Great Tucson Beer Fest | The Bad

And now, the bad side of the Great Tucson Beer Festival.

Over Almost Before It Began

We arrived a few minutes after the beer fest started — just in time to see the line snaking out into the parking lot. About 30 minutes later, we entered and started sampling. We weren’t hurrying, but we set a good pace from booth to booth, so when the tents started closing mere hours later I was unpleasantly surprised to see how many tickets I still had.

If not for my stomach full of free food, I would’ve felt a little cheated. This is probably why so many beer fests last all day (or even for multiple days). It might also be why I heard another patron, undoubtedly a poet of unsurpassed eloquence, utter the following verse:

I Gotta Get Buzzed, Bra

I’m thinking he knew the event would end early, and if I’d kept listening I would’ve heard something like, “Do not misunderstand, my good bra; I am loath to indulge in unnecessary inebriation, but imbibe we must, and with furious haste, for the festival ends at half past nine!” If not, his original statement baffles me. The cheapest tickets available were $40, and although a little drunkenness is expected at beer festivals (and even encouraged via DD discounts), if getting wasted is your primary goal you might as well spend that cash on 90 cans of Natty Ice and get the job done economically. I had hoped this remark was an isolated incident, but it turns out I’d entered…

The Broman Colosseum (Yep, Best Pun I Got)

Every frat house in the city must have emptied for this festival, making it seem like a block party with better-than-average beer.

I would’ve been OK with that if it hadn’t adversely affected the tone of the event. But I saw people downing their samples like shots, smoking cigars while drinking (which wrecks the palate), and even pouring out beer on the ground. The entire festival gave me the alarming impression that, at least in terms of attendee priorities, enjoying beer came in a distant second to “WOOOOOO CHUG!!!”

Speaking of Beer

The selection wasn’t as awesome as it could’ve been. As I mentioned before, I did find some diamonds in the rough, but by and large the breweries that actually showed up (several on the guest list didn’t) only brought their ubiquitous brews, perhaps realizing that this was actually a brofest and that nobody would care. Deschutes, for example, brought Mirror Pond, Obsidian Stout, Inversion IPA, and Black Butte Porter … all great beers, but you can buy them almost anywhere. I don’t need to pay for a beer fest to drink those. I had a bottle of Black Butte in my fridge while I was at the festival, for crying out loud.

Can I Get Some Oxygen With This Beer?

Even with the modest selection, I enjoyed drinking the beer because it meant I wasn’t breathing: There were no designated smoking areas. If the areas were there and I simply missed them, it’s because all the smokers missed them too. If you want to smoke, that’s fine — it’s your decision, after all — but as an asthmatic, allergy-stricken nonsmoker who wanted to not only smell and taste my beer but also breathe, I would’ve appreciated the ability to make my own decision to not get clouds of carcinogens blown in my face every five seconds. In the end, this is the reason I’ll stay away from The Great Tucson Beer Festival in the future.

I can’t stop thinking that I’m missing out on the real great beer festivals in America. I have these mental pictures of green fields filled with beer-loving men laughing and sipping and stroking their beards as beer-loving women do the same minus the beards part … but no, I get stranded in a stadium with noxious air and bros wearing phallic balloon animals.

That’s right. Phallic balloon animals. And with that, I give you … the ugly. Next time, that is.

4 Responses to “Great Tucson Beer Fest | The Bad”
  1. Ben says:

    Scott watched while Brome burned. Now I’m thinking about it, I could have suggested the Thunder Brome.

  2. Ryan says:

    I believe that it was one giant date for bros to ignite their bromances, I think Broseph Stalin said:
    Gaiety is the most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union

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