So we’ve survived another Beervana and the (now national) Road to Beervana events.
Beervana 2017 was a good one.
The sun shone! I don’t know what strings the organisers pulled to achieve this miracle, but it is clear evidence they’re getting better every year. Avoiding the traditional queuing-in-the-face-of-the-Southerly was a great start.
Inside it was busy but not too cramped once visitors had spread out along the full concourse. All sessions except the first sold out and there was room for everyone, with a bit of patience. The crowds were genial and good-natured, and any packs of munters in matching costumes were thankfully absent from the two (afternoon) sessions I attended. Again, that sunny warm weather probably helped lift the mood.
Forget FOMO – you go into Beervana knowing you will miss out on most of the event. With 450+ beers from 64 breweries, you might get to experience 10% of the offering. I managed only a single lap of the concourse in each session, and I know I raced past good stands and beers to do so. If I promised to come back and try your offerings on my next lap, I apologise – there was no victory lap!
I could have spent much longer camped at Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp, with 10 collaboration beers made with international brewers including Fullers, Duvel and Garage Project. It would have taken two or three hours to do justice to this unique range alone.
I would have liked to spend time at the homebrewers’ stand, and at a few of the others that were near the entrance and so were rushed past at the opening.
I’m not interested in the People’s Choice. It’s obviously easy to game the system with votes from friends and staff pushing favoured beers while down-voting rivals, and none of the voters tried the full range, so it’s a combination of luck and self-promotion. Congratulations to the winner, but, meh.
On the good side, several brewers told me sales on Friday alone were equal to sales for both days last year. Beervana has traditionally been a marketing cost, but this year some exhibitors will be able to make good their site fees.
So tickets sold out, all exhibition stands sold out, exhibitors did well, people enjoyed themselves and there was too much good beer to enjoy – perfect! Job well done.