Taste of Brews – Just In It for the Dollar Signs

Posted: May 29, 2013 in Beer, Events, Food Truck
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

When a person or group of people go into business, their first objective in mind consists of raking in lots of profit. Depending on the industry entered, the entrepreneurs can utilize any of various methods to reach the point of making profit. Once that point occurs, the path of owning a business splits off into different routes. Where do the entrepreneurs go now that they have an avenue of revenue? Do they stay with one business and improve its quality? Do they sell the business off? Do they franchise the business? Do they grow and expand? Each path represents different levels of profit, and each comes with its respective costs and outcomes. In today’s society, reputation holds more value than monetary worth because the public can easily see the perceived reputation, not how much money the business holds. Generate a great product and/or service, and the people will talk. When people talk, more people hear about the business, leading to profit the humane way. However, disregarding quality in exchange for efforts to expand can lead to dissatisfactory customers despite the profit. Can a business owner truly afford to pour out something bad just to see more dollar signs? If you can afford the marketing, any business can sell a bad product – look at many commercials nowadays that sell products generally bad for you. In the virtual world, look at how much Taste of Brews marketed their event, then look deeper at how much money they aim to extract out of citizens that drink the Kool Aid.

The Taste of Brews beer festival returned to White Park in Riverside for the second year at this location. Attendees to this beer fest paid a flat fee to enter and consume all the beer they can drink. Whereas some beer fests limit the beers that the attendees may consume, this one allowed unlimited pours until the attending breweries ran out of beer or the event ended at 4pm. During the festival, some local tribute bands played on the small stage in the center of the park. Some of the vendor booths contained restaurants or caterers sampling food, but these lines stretched out far, and the vendors swiftly ran out of food each time they attempted to restock. In fact, the Bacon Mania truck ran out of bacon by 2:30. Other food trucks present did not run out of food, but had a persistent line the entire time. Despite the staff not allowing pets or anyone under 21 into the venue, someone brought dogs. At first this all seems fine, but what did the above photo indicate to you? I snapped that photo at 12pm, when the gates should have already opened. What does this mean to you? Glance at some of my photos, then read below to find out.

Despite what appears as a typical beer fest, the organizers clearly sought to maximize their money gain from this event. For a group that has thrown beer fests in the past, how did they end up with a line longer than the perimeter of the park when all attendees in that line should already have gone inside? The early bird entry should require a limit, as this gives privileges to anyone who purchased a ticket to this event way in advanced, like how I purchased a ticket to this event back in February. Seeing more people enter at 12pm than the general admission time at 1pm makes all early bird ticket purchasers not feel special enough to merit entering sooner. With this many people already inside the fest so early, all lines to receive beer filled up immensely fast. The number of attendees vastly outnumbered the capacity that all the vendors can serve in a timely manner. Also consider that security promptly started kicking people out right at 4pm, not even giving attendees a chance to stick around and wait off the alcohol in their bodies.

Event organizers need to understand the perfect ratio of people to vendors when setting limits to events. For example, a food truck fest operates best with 200 people per food truck, as this satisfies both sides. A higher ratio will irritate the people, while a lower ratio will irritate the vendors. At a beer fest, organizers need to discover the ratio of people to breweries in attendance to please both sides. Generally, a lower ratio allows for a smaller, more intimate event, where attendees can socialize with the vendors easier than at a large event. A beer fest can manage with a smaller ratio since attendees do not pay for the beers anyways. For example, an upcoming beer fest has a limit of 300 tickets, while boasting an already impressive roster of 12 breweries (as of yesterday) and growing. This eliminates the crowding while allowing guests to roam freely around and actually chat with the vendors while learning about the brewery/company. Taste of Brews does not recognize this, and continually sells tickets with no regard to any limit. Any beer fest that dares invite Anheuser Busch to pour Shock Top does not deserve to call themselves a beer fest. As this took place in Riverside, Taste of Brews should change their name to Taste of Bros – the Bro Fest. After all, the Nine Bro Nine had to get that name from somewhere, right?

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