EBF 2014: Tell us all about it

Discussion in 'New England' started by tobelerone, Mar 22, 2014.

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  1. tobelerone

    tobelerone Poo-Bah (2,174) Dec 1, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Waking up early to drive up from Connecticut for tomorrow's afternoon session. Tonight is in the bag. Would love to hear what people thought, how their experience went, and what their favorites were, as well as those that may have fallen short of the mark. Pretty excited for tomorrow!
    GuitarIPA and monkeymagic72 like this.
  2. BobCobb

    BobCobb Disciple (304) Jul 10, 2012 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    Hopefully get some feedback once people sober up in the morning. Seems like anymore you can get a 1,000 posts leading up to an event but nothing during or after unless it was a shitshow.
    jrnyc likes this.
  3. HighLowJack

    HighLowJack Disciple (356) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I'll start with the negative: signage. Me and a bunch of other guys had no idea how to find the place. WTC is a big place and we had literally no idea where to go. I walked through the building, went downstairs, found the room... And was told I was at the backdoor. Was then given directions for how to get to the front door which was a ways away. And there were lots of people like me.

    Otherwise was a great event. Not too crowded at all. Very reasonable lines. The longest one I waited in was treehouse because everyone was waiting for juice machine. Even the tg and funky Buddha lines much faster. Almost everything else was a nominal wait. I got all four cascade beers with literally no wait. Good grilled cheese. Lots of water. Good security. Well run entrance. Nice people. And of course amazing beers. The one thing on my list that kicked before I got there was chocolate rain but no biggie. Oh and crooked stave kicked 100% pretty early. I think my favorite beer all night was vanilla bean night to end all dawns... But I had lots of amazing beers.

    Just put up some signs :wink:
    #3 HighLowJack, Mar 22, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
  4. Rons35

    Rons35 Initiate (0) Aug 26, 2012 Michigan

    I totally agree on the signage. It was a lot of walking in the cold to figure out where the heck we needed to be.

    The event went pretty smooth. As said before, any long line moved pretty quick. My only 2 complaints would be that it was sometimes difficult to move around because of the lines, and some of the breweries shutdown real early. Other than that, I had a great time. Chocolate rain was amazing! As well as many others
  5. jlordi12

    jlordi12 Devotee (425) Jun 8, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    where do you need to be?
  6. CassinoNorth

    CassinoNorth Disciple (308) Apr 5, 2013 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I'm so jealous you got to try that, it sounds incredible since ANTEAD by itself is a fantastic BA stout.
    Zimm likes this.
  7. Rons35

    Rons35 Initiate (0) Aug 26, 2012 Michigan

    The line ended up being on the street level entrance, but around the corner, along the water. Now being at all familiar with the area, it was pretty confusing. If someone else is familiar with the area they can help you out better than a dude in from Detroit trying to figure it out lol
  8. Tschnab

    Tschnab Defender (640) Aug 21, 2010 New York

    I had a great time. Tons of awesome beers, got to try most of my must haves. The only 2 on my list that kicked before I got them was Boulevard Foedar Projekt and Night Shift Funkd Citra. My faves of the night were the two goses from funky buddah and cigar city as well as Night Shift Smokeshow and the Half Acre Gin-barrel pony pils. Oh and Sierra Nevada had beer snowcones which was pretty cool.
    robNSB and GuitarIPA like this.
  9. UncleJimbo

    UncleJimbo Site Editor (3,586) Sep 11, 2002 Massachusetts
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Here are GPS coordinates of where you enter the fest (street level, not upper level). The line will wrap around and along the building to the Northeast.


    Copy and paste the coordinates into Google Maps or your navigation app.
    duceswild and alexk307 like this.
  10. HighLowJack

    HighLowJack Disciple (356) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    there are so many volunteers, you should just have a couple posted around the area pointing people in the right direction. just being honest, there were whole groups of people walking around with no idea at all where to go. but just some volunteers at the main WTC entrance (which is not at all where the line is) and a couple spots like that would have 100% alleviated the problem
    jrnyc likes this.
  11. rjp217

    rjp217 Meyvn (1,165) Apr 24, 2012 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I thought it was an excellent run event. Lines were minimal which was probably the most important aspect to me. Toppling Goliath and Funky Buddha had the longest lines but they were flying through pours so you could make it from back to front in less than 5 mins. Everything else seemed wide open. My only disappointment was about an hour into it I made it over to Crooked Stave and they were completely out of beer. Seemed strange to me. Other than that we had a great time, talked to a bunch of cool people and had awesome beer!
  12. SawDog505

    SawDog505 Poo-Bah (2,943) Apr 9, 2010 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    I liked it more, the last three years. For me bigger wasn't better. I thought lines were excessive and hard to get around.Great beer and wonderful people. Double Daisy Cutter was amazing and Avery Tweak once again blew me away. Surprises were Troeg's Scratch Beer 83 and Ithica Zuul. Let downs probably because having way to high of expectations Chocolate Rain and Parabajava.
  13. Todd

    Todd Founder (5,475) Aug 23, 1996 California

    Thanks for the feedback on the signage/entry. We've made adjustments for sessions B & C and now have people stationed at key locations in front of the main entrance of the convention hall.
  14. MenardMa

    MenardMa Devotee (419) Feb 6, 2011 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    did you have to walk like a half mile around the building like the acbf entry last year?
  15. HighLowJack

    HighLowJack Disciple (356) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    cool stuff. new venue so not everything expected to go perfect but it's great you guys listen to and use feedback
    jrnyc and Providence like this.
  16. HighLowJack

    HighLowJack Disciple (356) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    yeah, I asked and they said it would be in their tasting room at some point soon, but it would go no further than that
    CassinoNorth likes this.
  17. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Sadly I won't be at any of the weekend's events, but I just want to say that I think it's great that you're making adjustments in "real time" to mitigate issues others experienced.
    Rhf9120, LeRose, jrnyc and 2 others like this.
  18. tobelerone

    tobelerone Poo-Bah (2,174) Dec 1, 2010 New York
    Beer Trader

    Thanks for the adjustments Todd, we ambled up and staff pointed us in the right direction immediately. T minus twelve minutes!
    jrnyc likes this.
  19. Auror

    Auror Defender (644) Jan 1, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    The line doesn't get as long, so you can just go straight to the ride side of the building and walk past the established line.


    Overall the fest was incredible. Legendary lineup. I missed things and I didn't even care because I had forgotten about them due to the sheer number of awesome things I wanted to try. Someone mentioned Crooked Stave and they were the 1 exception that I realized I had forgotten and really wanted, so I sprinted down and of course they were out. They definitely had the least beer (and I was told a similar amount was allocated for each session). If I were you, I'd go there quickly if you want to hit it. They're in the back left corner.

    Pleasant Surprise of the fest- Due South. The orange creamsicle beer was perfect (imho, other untappd check-ins less kind).

    Toppling Goliath lived up to the hype, and very glad they had King Sue.

    Look out for Bo & Luke variants (i think there will be a different one per session, A had the vanilla bean, which tasted like they dropped a vanilla bean into each glass)

    Funky Buddha and Cigar City had strong showings. Love bringing people to FB's booth who have no idea who they are and watching their expressions when smelling No Crusts or French Toast.

    Revolution Straitjacket was probably the best BA barleywine I had at the fest and didn't get much pub about being here.

    Avery Tweak was pretty incredible.

    Lost Abbey Spontaneous Cheer was praised by everyone, and was the favorite beer of the fest for a few people.

    Tree House Double Shot was better than Juice Machine, IMO.

    Dark Horse's bacon beer (something about little piggy) was delicious smelling. Not just smoke, actual bacon.
  20. iatethecloudsfor

    iatethecloudsfor Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2012 Vermont
    Beer Trader

    Did tg have morning delight and did it not run out? I'm amazed this beer was being poured
  21. Auror

    Auror Defender (644) Jan 1, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    It ran out at some point, but they had 3 other good/desired beers, so they all lasted a decent amount of time. I'm not sure when it did run out (I got it right away), maybe someone else can chime in.
  22. HighLowJack

    HighLowJack Disciple (356) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I got it very early, but I heard it lasted a good while. like at least the first hour or so? it was the first beer I drank and I didn't get back in the TG line again until the very very end
  23. hikeeba

    hikeeba Initiate (0) Oct 11, 2013 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    Overall - a great time was had by all. Started with Morning Delight and pretty much tried everything on my list. However, I was extremely disappointed with Firestone Walker - they had only two selections: Agrestic and Velvet Merkin. (Said the Parabajava ran out last night.) I know all beers are subject to change, but to plan 5 offerings and then have only 2 at the second session is just irresponsible. So, FW gets a wag of the finger.
    But this was just a minor thing compared to the whole event. Funky Buddha, Tree House, TG etc were outstanding. The No Crusts was the biggest surprise to me - and one my favorites of the day.
    MenardMa, blckout20 and Rochefort10nh like this.
  24. jiggad369

    jiggad369 Initiate (181) Aug 11, 2011 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    So many good things to try that you shouldn't be disappointed by any means.

    If you are, go live on another planet.
    Jason likes this.
  25. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,110) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    Wow. Epic event. Usually I end up dumpkng a handful of beers at events, but at this one, dumps were almost non existent. Amazing beers left and right. Toppling Golaith's Sosus stole the show for me.
    Jason likes this.
  26. ShogoKawada

    ShogoKawada Meyvn (1,247) May 31, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Well done!

    Loved the extra space and elbow room. Loved the multiple bathrooms. Loved the crazy beers and fast-moving lines. Loved the friendly volunteers. Loved the merch (including glassware!!!!). Walked out with a tasting snifter, t-shirt and hat.

    Complaints (although minuscule) :

    If a brewer doesn't bring enough beer to pour through even half way into the session, it's a bummer.

    However I'm just being a stick in the mud. I had more than enough great beer up through last call. 5 EBFs in a row and this one was up there as one of, if not the best I've been to.
    duceswild and jlordi12 like this.
  27. Mikeluzzjr

    Mikeluzzjr Devotee (462) Apr 26, 2012 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I can't deny that I tried a ton of awesome beers, but I have to agree that it was pretty frustrating to see beers run out so quickly. Cascade seemed to never have a line at any point yet they were completely spent pretty early. Everything kicked at Stone even though everyone claimed half their beers were undrinkable. Waited in lin way too long for toppling Goliath to find King Sue gone. Both Off Color beers were gone when I went to 12%. I chose the Friday session because people told me to go with the earliest option because a lot of things run out before the later sessions. Apparently that really no longer applies. And what was up with Firestone listing 6 beers coming and having 2!? Boo hoo's aside, hats off to Funky Buddha for having awesome beer, last minute updating the forums, and barely running out of beer throughout despite always having a huge line. Also, Carton was an excellent surprise.
    Ristaccia and dar482 like this.
  28. jlordi12

    jlordi12 Devotee (425) Jun 8, 2011 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    The fest was incredible. Sojo @ NERAX by nightshift was my favorite beer of the night. Regular coffee by carton, both no crusts and French toast were high on the list. My wife is hugging the toilet so apparently she enjoyed I too! (Not ready for the onslaught of abv)
    #28 jlordi12, Mar 23, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
    Ericness, robNSB, MenardMa and 2 others like this.
  29. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,110) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    I went to the Nerax booth to try flower power, but it was gone so I had Sojo instead and it was so terrific that I was almost thankful FP had kicked.

    Favorite of the night for me was Sosus from Toppling Goliath. And their Mornin Delight put all other coffee beers to shame.
  30. MattVC

    MattVC Initiate (134) Aug 21, 2012 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Echoing all the statements here. Both Crooked Stave and Forestone Walker were disappointments. CS apparently barely brought enough beer for 1 hour per session. FW about the same and they were pretty rude as well. Sad.

    But if that's all the negative I can muster up then it must have been a great Fest, which it was. Lines were very manageable. Beer was top notch. Loved Double Daisy Cutter, NEBCO Coriolis, everything from Funky Buddha but Last Snow in particular. Great time! Thanks BA.
  31. Gmr75

    Gmr75 Aspirant (248) Apr 30, 2002 Connecticut
    Industry Beer Trader

    The biggest bummer about Crooked Stave is they seem psyched at the 40min in mark when they were out of the beer - raising their arms in celebrating that they brought way too little beer. (saturday session - I was standing at the table when the last bottle was gone,it was 41min. into the session). Really the only disappointment for me of the fest (I didn't bother with FW). Toppling Goliath was the highlight for me - damn those were good beers. Waited in that line several times.
  32. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    So... much... great... beer...

    Yeah, it's always a bummer when breweries bring way too little beer, but there were just so many amazing options yesterday that I didn't feel like it mattered one bit. You could only drink a fraction of the beers there anyway, and the overall quality was consistently high.

    Plus for every beer that kicked early it seemed like some other brewery made up for it with awesome things that weren't even on the list. Like Sam Adams sneaking out that keg of Utopias...

    As for the venue - EBF definitely lost the intimate charm of the Cyclorama, but the benefits of that larger space are just too much to pass up. More breweries, more bathrooms, more elbow room. It would be cool to keep Belgian at the Cyclorama but I feel like Extreme has found a new home.

    What was up with the port a pottys and having to walk back around to the front of the building to get back in? At ACBF you just go in and out the side there. It pretty much made it quicker to just wait in line at the inside bathrooms instead of walking around half the building like that.
  33. HevvyMetalHippie

    HevvyMetalHippie Initiate (0) Nov 16, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Easily one of the best festivals I've been to. Loved the larger venue and less ticket count. Everyone was chill, minimal drain pours/dumps. Still heard some butthurt but whatever, I thought it was awesome.
  34. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Zealot (520) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Glad we weren't the only ones that thought the FW booth were kinda jerks. Great fest, drank a lot of TG Sue, which beat the pants off Juice Machine. The funky Buddha line was nuts all afternoon, but did one time through for some French Toast and No Crusts. The walk all the way around the building was weird, but once inside it was a perfectly sized venue. And for anyone at the afternoon session, did the crying girl by the bathroom ever find her phone? One of the high/low lights of the fest.
    JAramini likes this.
  35. Shaymus

    Shaymus Defender (643) May 16, 2009 Massachusetts
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Tree House Double Shot was my favorite pour....also enjoyed DFH/Brothers Stalactite.
    Can't say I had a bad beer.....Great Event!!
    jomobono likes this.
  36. Dave_Treat

    Dave_Treat Meyvn (1,054) Jun 23, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    The fest was awesome. Well run, from ticketing, to getting in, to fast lines, to great beer. Have some new favorites, like Parabajava, ANTEAD Vanilla, and king sue. People were great, staff was awesome. Loved it!
    MenardMa likes this.
  37. johnnnniee

    johnnnniee Poo-Bah (5,757) Feb 28, 2007 New Hampshire
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    FW seems to have some kind of issue at every ebf, perhaps they should not be invited back!
  38. StoutKeith

    StoutKeith Disciple (365) Jan 27, 2005 Massachusetts
    Premium Member

    The fest was well run. Pre-scanning tickets and ID checking outside helped the line move well. The World Trade Center is quieter than the brick surfaced cyclorama. The downside was I ran into fewer people than usual with the larger space. I was lucky to get to Crooked Stave early.

    Some suggestions to consider for the future:
    Have small chest height tables like at the cyclorama. It's tough to write notes without them. You could keep them away from the long lined booths such as Funky Buddha.

    One thing I like about the earlier EBF's was when there was an area to the left as you entered that had a bunch of chairs for the open admission forums. Some people liked the chairs to rest a bit, others used them to stow their coats. Something like that would be helpful to future fests.

    Have brewers commit to some kind of minimum stocking. I'm not saying they have to have thousands of gallons of blockbusters.

    As a safety issue, put some traffic cones or something by the traffic gate. I and another guy were hit by it when it came down after a woman driving a small SUV passed by. If there's not going to be any legitimate vehicle traffic how about putting up a wooden barricade at the start of the line?
  39. Cherries

    Cherries Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2014 Massachusetts

    EBF was amazing!! Kudos to everyone for such a smoothly run event---fantastic having a chance to interact with the BA staff, industry reps, and attendees. I was there volunteering for most of it and wanted to share a few observations/suggestions, for whatever they're worth:

    1) Agree the lines were going quickly, even for the more popular booths like FB & Toppling Goliath. Chatted with an attendee who suggested EBF should have volunteers pour like they do for other fests like GABF so lines go even faster. As many are already aware, BA philosophy is that volunteers don't pour at EBF to ensure attendees have the chance to interact with the industry reps (even if in some cases it does slow down the line--you get rare chances to meet the people behind your favorite beers; personally, that's a huge reason for going to EBF and I'm glad BA does it that way). There are also some liability reasons to have it work that way--makes sense especially with the strong beers. Each vendor gets a generous number of reps they can bring so some of the ones with more traffic (can't always plan ahead for that, I guess), should try to have more hands on deck.

    2) Glad adjustments were made with having staff stationed outside to help direct attendees--there still seemed to be the issue of having people walk all the way around the building rather than the shorter way (especially with how windy it was yesterday, received a few complaints on that, although none during the third session so that might have been resolved). Not sure how to prevent this, but when you exit the Silver Line and go through the upper walkway, you seem to end up at the back side of the event hall--not sure if we can have a better way of directing folks in the future. (This might have been resolved after the first night--if so, you can disregard comment.) Re: port-a-potty-related walking around the building issue, I'm guessing security concerns may have been a factor. I thought on the first night that folks were coming in the same way they went out, but things might have been different on Saturday.

    3) Really applaud the management for making adjustments to how the volunteers were trained on the second day to ensure that everyone was more visibly on task.

    4) Something I think might help for next time is providing volunteers with a map (like the floor plan photocopy I saw floating around at some point with the vendors identified) that has key things drawn on it--where the recycling points are, where the water sources/dump points are, where the ATM is, etc. I think everyone did eventually figure out where things were, but this might help prevent misinformation and also help volunteers be more helpful to attendees who have questions. (Happy to help make a prototype if anyone is interested--just email me the floor plan file.)

    5) There were lots of people who wanted to use credit cards to pay at the merch booth. They were told about the ATM nearby, but might be worth testing something like Square at a future event to track transactions. Also on merch, selling pens is a brilliant idea! Maybe consider doing ones with BA logos in the future? Would be a fun (and really useful) souvenir. I've worked with 4imprint.com in the past on this sort of thing--they do a pretty good job at competitive prices.

    Overall, an incredibly fun, educational and well-managed event! Thank you!
  40. Wolfe

    Wolfe Initiate (0) Feb 2, 2013 New Jersey

    Another great festival by BA. I always appreciate how they have everyone carded, banded, and scanned when the doors open. Max time to enjoy the beer.

    Didn't have any line issues, even getting a few go-arounds in the FB. Just picked up another beer to enjoy while in the line. French Toast and No Crusts truly are unique beers, well worth it. Faves were probably Sue from TG and Night to End All Dawns from Kane, but I didn't really have a bad beer all night. Really enjoyed how happy everyone was at the booths too, talking about the beers and having fun. SV bringing snow cones was great.
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