When the Houston Beer Fest was make-the-evening-news bad last year, organizers for the kinda-affiliated Austin Beer Fest tried to distance themselves from the Houston event. Late last summer, organizer Dexter Bayak told Eater Austin, "We just didn't want it to be assumed and tied with the Houston Beer Festival." But if angry social media posts and Yelp reviews are any indication, Saturday's poorly organized, pricey event here in Austin over the weekend looks to have been a mirror image of the Houston disaster.
Settle in with the festival's Yelp page and commiserate with sad and angry beer drinkers who convened upon the Travis County Expo Center hoping for cold beer and nice times. What they got was expensive, small drinks and long, long lines.
"Hurry up and wait...lines to get in, lines to get the free mug and shot glass, lines for food/drink tickets, lines for beer tastings. Speaking of tastings--five, flimsy jello shot cups? Really? Did I mention some of the vendors ran out of beer...and it was 3:30.And crazy drink prices:
The DISorganizers of this event should never run a beer event of any kind again. Drinking samples of many beers is the point, not waiting in line. Which is pretty much all anyone got to spend their time doing. And 7 bucks for a short pour is OUTRAGEOUS! $7 is high in most bars for a full pint of a good micro!!During the event itself, patrons were logging on to the festival's Facebook page to warn others not to bother coming:
"I paid $20 bucks and got 1 beer that I could have gotten at a bar. If you haven't made it out here yet save yourself some time and go to a bar instead. Worst beerfest ever!"And fun continues on Twitter. We've reached out to the festival organizers and will update when and if we get a comment.
[Photo: Austin Beer Fest/Official]