Stolen from NOIBF Facebook page.
Okay, so it's the day after the New Orleans International Beer Festival and I have been able to do some thinking of my own and reached out to other folks who were there. I feel the easiest way for me to write this is in a The Goods and The Bads format. It was a fun event but I feel that there could be some changes made that would make it that more amazing. I will start by saying this is a FOR PROFIT event. They purchased the majority if not all of their beer. They need to make money and there is nothing wrong with that. That being said here are the goods and bads:
- Nice selection of beer. When someone like myself can find beer that I have never sampled before that's a good thing. Some of those beers: Chafunkta, Evil Twin, Anchorage, Emelisse-Stillwater, Hof Ten Dormaal, New Planet.
- A great focus on local beer. Loved this part of it. They had 4 tents/gardens named after localish breweries: St. Arnolds, Parish, Covington, Bayou Teche. Not sure why St. Arnolds gets one but NOLA doesn't but my guess is this was a distributor thing as all 4 of those breweries are Southern Eagle beers. Really enjoyed Bayou Teche's section. Watching the boys from Bayou Teche jamming out to some cajun music was amazing. Best beer tent in my opinion.
- Cornhole Tourney. This was great fun! Me and the wife got knocked out first round but had a blast playing and held our own against a team from NOLA Brewing(Ben and Wild Bill)
- Newcastle Photo Booth. This was great. I love being able to get my photo taken with the wife since for some odd reason it doesn't happen too much!
- Cask Garden. I love that they provided cask ale. Well, sort of cask. Cask-ish? Let's call it American cask since the whole idea of cask is supposed to be traditional ingredients and consumed over a couple of days. Either way I loved it!
- WAY too crowded for the space. It was seriously packed and the layout had everyone focused right in the middle instead of making everything spaced out which would have helped with crowd issues. During our cornhole tournament we had people walking in front of us trying to get to beer tents. It was nuts.
- Bathroom issues. As the wife and I were leaving we saw a line to the mens room. It had to be at least 50 people deep. Now this could have been as simple as people just not realizing there was another bathroom on the other side of the square but people I spoke with claimed it was busy too. There were only two restrooms per gender.
- The food situation: Thankfully my wife and I ate before getting there. We saw Rotolo's and some other food place. That's it. In the Festival Guide under Tips and Tricks it states: Take a food break. There are numerous vendors on-site serving all types of food. Yeah, this really wasn't the case. Rotolo's dropped the ball big time by running out of pizza and having to get food brought in from another location. HUGE lines. The other vendor also ran out of food. And there were NO prices listed. Apparently the VIP area was serving Zea's but I heard they started skimping after awhile too. My recommendation is to get some food trucks in there. THAT would be amazing!
- The guide encourages drinking plenty of water but water cost $4.00 a bottle. Soda was $4.50. This is unacceptable. Now of course the company running the event probably didn't have anything to do with this. This could have been the dome forcing these prices and whatnot. I suppose the people were expected to drink the water provided at the tables which we were using to clean out the glasses. In my opinion at beer festivals water needs to be provided. It helps with keeping the people hydrated which is extremely important.
- The designated driver ticket. Honestly I feel this is a huge waste of money($20). As a for profit event I get it that you need to make money but come on I feel the designated drivers could have been provided with free drinks or something. They are providing a huge, valuable service and should be taken care of.
Overall it was a fun event. It was great seeing so many people enjoying craft beer in New Orleans! Here are some photos from the event.
Bayou Teche was a blast.
Vanessa Gomes and myself!
Like I said, overall I had a great time and I really want to thank Red Mountain Entertainment for not only throwing this event but also with working with me to provide tickets to Grant Capone who won tickets and providing me with a media pass!
The Beer Buddha