Well, this past weekend I was giddy as I got ready to head down to Stone Sour Fest. I had a great time at the Oakquinox, and I love sour beers. Let me apologize in advance as this article doesn't really have any pictures.
To start, let's talk about Oakquinox shall we? It was sold out. I had to park across the street. There were a ton of people and it was pretty hot for April. Despite this, I had a blast. I stayed there for probably 6 hours, tried all sorts of stuff and ended up leaving wanting more samplers.
So needless to say, I was excited for Sourfest. Like Oakquinox, they had it divided into 4 lines. Draft A (at the bar), Bottles A (at the bar), Draft B and Draft C, both of which were tents out in the garden. The first thing I found when I came in, was that the line for Bottles was about 4x longer than at Oakquinox...all the way through the bar, out the patio, down the path and around the corner starting down the walkway into the garden! It was taking 20-40 minutes to get a pour of beer from this line. This isn't a problem until you realize that the bottle line had more beer than all 3 of the other lines combined. Why weren't they able to spread the beer out to the tents? No idea.
But all is not lost, there was some pretty interesting stuff in the tents. Tent C had a large selection of Lost Abbey beers on draft. By 1PM, every single one of these beers was out. At this point almost every beer on the list by Cantillon was out. In fact, it seemed like every time I asked someone what good beers they had, the fest was out of that beer. This is at a fest that was supposed to go until 7! So I was left sitting there, trying to plow through my tasters as fast as possible and rush back into the lines to get more beer before everything ran out.
Speaking of long lines, I have no idea how both this event and Oakquinox sold out, but this event had lines 2-3x longer in every section. Did Stone oversell this event? Was it just everyone else trying to rush the beers that were running out left and right? What pretty much sums it up is when Dr Bill yells "Once you get a beer, I recommend getting back in line!" No savoring beer here, folks.
In the end, I had 4-5 taster tickets left and I ended up using most of them just drinking Consecration. That's a great beer, in fact, better than any of the new beers I got to try at Sour Fest....but you can imagine paying $40 to get in and getting tasters of a beer I can buy at the local beer store is a bit disheartening.
In the end, my girlfriend and I left after about 2.5 hours, as we were bored and the ever dwindling beer lists were running out of options. I don't understand how they were out of more beers at 12:30PM than Oakquinox was out of at 6:00PM.
All in all, the first time I've ever left Stone disappointed. But it's going to be hard to motivate myself for another festival there if they're all going to be like this.