I’ve received several notices in the last few weeks about an upcoming event hosted by the Massachusetts Brewers Guild. The Guild, which is an organization that began operations in early 2008, is comprised of more than twenty Bay State breweries and brewpubs and is designed to help promote the efforts of local craft brewers.
While the Guild has been pretty quiet for the past year, having held some meetings and done a little public outreach, its efforts appear to be ramping up. The Guild’s website is a little sparse right now but it does contain some information about its first big event. On February 28th, the Guild will hold a beer dinner at The Exchange Conference Center near the Harpoon Brewery in Boston. The event will include several limited release beers (maybe even Harpoon’s new UFO White?), a beer sampling hour with hors d’oeuvres, and a four-course meal with beer pairings.
While I certainly applaud the formation and development of the Guild and support its mission, it’s difficult to tell who the organization is targeting with its first major event. At $125 per person and with business casual attire recommended, this can hardly be considered an effort to appeal to the general public. The price for the event, with the modest details presented to date, seems extraordinarily high, even before recalling the poor present state of the economy (multiples higher than Extreme Beer Festival ticket prices and even higher than the $95 wallop that gets you a ticket to the SAVOR event in D.C.). Perhaps the event will serve as a fundraiser for some other needy organization (other than the Guild itself), I cannot yet say. More likely, there will be a few comped tickets handed out and a lot of wholesalers and retailers chatting each other up with their respective brands in hand.
With this said, I look forward to hearing more about the event and how the Guild plans to promote craft beer and craft brewers in the Commonwealth (especially whether it plans to produce a guide to state breweries, as has been done successfully by many other city and state brewers guilds).
I’m repeating a point I made on another post, but what’s wrong with a high-end beer dinner? What does a dinner in a fancy restaurant cost? If you want high-quality food and high-quality beer, it’s not cheap. Not every event can be low-priced; your entry point for better beer can be as cheap as a trip to your local GOOD beer merchant.