Ohio Forces Beer Festival to Limit Tastings
Road Trips for Beer recently gave away a pair of tickets to the International Beer Fest taking place Friday and Saturday at the I-X Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The post announcing the contest also offers a discount code for buying tickets.
We received an email today from the organizers that was sent to ticket buyers, outlining an unexpected issue they had with the state.
Thank you for purchasing a ticket to the International Beer Fest, the Largest Beer Fest in the Midwest.
By the request of the State of Ohio Department of Public Safety, the I-X Center was directed to clarify and quantify the tasting policy for the International Beer Fest, in Cleveland, Ohio. The I-X Center’s number one concern is for the safety of all our patrons visiting our facility. For clarification purposes, please note the following NEW tasting amounts per session:
$45 (single-session General Admission ticket includes 30 tasting tickets for 2-ounce pours)
$75 (single-session VIP ticket includes 40 tasting tickets for 2-ounce pours)
We apologize for any inconvenience and thank in you in advance for your understanding. We look forward to welcoming you to this great event, and are confident you will have a fantastic brew-tasting experience!
Further, we are pleased to announce we have added a new feature for both General Admission and VIP ticket holders: The Real Ale Bar. In this area, you will be able to sample “Real Ale” or cask conditioned beer that is unfiltered and unpasteurized so that you can experience its full flavor.
If you have any questions, feel free to call 216-265-PINT.
International Beer Fest Team
Refunds are being issued for anyone who has a problem with this. They can call the ticket distributor directly at 1-877-772-5425.
The email also announced that the festival is offering a free app for users of iPhones, iPods or iPads. Go to this link to download it.
What follows is the opinion of Road Trips for Beer editor Gerard Walen and is neither endorsed nor influenced by the International Beer Fest, its organizers or the I-X Center.
Now, my two cents:
The International Beer Festival previously had announced that there would be unlimited sampling at its 3 four-hour sessions. When ticket holders found out about the new limits, quite an uproar began in the comments section of the festival’s Facebook page. The criticisms focused on how the per-ounce price was now too steep, and those who purchased tickets (especially with a hotel package) felt ripped off. I can understand how being taken by surprise like this less than a week before the festival can be upsetting. But 30 samples in four hours seems more than reasonable to me. Though the festival advertises 800 different beers being poured, many of them will be already familiar. After all, AB-InBev will be there.
A beer festival like this is not a frat party. Anyone who attends to drink the maximum amount of beer in the allotted time misses the point. For the most enjoyment, seek out new beers and breweries. Taste the beer, don’t gulp it and run to the next station. I can’t recall ever going to a decent festival where I tasted every beer that I wanted to try, even if it were unlimited sampling.
And there will be a lot of other things going on at the festival. Seminars, presentations, classes, etc., by some craft brewing luminaries.
Though I don’t know all of the details, I’ve dealt with enough government bureaucracy to suspect that this took the organizers by surprise as well, and they are doing the noble thing by offering refunds.
If your goal is to get drunk this weekend, take your refund and spend it at the liquor store. If your goal is to expand your beer-tasting horizons and knowledge, you may find yourself having done that with a few unused tasting tickets in your pocket at the end.