Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Some Ideas Simply Look Better on Paper: How to Waste 40 Bucks

I did something spectacularly stupid yesterday. I am sure that's no surprise to some of you.

What was this bonehead move? I went to the Upstate Beer Fest.

How can that be stupid? you might ask. Well for one thing, it cost $35.

On its surface $35 might not sound too bad. I mean there were probably 50 or 60 breweries there pouring beer. It may not be the big international beer fest that's in Denver every year, but at first blush, a collection of 50 or 60 breweries seems pretty big -- particularly for a four-hour event.

Apparently this was an international fest, too because there was a brewery from Canada and another from Belgium, I think. Actually I think the event was named after the International House of Pancakes. So it had that going for it.

There were a few good beers. I particularly liked the Bell's Kalamazoo Stout and the Left Hand Brewery's Black Jack Porter.

In truth, however, it was a colossal waste of money.

Here's why…

In addition to the $35 entrance fee, you can't park at a special event in Greenville for anything less than $5. Here, I'll do the math for you: $35 + $5 brought the total for this afternoon of rollicking fun to $40.

The event kicked off at 2 p.m. and by 3 p.m. some stations were already out of some their advertised beer. By 4:30 maybe as many as half the selections were gone. The event was scheduled to run until 6.

Upon presenting your ticket at the door, you were given a 4 oz plastic mug. This was the only excess at this thing. It was 2 oz more than they were pouring. So I guess you could count it as giving us 2 oz extra of plastic.

When you stand in line on average of 10 or 12 min to get your 2-ounce pour, you don't get to consume a whole lot of beer. I figured drinking it in 2-ounce increments; I may have sipped the equivalent of four bottles of beer in the two and a half hours I was there.

Okay, I'll do the math again: That's $40 for roughly 4 bottles of beer, or $10 a bottle.

I was there with some friends. We would have been much better off just going to a bar and drinking four beers. I wouldn't have had to fork out $5 for parking or fight the crowds.

That will be my last Upstate Beer Fest…ever.

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