Depending on who you talk to, last Saturday's beer festival was a huge success or a major disaster. The public's desire for good local beer was evident. Last minute ticket sales exploded leaving event organizer a bit overwhelmed.
The major problem was too many people not having access to the beer they paid big money for. In my opinion this has nothing to do with lack of planning; it's a simple numbers game.
The Wasatch Front is approximately the 30th largest market in the United States. As of 2008 Utah was ranked 24th in breweries per capita. This ranking has surely gone up with the addition of two new breweries this year. While that's a lot of breweries compared with more than half of the country, a festival like this, for a market of our size frankly needs more participating breweries to accommodate all the people.
It's tough in this regard because our beer laws don't really make it easy for out of state breweries to participate locally because of the whole "kegs vs high alcohol beer thing".
There are no easy fixes, just trial and error to find the best scenario for our area. I've been to more than my fair share of beer festivals around the country, and I've seen what works and what doesn't. I'm not going to try to "Monday Morning Quarterback" this thing because I just don't have all the info. But your constructive feed back will go a long way to make each attempt better and better.
Also, today Hoppers should be releasing their Stein Knockers Märzen today. If you got to the fest early enough you were able to get a early sample. Once again, Brewmaster/Secret Agent Donovan Steele Rocked-it!