As a former event manager for World Beer Festival I rate the beer events I go to. The rating is what I think about the event. It might be totally inconsistent but it’s what I think at that moment. First of all I need to explain what I mean with beer events. To me it’s events that promote craft beer and use craft beer in their marketing. Theoretically every day at a good beer bar is a beer event but it has to be a something out of the ordinary at the bar, restaurant or store. There are a few key elements that I think a good beer event need to have. That is:
- Good beer. A beer event needs to have good craft beer and also something that is a little out of the ordinary. It doesn’t have to be any limited releases but the event organizers need to show that the have put some effort in to getting interesting craft beers.
- Beer education. I think that every event needs to take the opportunity to educate the public in beer appreciation and beer quality. It doesn’t have to be much. It could be a handout, signs or with a QR code or just the URL refer people to a website. I’m just looking for some effort from the organizers to have the education element in mind. Education could be as simple as “read more about the beers present at this event on www.readaboutgoodbeer.af”.
- Anti intoxication efforts. An event serving alcohol needs to help customers to not over consume. There are a few simple things the event organizers can do to prevent that.
- Serve free water or sell water at a very low price.
- Have food available and some food items at a low price.
- Serve half or small pours of beer at a reduced price.
These elements are fairly simple for an organizer to accommodate and it will give the attendee the choice to limit their consumption. Food, water and small pours do a lot to reduce over consumption and the atmosphere usually becomes better.
- Restrooms. To have a beer event you basically only need three things, a beer glass, beer and restrooms. Clean restrooms with short lines are essential for a beer event. I also think that there need to be some kind of separation between male and female restrooms. Guys have a tendency to leave the restroom a little messy.
- Good atmosphere. This is the hardest one to explain to others. To me it just has to feel right. Some factors are how crowded it is, music, the people attending, the venue and probable many other factors that I don’t even know about.
- Over all. Did this feel like a good event?
My rating scale is simple and only in four levels. To get a higher score you just need to make an effort in thinking about the elements above.
- Excellent (A): The “wow this is great” feeling.
- Good (B): The organizers did an OK job with it.
- Fair (C): The organizers thought about it but didn’t do a very good job. Here is where I’m being very moderate. I would give an event “fair” if I ask for a half pour without reduction in price. It show that they first of all give the customer what they want and also respect the customers weakness. If I have a bag of potato ships I will eat it and I know that. If I want to keep my intake of potato ship low I buy a small bag. If I have to pay the same price as a big that is OK.
- Fail (F): No thoughts what so ever about the element.
The World Beer Festival is a good example of a great beer festival.