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Friday, July 19, 2013

Oregon Brewers Festival Reducing Pour Sizes

Niki Ganong (probably more well-known to beery types as Suds Sister) noticed a disturbing change in this year's OBF: pour sizes are smaller:
For $7, you will now be buying a 12.8 oz. glass (down from 14 last year), which can be filled for four tokens.  The one token taster size is now three ounces instead of four. 
Look: inflation is real.  This pricing scheme has been in place at least since 1991--my first fest.  If organizer Art Larrance had kept the price consistent with inflation, we'd now be paying $1.71 for each token.  At those early fests, people knew they were paying a premium to get a pour at OBF--you could easily walk a block to a pub and find a cheaper pint of beer.  We were willing to pay that premium because we had access to beer we'd never seen before.  The price for a pint of beer at the fest last year was equivalent to $4--below the average price you'd pay a pub.  I have no problem with the Fest raising prices; indeed, I've been shocked to see, year after year, that they haven't gone up.

This is a really bad solution, though.  The result is almost certainly going to be longer lines--which was already the Fest's biggest problem.  If you reduce the amount of a pour, you reduce the amount of time people can stand and sip, share, and chat with friends, and the more time people will be forced into long lines.  I get that the fest wanted to maintain the elegance of the buck-a-token system.  Fine.  Charge a five-dollar, one-time entry fee.  That's more transparent, addresses the money issue without adding to the lines, and preserves the token pricing. 

Brace yourself, this year is going to be an interesting experiment.
No more plastic cups.  For $7, you will now be buying a 12.8 oz. glass (down from 14 oz. last year), which can be filled for four tokens.  The one token taster size is now three ounces instead of four.  The shorter taster pour is the result of new OLCC rules that apply to all beer festivals in the state.  The law does allow for full pours at beer festivals to be up to 16 ounces, so you can blame the OBF itself for the full glass shorting. - See more at: http://portlandfoodanddrink.com/big-changes-are-afoot-for-this-years-26th-annual-oregon-brewers-festival/#sthash.T96GSHqD.dpuf
eer festivals in the state.  The law does allow for full pours at beer festivals to be up to 16 ounces, so you can blame the O - See more at: http://portlandfoodanddrink.com/big-changes-are-afoot-for-this-years-26th-annual-oregon-brewers-festival/#sthash.T96GSHqD.dpuf
No more plastic cups.  For $7, you will now be buying a 12.8 oz. glass (down from 14 oz. last year), which can be filled for four tokens.  The one token taster size is now three ounces instead of four.  The shorter taster pour is the result of new OLCC rules that apply to all beer festivals in the state.  The law does allow for full pours at beer festivals to be up to 16 ounces, so you can blame the OBF itself for the full glass shorting. - See more at: http://portlandfoodanddrink.com/big-changes-are-afoot-for-this-years-26th-annual-oregon-brewers-festival/#sthash.T96GSHqD.dpuf
No more plastic cups.  For $7, you will now be buying a 12.8 oz. glass (down from 14 oz. last year), which can be filled for four tokens.  The one token taster size is now three ounces instead of four.  The shorter taster pour is the result of new OLCC rules that apply to all beer festivals in the state.  The law does allow for full pours at beer festivals to be up to 16 ounces, so you can blame the OBF itself for the full glass shorting. - See more at: http://portlandfoodanddrink.com/big-changes-are-afoot-for-this-years-26th-annual-oregon-brewers-festival/#sthash.T96GSHqD.dpuf

6 comments:

Pete Dunlop said...

A lot of good points here. I do not think a $5 dollar entry fee is the solution. We are already paying a defacto entry fee for the glass. I'm also not sure about longer lines. It seems to me the more likely result of this move will be more 4 token fills, which may actually help reduce lines. A taste used to be a better deal than a full pour. Now that a 3 oz pour is $1 and a 12 oz pour is $4, the per ounce cost is the same. The result: More full pours this year.

I'll have something to say about pour sizes over the years and some comments from Art on my blog.

Matthew DiTullo said...

I'd much rather drink 3oz out of glass over 4oz out of plastic.

Kris said...

I'm with you, Matthew

Ron Pattinson said...

Small glass sizes are my biggest gripe about geek beer festivals. I'm seriosly considering taking my ow2n imperial pint glass to Borefts this year.

Anonymous said...

The biggest loss this year is the Buzz tent....This fest has went from a fun 2 day meet up with friends to a 3 hour- brunch, parade, say hi and get out...its too bad.

Anonymous said...

First of all there is no change in the oz of the glass Vs. mug (they are not filled to the lip). Second, if you are dopey enough to get a full pour at the cost of four tokens (a full pour is actually only three tasters)then you deserve to pay more for the beer and get out of the line for the rest of us.

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