|Image credit: Rhizome Productions|
More specifically, the issues he's referring to had mostly to do with where the 2012 event took place. The previous venue required use of their ill-prepared on-site food vendor, with ticketing fees directly attributable to that location as well. A move to Main Street Garden for this year's affair will feature at least three food trucks, and ticketing fees will be fraction of what they were before (just over $3 compared to over $10 a year ago).
Other than that, the vibe will remain much the same as it was last time. The event will take place outdoors, rain (snow) or shine, and will maintain a focus on darker and/or stronger brews which are more in tune with the season. Attendance will be capped at 2000, with 150 of those being set aside for VIPs. Leff explained that he prefers to limit sales to keep things "super comfortable" and to hopefully encourage more interaction between patrons and brewery representatives.
In that vein, Leff says that his main goal when putting together these events is to create something that is "mutually beneficial for everybody who's there. We want the brewers to have a great time. We want our guests to have a great time. We want the distributors helping us with logistics to enjoy themselves." As he puts it, "mutual benefit is key" and that's where the charity element comes in as well, with this year's beneficiary being the SPCA of Texas.
Regarding the beer and brewers, Main Street Garden's usable space will allow for the setup of right around 40 breweries. Expect between two to four beers per brewery, meaning there will be upwards of 120 offerings for festival goers to enjoy. Among them will be the Texas festival debut of the Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout (VIP only), as well as rare brews like Founders Backwoods Bastard and Real Ale Mysterium Verum Benedictum.
Tickets are on sale now by way of Eventbrite at a cost of $40 for general admission, $75 for VIP privileges (includes appetizers and access to select beers), or $20 for designated drivers (service charges apply to each level). Admission gets you a 5-ounce glass snifter, along with a tasting card good for 12 two-ounce samples. Additional tasting cards may be purchased for $2. Attendees can also take in live music performances by Somebody's Darling and Jace Everett.
Main Street Garden is accessible by Dart Rail, being little more than a 5 minute walk from St. Paul Station. Garage parking will also be available at a cost of $5.
See you there!