Knowing the Costs of a Beer Fest

​Paying your staff to be out at a beer festival is one cost to consider, but giveaway items and other incidentals could add up before even considering the beer choices to bring.

A lot of festivals now understand the cost for a brewery and ​Ryan Evans of Bruz Beers says over the past five years he has seen more and more festivals stop asking for a beer donation and instead offer to pay for the product, which helps the bottom line.

Kaitlyn Gipple of Holidaily said staffing an event is important for education for consumers.

“We are definitely always represented even if we can’t pour, we have staff there,” she said. “We have to take that into account with cost.

Holidaily usually brings two people to every fest just to make setup easier. Gipple will break down the cost of two staffers, the cost of co2 and other incidentals to make sure that the brewery is sticking to its budget that year.

“That also helps me when it comes time that I get a request to participate in this festival, and it’s three weeks from now and they are asking us to come,” she said. “I try as much as possible just to stick to that list and say, I’ll circle back to you the following year. We’ve already picked out our festivals for this year.

“That just helps us to just make sure that we’re on track budgetary wise, and then also have enough staff scheduled in advance so that it’s not a last-minute frenzy.”

With the possibility for a brewery to be invited to numerous events on the same day, the choice of having enough staff and equipment to go to more than one can also come into play,

“You start to prioritize those and say, which one do we want to choose,” Evans said. “Ask yourself those questions between the charitable cause, are they buying the beer? Is it in our backyard? Does it fit our marketing and our customer profile? Can we do it well?

“You start to rank those and some festivals just don’t get attended because there were three other really good ones that weekend and we had to pick one.”

Of course, donating to a charitable cause is good and just, but Evans said for breweries to do their homework on the festival as well.

“Make sure that the donation is actually predominantly going to that charity,” he said. “There’s a lot of festivals out there that are still claiming charitable causes because they have to and they give a minimal amount to those.”

Evans said in Colorado, a beer fest requires a nonprofit to get a special event license to have a festival.

“By law, you have to tie it to a charitable cause,” he said. “But the idea behind that is that the money would go to the charity, but event organizers have figured out that they can cut them a check [of a small amount] and get that formality covered and then pocket the extra money on their side.

“I think it’s important to ask those questions upfront and make sure what they’re representing is truly what the cause is for. We’re careful on that side and we do a little extra homework on the charitable side to make sure it legitimately is still going to the charity.”

Photo Courtesy Bruz Beers

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