Durham World Beer Fest: Not Worth It

Such a huge let down I left at 2pm. The lines at the 12-4pm were atrocious. Think about a bunch of 8 year olds crowding around an ice cream truck and you are pretty much are spot on. You just need to add purposeful line cutting and lots of college shirts. On my first attempt at a pour I was already pushed out of the way, ignored and line cut.

You may be thinking this must have been another hipster beer thing. Not even close. If there is a tag line to this event it should be ‘WOOOOOOOOO!’ because that is a lot of what you will hear when not hearing frat talk or girls yapping about cute guys.

Learn Something New

I learned a few important things:

No one picks up the ‘for more information’ telephone line. The voice mail for the line will be full. It is useless.

Either beer festivals are not for me or people who like beer do not attend beer festivals. I’m not sure which. I wanted to try a number of drinks from many different breweries but the frustration of simply finding the end of the line is a mood killer. Mix that with the pushing and seriously stupid frat/sorority talk and it’s just no fun. And don’t try asking someone if they are in line because they probably can’t hear you.

Beer festivals are for cheap beer swillers looking for a cheap way to drink. For them this is a serious deal! They can drink and drink without paying any more than the cover charge. Their lack of self awareness allows them to enjoy pushing their way to the next drink. For someone looking to taste different beers and find some new favorites you’re likely just in between jerks and their drinks.

These events are over sold. Granted, they probably are in legal limits for the venue but it’s not comfortable. It’s not even ‘just a bit annoying’ . It’s down right frustrating every time you venture back into the hot, loud and busting at the seams tents to get two ounces and some shoves.

There must be a suspension of general friendliness at these festivals. Since it’s so crowded the etiquette seems to be it’s fine to walk into people as it’s their fault for not moving out of line for you. Also, it’s cool to block lines and talk in groups making tents even worse.

Nice Acts

One brewery filled my cup before two big guys who cut in front of me. It was a breath of fresh air.

A lady bumping into me while i stood outside the tents said ‘excuse me’. That was friendly of her.

Better Option

In this case I should have bought a few new beers and tried them with friends. I would have gotten more beer, paid a lot less money and avoided much frustration.


It has me wondering if maybe beer isn’t for me (assuming thisnis actually the beer crowd and people who enjoy beer are just an Internet thing).

Needless to say I will be stay away from these events for a while. But if you are thinking of going to a beer festival be very wary. Do research to make sure it’s your crowd. Make sure they say the max capacity of attendance. If they don’t say the audience limit they are probably hiding something. Do the math and make sure you will break even or come out ahead in the ticket price/drinks. Lastly, be prepared to push back.