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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cheers, Newtown

Once again, it's a beautiful October day for the Newtown Brewfest, as it's been every time so far for this successful, well-run event (and this year they are paying for beer: hurrah!). The sky is clear and autumnally blue, the temperature is brisk but not freezing (cuts down on ice runs), and the fest sold out three months ago. If you've got a ticket, enjoy.

I won't be there, myself. Nothing against Newtown, I mean, I live here, but after the World Beer Festival, WhiskyFest, and GABF all in a row (and a book signing at the Garden State Craft Brewers Guild Oktoberfest tomorrow)...I'm taking a Saturday off.


Anonymous said...

HHmmmm, sounds like a yard work day followed by bar-b-qin', tasting a few new beers, building a fire and sippin some whisky to finish off a cool Autumn day.

Heck, if you're not, that's what my plan is...I work way too many weekends to not finally enjoy a good one.

Lew Bryson said...

I'm playing with the Corgi, getting a little work done (on the laptop on the deck), then going down to Chinatown for some good eats. Afterwards, I'm going to build a fire and get into a big bottle or two of something Belgian.

Unknown said...

sounds just about perfect;)

Anonymous said...

They did not pay for the beer. They did offer $100 reimbursement for expenses - mileage, hotel for people traveling form afar, but $100 certainly doesn't cover the cost of the beer that most of the breweries supplied.

Lew Bryson said...

I understood that the $100 was being offered as a "beer honorarium." While $100 doesn't pay retail cost of the beer, it's a substantial chunk of the brewers' costs for the beer, no? It's also difficult for the organizing group -- which doesn't have a permanent liquor license, as many fest venues do -- to pay straight-up wholesaler costs for each beer. And I don't know of many beer festivals that pay for mileage or hotels.

I'm not saying it's right, or that you're wrong. I am saying that it's better than the nothing that was paid for beer last year.

Anonymous said...


No disrespect to anon, but do you ever wish you can post without an issue arising???

Eh, I actually had some Pear Mead by my fire that I picked up on the Cooperstown Beverage Trail.

Pretty tasty stuff, if you ever get that way stop by Bear Paw Winery.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for bringing up an "issue" Bill, but I think that saying that they paid for the beer is a bit misleading. Paying for a low percentage of the beer is more like it. $100 doesn't go very far at all when you are expected to satisfy 2,500 people's thirst for 5 1/2 hours.
I do admit that it is very nice compared to nothing and we are making steps in the right direction for the future.

Lew Bryson said...

All right, hold on. What I said was that they were "paying for beer." Technically, that was not 100% accurate: they gave money to the brewers that was widely hinted at as being for beer. As I've pointed out here, and in my original post about fests paying for beer, sometimes the law can make that problematic (which sucks, but I've got a whole other blog about that...). This is a workaround on that. I understand Kennett paid more; I hope Newtown will next year.

That said, "low percentage" isn't 100% accurate, either. The idea is to make the cost of the beer supplied to the fest lower, not to pay full retail for it. Paying full wholesale cost would be great, but that's not going to happen the first year (not to mention it's a boatload of paperwork). And each brewer isn't "expected to satisfy 2,500 people's thirst for 5 1/2 hours", all the brewers together are; different proposition (and it's really only four hours; the connoisseur tasting is much smaller).

So did they "pay for all the beer"? No. Did they make a good start, a serious dent in the beer costs? Yes. What I'd really like to see is the State step up with real, thoughtful regulation about beer festivals that made it much easier for festival organizers to do the right thing, while protecting the interests of brewers, wholesalers, and tavern-owners (not at all impossible, and I'd be happy to help broker that...for a fee), and let brewers sell take-away beer...just like winemakers and distillers are allowed to do at Pennsylvania festivals. I think that would make for a much better beer festival for everyone.

Steve D. said...

The Beer Lass put in a recent entry that Newtown will buy all of the beer next year.

Lew Bryson said...

Awesome. Hope that makes everyone happy, and sets the tone for these "town fests" that have popped up in the 'burbs. Bar's set higher, Kennett!