This past weekend I had a pretty good time at the trying out yummy Texas beers at the Texas Craft Brewers Festival. Was the festival a success? Maybe.
There is a common conundrum faced by festivals that revolve around food and drink. On the one hand you obviously want lots of people to come out so the festival is popular. Yet when people do come out they often become disappointed when lots of other people decide to do the same thing and as a result everyone must spend the majority of their festival experience waiting in long unshaded lines for food and booze.
Call me cynical but if you live in Austin you are all too familiar with this scenario and have seen it repeated many times over at different festivals. This was the case with the Texas Craft Brewers Festival on Saturday. Now I'm not saying I had a lousy time because after all, I was drinking delicious Texas beer with my loyal Saveur Seeking crew. But the festival got me thinking about how and if it is possible to hold a successful food and drink festival that somehow manages to focus more on the food and drink than the waiting in line. There's got to be a way to accomplish this.
Maybe the solution is to charge people a little extra for tickets and give them an actual pint glass instead of a sippy cup that can be downed in two small gulps even if you're not an alcoholic. I think people would really go for something like this, and if everyone was drinking pints it would take them longer to finish, thus getting rid of the need to jump right back in to line after getting a beer. I'm not sure if this is a solution to these problems but maybe it wouldn't hurt to try it next year. It will be interesting to see how other festivals of this nature, such as the upcoming Gypsy Picnic Food Trailer Festival, which was an absolute logistical nightmare last year, will deal with this problem.
Besides the lines I did enjoy the festival as a whole. There was plenty of good music, good people, and good beer. The beer that I did drink was awesome. Local and regional breweries Thirsty Planet, Twisted X, Jester King, and Ranger Creek have been totally blowing my mind lately with the kick ass brews they've been cranking out. From an optimistic view I'm thrilled that so many people are loyal supporters of Texas craft beer and were willing to spend their time and money waiting in sweaty lines just for a little taste of greatness. Texas may not be on the level of the west coast or Colorado when it comes to abundance of microbreweries, but there is no doubt in my mind that something amazing is happening. Hopefully this is only the beginning and it's only a matter of time before Texas craft brewers grab themselves a nice big chunk of the microbrew market.
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