Reader: Great American Beer Festival is pissing off both breweries and attendees

Categories: Cafe Society

beerguy.jpg
Is the beer glass half-empty, or half-full?
Great American Beer Festival tickets went on pre-sale last Tuesday for members of the Brewers Association and the American Homebrewers Association, and the complaints to the Brewers Association started seconds later. There were so many, in fact, that the organization posted an apology on Facebook later that day: "Your staff at the GABF, American Homebrewers Association and Brewers Association sincerely regret the problem with today's member pre-sale," the notice read. "Ticketmaster had a technical problem that unfortunately had a negative impact on many of our members. We are sorry. There do not seem to be any easy answers in the world of large-scale event ticketing. At this juncture, the GABF remains under contract with Ticketmaster through 2014. Going forward, all suggestions and options for ticketing solutions will be under review."

And beer fans aren't shy with offering suggestions for the GABF.

See also:

Brewers Association apologizes for continuing Great American Beer Festival snafus

- That was fast: 2012 GABF tickets sell out in record 45 minutes
- Great American Beer Festival ticket scalpers drive us to drink

Says wewatta:

I do not really understand why the BA continues to bury its head in the sand and try to pretend that this event is still a small little gathering, like it used to be (even just 10 years ago).

Either start running it professionally, or turn it over to another organization. This middle ground is pissing off both breweries and attendees.

I also do not see why a rival festival doesn't rise up to meet the demand. Yes, there are a ton of smaller ones around CO, but nothing like this. So many people are dissatisfied, why has no other rival festival come up to give this one a run for its money?


Did you get tickets to the Great American Beer Festival? What did you think of the process? How do you think the GABF needs to change?




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36 comments
Janelle Veres
Janelle Veres

and yet 3000 breweries are IN the festival and 48000+ people will be in attendance. as any popular event ... luck of the draw... who you know... sometimes people are just quicker.

Sergei Krivenkov
Sergei Krivenkov

Why don't they require a form of ID required with each ticket, one person per ticket purchase. Although it would make it impossible to gift tickets to others, it should stop scalping. Nobody really wins in this situation but the scalper/broker who could really care less about the GABF.

Davidbproductions Denver
Davidbproductions Denver

YES. In my circles, its turned into an event we don't even consider. Its easier to go to the liquor store.

Sherry Kaffenbarger Eppers
Sherry Kaffenbarger Eppers

Their ticket pre-sales for AHA members was a joke. I was online before 10 a.m. ready to buy tickets, but my member code didn't work. Then the tickets sold out, as was expected, but while codes were giving members wonky messages. We were attending this event years ago before it became a mess. They should care because the AHA and the GABF have lost credibility in this competitive and growing industry.

Cory Winget
Cory Winget

Absolutely agree. I've said it before and I'll say it again, craft breweries are beginning to alienate their grassroots beginnings in favor of trendier customers. Who's gonna be there when the bubble pops? Think all the plaid wearing, rayban sporting bearded hipsters are gonna stick around? Think again.

Sara Conrad
Sara Conrad

yup, it's impossible to get tickets.

Mike Milos
Mike Milos

Why would they care, it wlil be sold out and full of Breweries?

Meghan Howes
Meghan Howes

I couldn't count on all of my digits how many people buy DD tickets then drink to their heart's content.

Sarah Rowan
Sarah Rowan

You're capable of understanding that other people can have experiences that differ from your own, right?

Sarah Rowan
Sarah Rowan

It's a good thing it's all about you, then, or else this might come across as foolish!

Sarah Rowan
Sarah Rowan

The problem is that most member codes weren't working. By the time they fixed the issues, many members who had been on immediately were not able to get tickets. This also happened last year. Ticketmaster is garbage. They can't do the ONE thing they are supposed to be able to do. They had one job!

Dean Wyant
Dean Wyant

This is an incredibly stupid event, anyway. Let's all pay lots of money to go drink all afternoon, get into our cars and drive home. Hooray! What could possibly go wrong?

Bret Egan
Bret Egan

Clearly that reader is not a real reader of Westword, rather that was written by a someone who believes that competition is superior. Readers of Westword abhor competition in other applications: Education, Health Insurance among others.

Craig Clement
Craig Clement

goes up and up in price every year to try beers i wont remember, denver beer week keeps the money local at least. satellite bar does the same though.

Christine Steele
Christine Steele

I know they say that Colorado is the beer capital of the country but it sounds more like the whine capital.

Jordan Nicole Montoya
Jordan Nicole Montoya

I've had no problem getting tickets the last three years. People just like to complain.

Nathan Bennett
Nathan Bennett

I have gotten tickets the last 3 years. People need to realize to get your tickets it is first come first served and not bitch because they were not online during the first few minutes of the presale. It has always sold out within minutes.

Lois Rapport Paul
Lois Rapport Paul

Literally as well as figuratively. Just when I turned on my headlights, well you know......

Jennifer Williams-Cherry
Jennifer Williams-Cherry

We are members, were able to get our tickets but not the dd tickets, have never seen that before, thought it was pretty special that they reduced the dd amount available

rusty_shackleford
rusty_shackleford

While I know it's for profit and not to the scale of GABF, it was easy to navigate, had little to no lines, and there was no crush for tickets...

http://www.epicbeerfestival.com/

Here's hoping it doesn't go the way of the GABF.

Timothy Hutchinson
Timothy Hutchinson

Beer snobs need give me a PBR and shut the fuck up. I would rather have 100,000 retail marijuana shops over 1 new brewery.

soze_abides
soze_abides

The real question is why these whiners think the BA would care.  Their event sold out in MINUTES, and had more brewers clamoring to participate than they can possibly hold.  That's not a problem, that's a huge win.  So, yes, it sucks that not everyone who wants to can go, and that not every brewery on earth can participate, but as long as people keep buying, and breweries keep attending this isn't a 'problem' for the BA, and even if it was, what should their solution be?  They have contractual obligations with both the venue and Ticketmaster, they should break them because you got your feelings hurt by not getting to be one of the cool kids?  And even IF they did, what then?  There's not a space big enough or a ticketing agent advanced enough to deal with all the beer love out there and plenty of other ways for those of us who didn't get tickets this year to express it, no point throwing a hissy fit about it.  Maybe the reason no one else has tried such a large-scale rival event is because they don't want to have to deal with your ruffled panties when you can't get tickets to that one either.

Genman
Genman

I am an ABA member and have 5 .5 gallons of RIS brewing in the garage to prove it. I signed on to Ticketmaster at 09:00:01 on 07-30 and secured tickets for two sessions withing minutes. I suppose I should just consider myself lucky.  I suspect 40,000 other people can make the same claim. Invariably the onew who were not lucky enough to score some tickets will finf fault in ABA, Tickermaster, along with the gods themselves. 

edpawelko
edpawelko

@Dean Wyant Dean, you are the perfect example of a moron who shouldn't attend beer festivals.  Perhaps you would drive home but my group walks back to our hotel after enjoying outstanding craft beer at the fest.  Try to form an intelligent opinion next time.

scott.steigerwald
scott.steigerwald

@Dean Wyant I'm renting a room downtown, so no driving.  Also, some of us go to actually taste the beer, not to get wasted.  But nice of you to inject your level-headed opinion.

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@Craig Clement I'm pretty sure the GABF "keeps the money local." Breweries actually have to pay to enter and the organization that runs the event is local. Add the money brought in by hotels, restaurants, and bars and it's a definite cash injection to the Denver economy. 

marc_bayes
marc_bayes

@Timothy Hutchinson how does that make you any different than people who enjoy beer? Should we call you a pot snob that needs to shut the fuck up and roll me a blunt? You enjoy your marijuana and we enjoy our beer. Truth be told I've never heard someone who loves beer say they would rather have 100,000 breweries versus 1 pot shop. Yet I hear pot smokers say that line all the time; just like you. Think before you speak. While your at at it shut the fuck up and roll me a blunt.

edpawelko
edpawelko

@Genman Gee... a whole 5.5. gallons in your garage...you must be a real brewer.  The system didn't work and the AHA has apologized for that FACT.  Unfortunately, smug people like you were able to obtain tickets while numerous decent beer lovers got shafted by Ticketmaster.  My suggestion to you is to present informed comments so you don't come off looking like an unintelligent jackass.  

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

@Genman 

Well, aren't you the smug braggart of the year?  You can kiss me between my back pockets.

CJW81
CJW81

@foodcrazy @Genman This is every person who homebrews now. "Well IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII'M a homebrewer, and I'm OBVIOUSLY superior to you."


I wanna punch everyone one of you bearded, plaid-clad schmucks right in the throat.

Genman
Genman

@foodcrazy @Genman No brag, just fact.  The system worked for the 40,000 who got in and it most definitely did not work for the N - 40,000 who did not get in. I see no need to change the rules.  And if I do  get shut out next year, I will buy $800.00 (airfair, festival tix and hotel cost) worth of craft beer at Total Wines and Bevmo and hold my own festival.

So foodcrazy, my suggestion to you is to simply hold your own until next year. 

weege0011
weege0011

Im down with a Total Wines and Bevmo festival. I live in Phoenix, lets party..

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