This past Friday was my 9th time (if my calculations are correct) attending the annual Okanagan Fest of Ale. I think it might be my last.
I, and a lot of other people, have some major complaints about this years event.
First of all they doubled the price of tokens to $2. The size of the glasses didn't increase to compensate even slightly for the price increase. Very maddening.
Then there was the entrance fee - $24.50. It seems like every single year that price goes up too.
So what did we get for our money?
Way less breweries. The Fest-of-Ale site doesn't seem to have a history record for 2009 or 2010 but in 2008 there were 27 breweries represented. This year? 19!! 8 less breweries. But we did get more food. Looks like there was about 3 or 4 more restaurants. Maybe they should rename the event to the Fest-of-Restaurants instead.
Because there was less breweries and the same number of people, the lineups were flippin' insane by about 6:45 on Friday. Ridiculously long line-ups. We left at 7:45. It was just too much of a pain in the ass to try to get any more beer.
Now I'm not sure why there were way less breweries. Maybe it was the US economy. I don't know. But I was not impressed.
Between my wife and I we spent over $100 for this event. We could've gone to a nice restaurant in town and had a hell of a lot better time for less money.
Here's to hoping the organizers make some major changes to fix these issues or a lot of people won't be bothering to attend in 2012.