Monday, June 06, 2011

Someone get me an envoy and a pitcher of craft beer.

Yesterday I offered this brief assessment of the first annual Bloomington Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, June 4: Yesterday's inaugural Bloomington Craft Beer Festival.

On the same day as the Bloomington gig, Keg Liquors in Clarksville held its sixth annual Fest of Ale. Owner Todd Antz provides this report:

We came up with some great numbers for the Fest of Ale. We brought in over 1,000 people and raised $7,225 for the Crusade for Children. Thanks to everyone who came out and helped make this the best one ever!

The question: Are these two locations, Bloomington and Clarksville, sufficiently far removed from each other that there were no ill effects from celebrating craft beer twice on the same day, at the same time?

Now, I'm not interested in exploring who had which date first, or which charity is the more deserving. Rather, I'll cut directly to the chase and note that in the perfect world, the two festivals would be held at different times.

Upland Brewing Company subordinated its Rad Fest into the Bloomington Craft Beer Festival, with hopeful results that vindicate the notion of placing a Brewers of Indiana Guild satellite event there. In spite of Big Red Liquors, Bloomington deserves the placement.

Meanwhile, Todd has done such a good job of establishing Fest of Ale as a metro Louisville tradition that it might easily be transformed into the Brewers of Indiana satellite fest intended to titillate the emerging Louisville market and to introduce it to the burgeoning world of Indiana-brewed beer.

But the fests simply cannot take place on the same day. Brewery personnel cannot always be organized into split squads; logistical choices must be made, and not all these choices are good for the consumer.

Can't one of them take place in the spring or early summer, and the other in the fall? I believe the reconciliation talks need to begin right away so that we can have an effective, balanced calendar in 2012.

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