I recall that when I first started going to the OBF back in the early eighties, it seemed damn expensive. I was a young post-college kid, but still, it was more expensive than a pint at a pub (which was by turns more expensive than a half rack of Rainier pounders), which meant it was a specialty event.
But I noticed this year that I spent less on beer than I did on food. Admittedly, this is because I got an eight-token boost by virtue of my much-mocked media credentials, but let's say you cruise in with a 20-spot and you get a mug of beer for four, eleven tickets for beer, and save five bucks for something to eat later. Those eleven bucks would have purchased you about four bottles of beer* Given that you had to go our of your way to find a beer below 6% abv, you would have walked out in a pretty happy mood on those four bottles, spent a few hours by the river drinking beer and had lunch--all for $20. Not bad.
If the price of tokens had increased with inflation, you'd have spent $18.80 in tokens alone. (A dollar then is now worth $1.71.) Prices will probably go up at some point, but the fest was actually a pretty good value. At the International Beer Fest, by comparison, you probably would have spent more than twice as much for 11 pours (a single pour ranged from $1 to $4).
Just a random observation...
Were those 3-ounce pours or four? I split the difference in my calculation.