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The Great Austin Beerfest Robbery

April 2, 2012

I love fests. Kite Fest? Yes please. Folk Fest? Sign me up. Ostrich fest? Sure, why not? And beer fests?? That’s an all time favorite. Lederhosen as far as the eye can see and bottomless tasters of new favorite brews…Really, how can you go wrong? So when I heard about a beer fest in Austin, a bunch of my friends and I jumped on the (beer) wagon. What better way to end a long work week and celebrate the glorious weather than…

Ok, here’s where it starts to go wrong.

….waiting through crazy-dangerous traffic as we’re funneled into the single parking lot entrance ($10 parking can be expected) only to be funneled into one of two unlabeled entrances onto a sprawling parking lot. My $25 entrance fee earned me a commemorative beer mug (score, this has got to be where all my delicious tasters go, right?) and 6 taster coupons. At similar shindigs, I’ve traded such coupons in for 4, 6, or even on occasion 8 ounce brewskies so I’m thinking at minimum, that $25 fee should at least get me two full beers or 24 ounces. Oh how I was so, so misinformed. What beer samples I recieved were sloshed into a plastic jello shot/condiment cup which realistically can hold two ounces of beer but was mostly foam. Let me recap: I had paid $25 for about six ounces of lukewarm foamy beer.

And it gets worse. So much worse.

After cashing out our taster coupons, we were ushered to another booth selling green tickets; the magic currency for booze and food at the Expo center. The catch? Each green ticket was a dollar and each beer cost seven green tickets. SEVEN! What? I’m sorry, are we sitting court side during March Madness? Pregaming the New York Philharmonic?  No, we’re standing outside a barn in 90 degree weather in the middle of a parking lot.

Here’s a general breakdown: long lines for lukewarm foam filled samples, long lines for over-priced “Craft Beers” (y’know, like Hoegaarden and Dos Equis), terrible sound system blaring equally terrible hip-hop loops, no shade and no source for recycling the thousands of plastic taster cups (oh the humanity!) and a significant amount of sober people. On second thought, it’s probably better the majority was sober. Had people been drunk and had the wherewithal, there would have been an all out riot. The entire thing was such a sham it’s actually making me a little bitter thinking about it.

I can only hope you, too, did not get lured into the absolute (in the words of fellow yelpers) clusterf*** that was the Austin Beerfest.


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