1. American Craft Beer Fest is this weekend in Boston, Mass. Join us for 640+ beers from 140+ brewers! Tickets for Friday, May 29 are still available. Cheers!

Official Great Taste of the Midwest Thread

Discussion in 'US - Great Lakes' started by Tnudish, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. This will be my first trip up for this..wondering if anyone has good tips for a noob? Ive endured my fair share of dark lord day and hoping that this is much better..thanks
    Chrixsus likes this.
  2. jegross2

    jegross2 Advocate (725) Illinois Jan 3, 2010

    Revolution's lineup is solid, but sad to see neither Gravedigger Billy or BA Baracus on the lineup. I've heard rev brew only has one keg of the BA Baracus left, but IIRC they have a few of the billy lying in their library...
  3. castvic

    castvic Disciple (55) Wisconsin Jul 13, 2010


    Things are looking good now but I feel like usually it rains right before so it can be a bit humid out so be prepared for that possibly. If it does rain before, make sure you bring some shoes you don't care about, it can get muddy and even a bit slippery at the entrance and something waterproof to sit on if you plan on sitting in the grass somewhere.

    Other than that have a good time, don't obsess over the limited release stuff too much like others have said. I've found a lot of gems in places I wasn't expecting. Talk to folks in line, people are friendly and you may hear about one of those gems somewhere (I missed Short's Carrot Cake beer last year and it still haunts me).
  4. nasty31

    nasty31 Savant (250) Indiana May 5, 2010

    First timer here as well...so Floyds has no times...all that stuff will be on till it kicks?
  5. No.. A lot of brewers don't post their timed releases in the program. They post them at their booth.

    You'll need to trek around the fest to get a lot of these times if they matter to you.

    Get ready for the biggest lines of the fest if you are planning on a lot of FFF, GI, and Surly timed special releases.
  6. Lansman

    Lansman Savant (420) Illinois Mar 19, 2011

    Don't forget BA Sodom, the FFF collab (on tap at 2011 Chicago Craft Beer Week Closing Party at Revolution).

    That's likely long gone at this point.
  7. jegross2

    jegross2 Advocate (725) Illinois Jan 3, 2010

    I liked it, didn't love it.
  8. maximum12

    maximum12 Champion (825) Minnesota Jan 21, 2008

    Bring a fold-up chair & set it up somewhere. Having a few minutes to sit down every hour or two, or when you grab something to eat, is a wonderful feeling. Or maybe I'm just old.

    Drink plenty of water. Then, drink plenty of water. We carry around a Nalgene all day to assure we always have water on us. Taking a swig every 45 minutes when you wash out your glass isn't enough.

    EAT! There's usually somewhere between good & decent food available. Have a good breakfast, something else right before you arrive, & pause sometime during the fest for another almost-meal.

    Pace yourself. You can't even try 5% of the beers, so don't try. I always end up standing in a big release line, not because it's necessarily better than the 10,000 other beers, but it's an excuse to NOT go grab another beer for 10 minutes & stand around & B.S.

    The pre-parties are awesome...don't get drunk Friday night & crash at 4AM. The fest won't be much fun that way.

    Love the Great Taste. Can't wait to get back!
    Duff27 and jegross2 like this.
  9. jegross2

    jegross2 Advocate (725) Illinois Jan 3, 2010

    Don't forget to bring a towel
    pk18 likes this.
  10. ravot

    ravot Savant (490) Illinois Mar 20, 2012

    can we bring in food and water?
  11. castvic

    castvic Disciple (55) Wisconsin Jul 13, 2010

    You can definitely bring in water. They have vending there and I'm not sure if they explicitly forbid food but I know they don't really check you all that thoroughly either. That being said I don't know if MHTG gets a cut of the vending and I'm all for doing what I can to keep them doing what they are doing. The food there is usually pretty good and not limited to things like just hot dogs and stuff. I know in the past they had like stuffed grape leaves, jerky, etc in addition to fried fare.
  12. castvic

    castvic Disciple (55) Wisconsin Jul 13, 2010

    actually from the FAQ:
  13. ravot

    ravot Savant (490) Illinois Mar 20, 2012

    thanks for the info. and thanks for the FAQ. vegetarian diet so i didn't want to stick with dogs and jerky heh. i figured i'd bring in my options. more than likely, fried pickles and cheese curds it is. mmmm vegetarian diet.

    you're right though, i'm down to supporting this to keep it going. was thinking more like snacks while waiting on line. a la DL with pretzels. and pretzels.
  14. Thanks all for the info..looking forward to this!!i noticed that some folks get in line very early to enter(~10am?)..is this really necessary or can I show up around 1230 and walk on in..Cheers!!
  15. Monsone

    Monsone Savant (360) Illinois Jun 5, 2006

    As with all things Floyd, the information is spotty at best and be prepared for stupid long lines and no idea what you will actually get when you get to the front of it. Think clusterfudgery.

    I stopped trying to get any FFF beers 2 years ago because of this.
  16. maximum12

    maximum12 Champion (825) Minnesota Jan 21, 2008

    Completely unnecessary. I suspect this is for people drinking before the fest, which really boggles my mind. Volunteers walk up & down the line taking tickets & giving out bracelets before the opening gun, so the line literally moves at a walk into the grounds. Amazingly well organized.
  17. jegross2

    jegross2 Advocate (725) Illinois Jan 3, 2010

    Cognac dl and ba moloko are major ISOs for me so I expect to waste 45+ mins over them
  18. Understand the Cognac.

    But if you go to FoBAB or other Chicago stuff, you should have a chance at BA Moloko in the future if the line frustrates you.
  19. What the fucking fuck that program beer list is mind blowing. I could camp outside GI, tasting 3 versions of BCBS I've never had before and be happy as possible. But I would miss out on Surly tapping Two, Three, Four and Five. Or FFF tapping their 09 DL. And thats just 3 breweries and theres so damn many there, how can you possibly fit any of that into one day. I need a day per brewery! AND I don't even have tickets!
  20. redblacks75

    redblacks75 Savant (440) Iowa Oct 29, 2010

    Water and food should be your friends. That is my only tip.
    jegross2, Chrixsus and thetomG like this.
  21. I plan on ticking root beer and craft soda all afternoon. Who's joining me?
  22. Chrixsus

    Chrixsus Savant (325) Illinois Dec 13, 2011

  23. Chrixsus

    Chrixsus Savant (325) Illinois Dec 13, 2011

    I'm in.
  24. BobCobb

    BobCobb Savant (380) Illinois Jul 10, 2012

    How much would any of you pay for 1 hour of unfettered, solo access to the fest? Assume all special tappings are on simultaneously. The only limiting factors are your tolerance and foot speed.

    I have a number in mind but want to see what others would put up for it.
    Chrixsus likes this.
  25. JmH

    JmH Aficionado (135) Illinois Jun 6, 2012

    does this unfettered access allow me to bring in a wheel barrel full of growlers??
  26. BobCobb

    BobCobb Savant (380) Illinois Jul 10, 2012

    No, that would be fettered.
    Duff27 likes this.
  27. castvic

    castvic Disciple (55) Wisconsin Jul 13, 2010

    Is this in addition to the normal ticket price or including the normal ticket price?
  28. Chrixsus

    Chrixsus Savant (325) Illinois Dec 13, 2011

    Greetings! I read your post on the Offical Great Taste of the Midwest Thread stating that you have (2) tickets for sale for $70 per ticket for this year's fest. I am interested in purchasing (1) of those tickets if it is still available.

    The ticket is for my brother, a fellow craft-beer champion. The two of us have been through hell-&-high-water in our quest to secure tickets to this beer festival of beer festivals. Our first attempt found us journeying from White Lake (near Kelly Lake about 3 hrs. north-east of Madison) through the heart of WI to Madison in May for the in-person tickets sales when the heavens opened and unleashed a torrential downpour upon us. When we arrived we were told by those in line that, to our dismay, we were were already too late to get tickets; we then cursed the gods whilst standing in the rain-soaked streets of Madison...:mad: Our only consolation was a side-trip to Tyranena...:D...and while that was most-righteous, our main goal was still unattained. But hope remained... I then tried my luck with the mail-in lottery for tickets to no avail, as the letter I included to send back my check should I not be chosen for tickets was returned to my abode...:confused: Over-excitement with an online purchase of tickets and not reading the fine-print led me to foolishly believe I was paying $130 for (3) tickets, but then the envelope arrived from the seller with only one ticket inside. Again, much cursing was done and tears were shed...:eek: It would mean a lot to my brother and I to be able to experience our first Great Taste together, and our trials-&-tribulations thus far in our quest for tickets have without a doubt proven us worthy.

    I will be in Madison Sat. around 9 AM and can meet you wherever is most convenient for you. I look forward to hearing back from you.
  29. Chrixsus

    Chrixsus Savant (325) Illinois Dec 13, 2011

    Interested in (1) ticket...will be in Madison Sat. about 9 AM. Can meet anywhere.
  30. Chrixsus

    Chrixsus Savant (325) Illinois Dec 13, 2011


    (Cost includes: the joy of not having to wait in an insanley long line, the guarantee of actually getting a sample of the special tappings, the relief of not feeling as though one has missed anything, the freedom of being able to explore the festival grounds and sample the wares of more obscure breweries now that the major ones have been checked-off your list, the satisfaction of watching everyone else wait in an insanely long line...:cool:)
  31. beerbelly

    beerbelly Aficionado (110) Illinois Dec 30, 2005

    So, how early should one get there to try and get a ticket for the fest?
  32. airmike

    airmike Aficionado (185) Iowa Apr 12, 2011

    Show up Friday Night at one of the pre-parties and you'll have a good chance of finding an extra ticket or two. I've also seen them being scalped out front of the venue right up until gates open. You're more likely to pay face value if you find one at a pre-party (thanks to the beer community) vs. the gate.
  33. jverdo1

    jverdo1 Aficionado (155) Illinois Apr 5, 2012

    Sometime between 11:00 and 12:00 - only the very dedicated individuals actually get in line before 11:00...
    Any year that I needed a ticket(s) I would show-up on the grounds around 11:30.
  34. jverdo1

    jverdo1 Aficionado (155) Illinois Apr 5, 2012

    I find it interesting that you would mention this because there is a want by the city of Madison to expand the festival into multiple days. It has been suggested that a special event occur on Thursday or Friday night at Monona Terrace. It would be a high dollar, limited ticket event that offered only special beers from any of the breweries attending the festival. Denver does it, so I don't understand why it wouldn't work here also...
    Chrixsus likes this.
  35. Mjmoser

    Mjmoser Savant (420) Illinois May 6, 2012

    Another noobs question, but are full pint pours available too? If we wanted to grab a bite to eat and enjoy more than a 2 oz taster is that possible?
  36. Monsone

    Monsone Savant (360) Illinois Jun 5, 2006

    No (in theory). Right in the program they say the brewers are instructed to not give full pours and to not ask for them. That said, have I had a brewery fill me right up to the top? Yes.
  37. $200-300 is what I would expect and be willing to pay.

    I would love for a scenario like this. BobCobb's suggestion is an unrealistic fantasy, but Jverdo's post is much more likely. The price I put remains unchanged in this scenario and would be fantastic. I would hope it wouldn't be just 1 hour, at least 2 or 3, and maybe 100 tickets sold. Even if it was limited to just a few ounces and 1 pour per person of every beer, it would be amazing.

    I think the best part of this would be that it would really open up the main event to being able to sample the lesser known breweries that would otherwise be overlooked. I have never been to GTotMW but I imagine (this year probably more than others) that there will be huge, long lines for the big breweries special tappings and many obscure breweries completely ignored, which is really sad. But when you have 1 day, and special, CRAZY UNBELIEVABLE tappings pretty much nonstop, you just don't have much time for the small guys.
  38. I haven't found that to be the case. It certainly wasn't last year. Breweries that don't bring anything of consequence (just their everyday offerings) or that have crappy beer tend to get ignored. But it seems like outside of a few big, big name special tappings (i.e. Dark Lord insane line) people seemed pretty spread out.
  39. I don't know what the lineup was like last year, and the craft beer scene was still big then, but its even bigger now. This year, between Goose Island, FFF and Surly I wouldn't have a spare second after getting in line early as hell and waiting there hours for every tap
  40. I walked up to Surly around 5 last year (granted it was raining hard) and had no wait. None. Their special tapping and regular side were empty. So I had a glass of Darkness and chatted them up a minute and then tried two of their anniversary ales. I don't think the craft beer scene has changed that much in the past year that interactions like that won't happen again this year. BTW, there are plenty of casuals there who don't care/know about the breweries. They just wanna drink a ton of beer.