Dallas Beer Festival Canceled

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NOOOOOO!

Citing lack of advance ticket sales and overcommitment with the simultaneous Dallas and Houston Beer Weeks, Cathy Clark Rascoe confirms that Saturday's Beer Festival was canceled Tuesday afternoon. Ticket buyers will receive refunds within seven to 10 days, she said.

"It was a really hard call," she said about an hour after making the decision. "We tried to save it and pull it out, but it just didn't seem like people wanted to buy tickets for it."

In hindsight it probably would have been easier to market it as a stand-alone event rather than having it be one of the dozens of Dallas Beer Week events, Clark Rascoe said. Only about 100 advance tickets sold, she said, compared to almost 600 advance sales for a comparable Houston event, and she and husband/co-organizer Jay Rascoe couldn't take the financial hit if walk-up sales didn't make up for the advance-sales deficit.

Without a track record for a successful beer festival in Dallas, larger microbreweries didn't want to commit to a sponsorship, she said, and they didn't want to compromise their craft-beer ideals by inviting, say, Bud Light on board.
Clark Rascoe said she plans to ask The Amsterdam Bar's Michael Scheel if they can do a Mikkeler event Saturday, as the famed "Gypsy brewer" was to be a part of the festival and the Amsterdam Bar was to tap an ancient barrel filled with Franconia as a festival-closing event. But she didn't know whether the bar would be able to get hold of any Mikkeler beer in time for the event.

As for what happens to the beer that participating breweries were sending to Dallas for the festival, she doesn't know; those decisions are up to the respective distributors. Will there be an impromptu, last-minute festival at another Dallas Beer Week-associated bar? Or will those kegs and bottles go ... somewhere else entirely?

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43 comments
Centergyinc
Centergyinc

I guess you all missed it earlier this year but the North Texas Beer Festival just announced the date for next year- Saturday May 12th @ the new Irving Convention Center in Las Colinas.  I'm told the site will be updated with new info for 2012 after Thanksgiving but the date was just announced a couple of days ago.  I went to the first one and loved it

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TCT
TCT

I have no idea why the organizers wanted to bring this to Dallas anyway. If an event worked in Houston, it should stay in Houston.

JC
JC

The site never said how many tastings you got for the entry price. Who's going to buy a ticket if they don't know that?

Amsterdam
Amsterdam

The Amsterdam Bar will be hosting both Mikkel from Mikkeller's and Dennis Wehrmann of Franconia Saturday from 5 on.The Amsterdam Bar831 ExpositionDallas, TX 75226(214) 827-3433

Paul Hightower
Paul Hightower

Maybe the organizers were expecting too much for too little? Don't expect to make a profit the first time out (what annual event does?). May have to take a hit financially on the first one, no matter when you hold it.

Homesick Houstonian
Homesick Houstonian

Further proof that Dallas is the suckiest city in Texas...maybe even the universe.  Instead of bitching about Houston all the time about everything, maybe learn a thing or two from it!  Do I dare bring up the successful Houston downtown tunnel system too?  Dallas sux!

Matt
Matt

After seeing the lineup, I had zero interest. I know it is difficult to get brewers to commit to an unknown quantity like this...I suppose that comes with being an event organizer. Still, don't expect people to shell out big bucks for a ho-hum beer list.

Steve
Steve

Beerfests should be:  Outdoors,  with bands,  centrally located (sorry, Dallas Zoo), with streets blocked off (it's not like we have a Zilker Park around here, or do we, White Rock?),   with MANY beer companies.

Rahr, Real, and smalltime local breweries just don't cut it.   Gotta have the big guns from CA/OR/WA, etc.  100 - 150 Beers should be represented.

You need commemorative shit.  Glasses, shirts, hats.   FREE.

It can't be a damn crawl executed throughout the week at a dozen different places where you go get your little sippy and then you're done for the night.

It should be a Goddamned nice weather drunk fest.

@theburbanist
@theburbanist

Random thoughts:-I thought the line-up was pretty good for a first time event. -I agree that Beer Week is a bit of a mess.

-Houston, once again, outdoes Dallas on the foodie scene. They are light years ahead. -The event location sucked but I think there was some excitement for it and last minute sales would have been good to brisk. Especially if there had been more Twitter action from food/bar/restaurant types to promote it.

Matthew Tait Lifto
Matthew Tait Lifto

This was very poorly advertised - that's why.  The dallas beer week website is simply awful when wanting to see events easily.  I'm a beer guy and I didn't even know that there was a festival planned for Saturday until this past Saturday.  And, I didn't know they were preselling tickets - I thought it was a "show up at the door" thing.   VERY poorly advertised.  If you want to know how to promote a beer event and have TONS of people show up, look at how Brew at the Zoo did things - that was the way to go.

I'm disappointed in Houston

NewsDog
NewsDog

How could this be? Dallas is a 'World class City' Or so Mayor Mike and the Dallas Citizens Council pre-approved politicians keep telling us. If this had been held in the Trinity River park on the solar powered water taxis it would have been a smashing success.

Amy
Amy

Brew Riot has been a successful craft and microbrew festival in the Bishop Arts District.  We started in the parking lot behind Eno's and grew to the street, first one block, then 2, and now 3...   Organic growth by demand is a much more sustainable model!  Brew Riot 2012 is May 20!  Mark your calendars!

therrick
therrick

Maybe they should do more to publicize it? This was the first I ever heard of it.

Steve
Steve

Further proof that Dallas is Douche-land.   Portland has 2-3 of these a MONTH.    But I agree that the line-up sucked.

ThreeOranges
ThreeOranges

Lack of publicity or coherent scheduling may have been a problem. I'd see certain bars talking about Dallas Beer Week, and was never aware that it even required tickets. I thought it was just a thing the bars all decided to do to drive traffic. 

Lee
Lee

This is why we can't have nice things.  The craft beer world keeps passing Dallas by like we're standing still.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

I'm no expert on beer festivals, but the whole distributed around-town-week-long thing is usually a sign of an old festival that's grown, not a new festival.  Should have started as a single-venue weekend event this year, then see if others got on board later.  Trying to grow too big, too fast.  Fail.

matt
matt

Who buys tix early for a beer event?  This sux

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Guest
Guest

Was it just my impression, or did the recent Brew at the Zoo event feature a better lineup? For real enthusiasts, that Beer Festival tap list wasn't all that. That's why I was hesitant to buy a ticket.

Douglas Jeff
Douglas Jeff

i'm not sure what this F-head is talking about. It's sad that a city as large as Dallas cannot have a successful craft beer festival..... Well maybe someday people around here will throw out their shit light beer and wake up and start drinking real beer.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Damn, I was looking forward to 31 sh&theads with no chest hair, and backward hats- expounding the greatness of Polish Shred........welp, maybe next year.  Hey guys, let's meet at  Duke's, and try to drag some of them 30+ hussies out!  TOLLWAY TRASH ROCKS!!!!

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Houston
Houston

Let me put it to you this way: TABC does not allow events to market as all-you-can-drink. I went to the Houston event and got as many samples as I wanted of some great beers.

Lee
Lee

The event was a benefit for Open the Taps.  This was not an event to make a profit.

Lee
Lee

Brew Riot is a competition between homebrewers. I wouldn't call it a craft festival.

Lee
Lee

Portland can do it because they don't have to deal with Texas' antiquated beer laws.  Hence why a benefit for Open the Taps is that more crucial.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

To be fair, the line-up for events like these often sucks because TABC can't get it's archaic head out of it's ass.

cp
cp

Minneapolis/St Paul seems to have one of these every few weeks too. 

ObserverFan
ObserverFan

Exactly! I had no idea tickets were required. I was interested in attending.

Amy
Amy

You should try Brew Riot in the Bishop Arts District in May each year.  Eno's sponsors.  It's awesome.

Lee
Lee

I'm pretty sure that demographic is highly dedicated to B.M.C.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

And we're talking about Dallas, not Houston, so your point is...

Allie
Allie

The only reason it didn't "fail" is because Houstons sucks and the most fun one can have there is to drink excessively.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

That "the whole distributed around-town-week-long thing" can actually work.

Ramon
Ramon

 Let's see... Houston sucks huh? All I remember about Dallas is driving through miles of suburban neighborhoods only to get to a cluster of convenience stores, then driving through miles of neighborhoods again. Your zoning sucks, therefore, Dallas sucks.

K-Man
K-Man

DALLAS SUCKS. There's your fail right there.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

It's a craft beer festival, not a drink-your-face-off adjunct lager festival. Methinks you might be missing the gist of the thing. And we'd love to have you down to Houston sometime to show you just what an awesome city we've got. Drinking good beer is just one of the many fun things we do here...  :)

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