For one admission ticket, $6 advance / $8 at the gate, visitors received two small samples from each brewery. The last minute change of venue to this state-owned property caused a few undesirable events. Brewers could not pour their own beers nor could volunteers help pour. Only the uninformed and short-handed fairgrounds staff were allowed to serve the beers. The contract security guards would not let people in without an ID. This caused more that a few senior citizens to leave in disgust and quite a few families with toddlers in strollers to be denied admission. Protecting the state's interests were agents from the state ABC attending the weekend event on the taxpayer's tab.
The two day event lasted from 3 to 9 PM on Friday and 1 to 9 PM on Saturday. This was plenty of time to take in the music and sample the quality beers. When you finished your allotted samples you could then purchase 16 to 18 ounce tastes for $ 3. Things look good for both next year's event as well as a possible Fall festival. By then a more suitable location can be arranged and maybe even the state legislature persuaded to allow brewpubs to have the same freedom to hold off-site tasting events that the state's wine industry enjoys.
Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - May, 1996