New Glarus Beer, Bacon & Cheese Fest
June 11, 2016
BACON! While in past years, an outcry for more bacon rang out from the masses, this year’s fest featured plenty of our favorite salty meat as well as other pork products.
Improved beer selection. While the number of beer vendors was about the same or perhaps even less than previous fests, the quality and variety of beer options experienced a boost. And besides, with New Glarus as the sponsored beer provider, how could you go wrong?
Advanced wristband pickup. Those Beer, Bacon & Cheese Festers in town a night early were able to pick up their wristbands and tasting glasses ahead of time to avoid the long entry lines that have plagued the fest in years past. Total life saver.
Overcrowded. With word of mouth growing year after year, it’s no surprise that tickets for the fest are a hot commodity and sell out quickly. With popularity comes its share of pitfalls, however. As the number of tickets sold has increased, so have the line lengths, creating a not-so-subtle veil of congestion, disorganization and frustration over the festival. Following last year’s crowd, which gradually morphed into a cattle-like, continuous line around the vendor stands, I counted on the festival organizers to recognize this issue and come up with a solution for this year’s event. While keeping vendors on only one side of the street allowed for individual lines to form, these tended to stretch to the point of blocking sidewalks and, at times, into the patios of businesses across the street.
From an outsider’s perspective, a couple of obvious solutions would be to cut back on tickets sold or spread the festival over a larger area. While downtown New Glarus is made up of several commercial streets, the fest has always been limited to a two-block area. The allure of the beer, bacon and cheese trifecta can only last so long – something must be done to save the tasty future of this fest.