A beer festival is an expensive way to get drunk.
If you factor in the price of admission and what it costs for tickets to sample, the price adds up. Even if you only take advantage of the tickets that are included in the cost of admission, it can be some of the most expensive beer you've ever had.
And yet, every time, at every festival, there are one or two people who do just that. And then they try to chum up with you, and ask you to take a picture of them for your "magazine."
Take this weekend's beer festival at The Brooklyn, in Kingston. All in, the tickets, with taxes and surcharges, cost a little more than $30. With admission, I received a 6-ounce glass and 10 tickets for samples. Assuming I drink all 10 samples with a 5-ounce pour, in a three-hour session I will have consumed 50 oz, or two-and-a-half standard pints.
I don't like to think that I would pay more than $12 for a pint of anything.
(I did have 10 samples, but two of them were poured out after a sip and one was a repeat.)
Luckily, the majority of the samples were great, the people behind the taps were friendly and knowledgeable, and I had the opportunity to try some one-off selections that made the whole experience worthwhile.
And, I shared the experience with one of my good friends and beer mavens, Perry Mason, former brewmaster and owner of the Scotch-Irish Brewing Company.
There were some new breweries at the event, such as Bobcaygeon Brewing, who had a nice pale ale (Bitter Warrior), and Stone City Ales, with their extremely hoppy Kauzmonaught black session ale. Other great offerings included Detroit's Atwater Brewery, who had a lovely Vanilla Java Porter, and Junction Craft Brewery had a tasty black lager.
But by far, the winner of the event, in my opinion, was a one-off, tenth-anniversary cinnamon Dopplebock, brewed by Tia and Jon of Muskoka Brewery. If I had tried that beer at the start of the session, I would have stayed there and spent all of my tickets.
It would have been a very expensive session. As it was, it was money well-spent.
Here are some memories of the event.