Citing lack of advance ticket sales and overcommitment with the simultaneous Dallas and Houston Beer Weeks, Cathy Clark Rascoe confirms that Saturday's Beer Festival was canceled Tuesday afternoon. Ticket buyers will receive refunds within seven to 10 days, she said.
"It was a really hard call," she said about an hour after making the decision. "We tried to save it and pull it out, but it just didn't seem like people wanted to buy tickets for it."
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In hindsight it probably would have been easier to market it as a stand-alone event rather than having it be one of the dozens of Dallas Beer Week events, Clark Rascoe said. Only about 100 advance tickets sold, she said, compared to almost 600 advance sales for a comparable Houston event, and she and husband/co-organizer Jay Rascoe couldn't take the financial hit if walk-up sales didn't make up for the advance-sales deficit.
Without a track record for a successful beer festival in Dallas, larger microbreweries didn't want to commit to a sponsorship, she said, and they didn't want to compromise their craft-beer ideals by inviting, say, Bud Light on board.
Clark Rascoe said she plans to ask The Amsterdam Bar's Michael Scheel if they can do a Mikkeler event Saturday, as the famed "Gypsy brewer" was to be a part of the festival and the Amsterdam Bar was to tap an ancient barrel filled with Franconia as a festival-closing event. But she didn't know whether the bar would be able to get hold of any Mikkeler beer in time for the event.
As for what happens to the beer that participating breweries were sending to Dallas for the festival, she doesn't know; those decisions are up to the respective distributors. Will there be an impromptu, last-minute festival at another Dallas Beer Week-associated bar? Or will those kegs and bottles go ... somewhere else entirely?