, I think, and the pours varied. Some were generous, some not so much.

As attested to by the long line, lots of folks showed up. Which was a problem. It seemed that the head count might have taken the organizers by surprise. About the time we got there, the lines to get a taste of beer began to lengthen. Pretty soon you could drink your 4 oz pour while standing in line for another. Because it took so long just to get a beer, most polks used 2-3 tokens at a time to get a full mug so they wouldn't have to stand in line so long. But, that made it tough to taste very many different beers.

So people mostly drank the beer, instead of moving around doing tastings. Lines for food were equally as long. We waited about 30 minutes in line to get a couple of tacos. So, they needed more food, a larger space, and more taps to pour the beer. Also, instead of clustering all the taps under two large tent tops, they should spread the taps around so you're not all crammed into the same space.

The organizers put together a good fest, and particularly scored kudos with the porta-potty array. Plenty of them, and basically no waiting. Decent entertainment. And I did get to try a number of decent beers before it got too crowded.

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