This weekend I headed up to the Saratoga Beer Week(end) with two of my friends.Â There was a $10 Groupon for admission Â that I missed, so I had to pay full price at the door.
That wouldn’t have been too big a deal, only they stopped selling the regularly-priced $20 tickets for the Groupon session way in advance (while continuing to sell $20 tickets for the other sessions right up til the day of the event), and the door price was $30.
Okay, no big deal. Â It sucks to pay 3x more than either of my friends (and $10 more than both of them combined), it sucks to feel like I got hustled, but, beer. Â Beer makes everything okay.
Then, I was handed my sample glass, filled with 4 tokens.Â The thought that went through my head was â€œâ€¦50+ vendors I am dying to try, and I just blew my entire beer budget on 4 tokens?â€
The math worked out to about $18.75 for a 12-ounce bottle of beer.Â The math can suck it.
I understand the liquor laws for events like this. Â I know they aren’t allowed to give out more than X ounces of alcohol for free. Â I get it. Â What made me unhappy was that after the insane price jack between the Groupon and “door price,” I got stuck paying $7.50 per sample, and having only four chances to find beers I might enjoy turned out to be anxiety-producing.Â What if I chose wrong?!?
Iâ€™d have been a lot happier with a smaller sample size and twice the tokens, especially when many of the beers required two tokens per sample due to “rareness.” Â Next yearâ€™s event planners: I hope youâ€™re avid readers of Friday Puppy and can make this happen.
In the end, I tried five beers â€“ Motherâ€™s Milk, which is a delicious milk stout from Keegan Ales in Kingston, NY, two beers from other vendors I ended up not liking (goodbye, $15), and one beer from Brooklyn Brewery I knew I liked, since I didn’t want to waste my last token on something gross.
I wish I could write all about the other amazing vendors there; however, aside from Steadfast Beer Co., who are awesome and gave meÂ a token-free sample of their excellent gluten-free sorghum beer, I have no idea what delicious brews I missed.
The silver lining is that I had a great time with my friends at an event that offered a turnout of really enjoyable people. I was able to discover a single beer from a single brewery that I really enjoyed, and I’ll buy it again soon.Â Â My friends and I were able to gallivant around Saratoga after the event ended, and we drank beer at fun places all day and quite a bit of the evening. Â Double silver lining â€“ turns out the Parting Glass has bottles of Mother’s Milk for $4.75, which was a much better return on my carefully allocated beer money.
Next year, I’ll just make sure I get the memo on the damn Groupon.