Great Taste of the Midwest

Discussion in 'Great Lakes' started by sahd-1, May 6, 2018.

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  1. sahd-1

    sahd-1 Savant (1,143) Jul 2, 2013 Illinois

    Has the luster of this festival worn off or are Wisconsinites just trying to keep the demand for tickets to this event under wraps?
    dirtylou likes this.
  2. Bbear

    Bbear Zealot (697) Oct 26, 2016 Illinois

    I've always wanted to go. Saw that tickets are mostly for sale onsite in Madison. People can send mail orders, but it reads that it's a lottery.

    Is this always how it's been?
  3. Hoprider

    Hoprider Initiate (0) Feb 1, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I didn't look into it for this year, but in the past it has always been half mail in lottery that must be mailed on a specific date only and half in person sales at specific locations in Madison.

    I been to three, always a quality event but a hard ticket to get.
    eppie82 likes this.
  4. Dactrius

    Dactrius Pooh-Bah (2,427) Apr 23, 2012 Netherlands Antilles
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    It seems like this year demand was actually down in some ways since most spots still had tickets available when they handed out wristbands. That said, the quantity of campers was actually higher. Basically it seems like way more people camped overnight and got there earlier and very few people showed up early morning.
  5. ddskos

    ddskos Zealot (605) Apr 28, 2008 Illinois

    Always been easy to get tickets day of the event. People are always selling extras at cost. A great event. Been going for only five years, so a relative newbie to Great Taste, but in my opinion well worth it.
  6. Wowzors

    Wowzors Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2015 Illinois

    Going for the first time this year very excited. Not really sure what to expect.
  7. SrMonkey

    SrMonkey Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2008 Wisconsin

    ticket availability varies with location, but place I was at still had wrist bands at noon, which I can't recall happening. Does seem like the luster has worn off a bit - seemingly longer lines for special releases, longer lines in general, fewer hidden gems. some brewers not bringing the big guns or releasing them great taste eve. past few years eve has been great.

    Then again I've talked to folks who hated what it had become a decade ago. Gonna go back to yelling at clouds.
  8. Dactrius

    Dactrius Pooh-Bah (2,427) Apr 23, 2012 Netherlands Antilles
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    It's possible all the tents scared off the less die hard folks from even getting in line. If you swung by Vintage on Saturday and saw 30 tents you might decide it's not even worth trying. Similarly, we were physically way farther back at Junction than we've ever been before and well past where the "cutoff" would've been in years past but due to tents taking up more space and the extra tickets at the location due to the Monroe construction we were more than fine from a time perspective.

    It's definitely happened before (during my time going) that tickets were still available at noon at one of the locations while others were sold out many hours before.

    That said, I do think it's super lame that some breweries bring more heat for the eve than the actual event.
  9. jimmyfishkin

    jimmyfishkin Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2008 Wisconsin

    It's not super difficult to get tickets after the fact so I usually forgo the waiting in line event. That being said I am going to try the mail-in lottery for the first time this year.
    eppie82 likes this.
  10. eppie82

    eppie82 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,291) Apr 19, 2015 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    I’ve never attempted to go to this event, but I’ll try the mail-in lottery system this year and see how it works out. Will be sending items today. Pretty small amount of effort on my part so no biggie either way (if I get tickets or not).
  11. FleskBrewFan

    FleskBrewFan Zealot (612) Aug 4, 2016 Illinois

    I went for the first time last year, and it was a good time.

    Plenty of gems that you don't have to wait in line for. Hailstorm brought all the vlads and Rev had their entire barrel program. Neither had lines. Probably had four pours of deth by cherries, so tasty.
    CMLinder, sonoma01 and bdom25 like this.
  12. jlsims04

    jlsims04 Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2013 Illinois

    Awesome event but the way they do tickets is a hassle.
    mgretz1 likes this.
  13. Ace99890

    Ace99890 Initiate (0) Dec 3, 2013 Illinois

    This is the first year our group passed on going up for tickets...we learned that usually Friday night ends up being better than the fest itself and you can always find face value tickets day of...decided to to Friday night instead and NG sat for the inevitable RD release and back for a pool side bottle share
    kfeavel and jimmyfishkin like this.
  14. Dactrius

    Dactrius Pooh-Bah (2,427) Apr 23, 2012 Netherlands Antilles
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    I feel like the quality of beer at the festival itself has increased quite a bit over the past 10 years. The quantity of whales doesn't seemed to have increased and may have even decreased ever so slightly (and for many people that's all they care about) but the quality of those non-whales has increased significantly. I almost never get a truly bad beer at GTMW anymore and that most definitely didn't use to be the case. Maybe that's just a sign of how brewing has improved over the years and doesn't relate completely to the festival but whatever the reason it's nice.

    The crowd is very different from something like DLD which I really enjoy. It's not just the hard core beer geeks but lots of folks who've been going for years and just enjoy good beer and have never even bought "beyond the counter" type beer. Just because most of us here don't care much about KBS being on tap there are tons of people who are very, very excited to get it. You've got plenty of people camping out for tickets who wouldn't even consider waiting an hour in line for bottles of any beer.

    Personally I like the way they do tickets and have no real complaints other than how long it takes them to go through the line after noon at some locations (Junction was reasonable this year but some other locations were really slow). If you're dedicated and wait in line you're guaranteed tickets and it's certainly easier for "locals" to wait in line which rewards locals. Lines seem pretty well managed and cutters are a minor problem but not as big of a problem as other releases. The lottery works well IMO and takes a bit more thought/effort than other random "sign up your email" type lotteries which I think cuts down on people just entering all their relatives like they do at other beer releases.
  15. Wowzors

    Wowzors Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2015 Illinois

    I booked the Sheraton next to Olin Park, anyone with knowledge of the area know if it is as walkable as google maps shows it being?
  16. Dactrius

    Dactrius Pooh-Bah (2,427) Apr 23, 2012 Netherlands Antilles
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Yes, it doesn't get much more convenient than that hotel.
    CMLinder likes this.
  17. Wowzors

    Wowzors Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2015 Illinois

    Fantastic! I was hoping I wasn't being duped.
  18. SudsSavant

    SudsSavant Pundit (862) Jan 9, 2007 Minnesota

    Agreed. If you try to get there by any other method than walking you're likely to end walking further just to get a ride and still end up just as close as you were when you started.
  19. macewank

    macewank Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2010 Illinois

    I think the big thing with tickets this year is that rain was solidly in the forecast overnight, so the folks who lined up brought tents. This was our 4th year lining up at Vintage and I've brought a mega tent 3 of those years for the 3-4 of us that go up (this year we were in the very back by the van.. if we drank together, hi!). There were way more tents, that were way bigger, than any other year we've gone. Farther back than we've ever been, but we were 126-128 so we were actually ahead of where we had been in line previous years.
  20. kylenabilcy

    kylenabilcy Devotee (399) Aug 10, 2010 Wisconsin


    Since no one directly answered you, correct, this is not a change from past practice.
    Bbear likes this.
  21. eppie82

    eppie82 Grand Pooh-Bah (3,291) Apr 19, 2015 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    How does a person get notified if they 'won' by mail-in route? Do you get tickets back in the mail after X amount of time? If you don't win, do you get some way of being notified of this? Never tried for GTMW tickets so I'm just curious.
  22. thewimperoo

    thewimperoo Maven (1,252) Oct 1, 2006 Illinois

    Towards the end of May they'll either mail you back your check or you'll notice your check got cashed. Then in June you'll get the tickets mailed to you. Hence the inclusion of another stamped envelope that you included in your mail-in.
    eppie82 likes this.
  23. Dactrius

    Dactrius Pooh-Bah (2,427) Apr 23, 2012 Netherlands Antilles
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    A friend had his check cashed. Start looking at those bank accounts!
  24. slawn34

    slawn34 Aspirant (222) Jul 15, 2011 Ohio

    Yep...My check just got cashed today!
  25. jimmyfishkin

    jimmyfishkin Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2008 Wisconsin it safe to assume (I know, I know) that if my check has not been cashed yet, that it will not be? I haven't received it back in the mail yet either, though.
  26. jed_productions

    jed_productions Zealot (508) Jul 2, 2013 Illinois

    I'm in the same situation. Check has not been cashed, but my check has not been returned to me either. My hope is dwindling with each passing day.

    I had a great time last year. Hopefully I'll get lucky. Fingers crossed.
    eppie82 and jimmyfishkin like this.
  27. GuyFawkes

    GuyFawkes Grand Pooh-Bah (4,764) Apr 7, 2011 Illinois
    Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    This seems like a real 19th century way to sell tickets to a beer fest.
  28. jimmyfishkin

    jimmyfishkin Initiate (0) Nov 17, 2008 Wisconsin

    It's not terribly hard to get tickets before the event, this just feels like the first defeat.
  29. maximum12

    maximum12 Grand Pooh-Bah (4,500) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
    Pooh-Bah Trader

    Absolutely true. But the festival is run so beautifully, it's hard for me to get bent out of shape about.
    jimmyfishkin and GuyFawkes like this.
  30. tyee

    tyee Initiate (0) Jun 9, 2004 Illinois

    I'm in the same situation also. No tickets and no returned check.
  31. dbresson

    dbresson Crusader (485) Nov 25, 2007 Illinois

  32. Soneast

    Soneast Pooh-Bah (1,635) May 9, 2008 Wisconsin

    I find it tends to weed out the "bros" and mainly only beer geeks are willing to go through the process to get tickets, which makes for an overall more enjoyable event. IMO, it's a good thing.
    Benj68, Boldbrew, Dactrius and 3 others like this.
  33. kylenabilcy

    kylenabilcy Devotee (399) Aug 10, 2010 Wisconsin

    I'm still waiting for @sahd-1 to explain his original comment...
  34. Wowzors

    Wowzors Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2015 Illinois

    I think it was in relation to no topic being created even though tickets were close to going on sale.
  35. aep

    aep Aspirant (228) Nov 26, 2013 Wisconsin

    I thought it was more of the fact that you could've shown up at noon and still have gotten ticket as opposed to lining up at 5 am. That was the case at Capital this year, at 10 am there was still ~60 spots (120 tickets) left. It sounded like it was the same at most other places too.
  36. Wowzors

    Wowzors Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2015 Illinois

    In that case I am not sure. Better for me though made getting tickets a breeze.
  37. macewank

    macewank Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2010 Illinois

    More tickets for less venues and storms in the forecast.
  38. dbresson

    dbresson Crusader (485) Nov 25, 2007 Illinois

    Yep, it's official - received my lottery check returned back to me in the mail today.

    First time not getting picked in the lottery in 4 or 5 tries. Bummer.
  39. BobCobb

    BobCobb Pundit (940) Jul 10, 2012 Illinois

    Not to add insult to injury for those who get checks back...but is anyone sitting on an Airbnb they no longer will need?

    Or wondering if more will come online as we get closer...
  40. azuelke

    azuelke Zealot (506) Nov 12, 2014 Wisconsin

    I just got my returned check in the mail yesterday, give it time to be disappointed.
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