Did You Handle Your Winter Festival Right?

Sure winter craft beer festivals are out there, but as the calendar has turned to March, the weekends start to get a lot busier for breweries and craft beer distributors.

A beer festival is a way to appease many different types of craft beer drinkers.

You have about four different types of festival goers: beer snobs, beer geeks, their friends along for the ride, and interested newbies.

Snobs are almost never happy with beer festivals because most festivals are not geared for them. The geeks are just happy there is beer around. Their friends don’t get “it”, but may find something they like while newbies are what a festival should be geared for.

This is the wheelhouse. Someone who is willing to go out and try a bunch of beer in small sample sizes for hours on end. That’s where the cash cow can be.

You know the one. They walk up and ask which one is good. Then they say they “don’t like dark beer” and “but nothing too hoppy either”. Those are where a big smile should emerge and a willingness to talk happens. It’s teaching time and you are Prof. Beer Guru, ready at their service.

Sure, it can be fun to be at a festival and have people line up and gush over the one-off barrel-aged project being pushed, but so what? Those people like you already. They already buy the flagship, the seasonals and the specialty bombers.

Working to make new minions like those that are lining up can be a goal in these circus-tent, port-A-potty lined pastures.

But let’s not forget about our friends: beer snob and beer geek’s friend.

Sure, they want a “hard way” made beer right about now and they roll their eyes at the words “Saison”, “Tripel” and “Berliner Weiss” … but steadfast oh ye of little faith! Sometimes those with false tough exteriors crack when killed with kindness.

It’s a fine line to appease the informed consumers since they shelled out the cash to be there (and maybe dragged a buddy there as well), but let’s remember that although the craft beer movement is large, there is still a populace out there that is just finding out about this unstoppable wave.

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