The 2013 installment of the Cincinnati Winter Beer Fest has come and gone. This year continued the tradition of growing and growing. The crowds were bigger. The events louder. The beer list, about the same.
This year saw me passing out beer and checking ids. I did take a few photos here and there, but as I was not the official photographer, there will not be much posted. There will be none of Facebook. There might be a few on Flickr. No idea.
The event has now grown to alienate many of its early supporters. The crowds are now to the point where peace and calm have to be maintained. Some puked near the Kentucky Ale booth. Someone else pulled down the Brew Monkey’s large mug display. A guy tried to pick a fight with security. All in all though, still a well behaved crowd.
It all began quite well. In the summer of 2009, the Cincinnati Beer Fest was being held for the first time at Roebling Point. Previously held in the Winter time, this was also the first time it was during the summer. Wanting to practice taking pictures of people, I wanted to attend and then wonder around capturing the event. I contacted the fest organizer, Craig Johnson, and he asked me to be the official photographer. This was a start of a partnership that would last 3 years.
The 2009 Cincinnati beer fest came and went. In February of 2010, the third annual Cincinnati Winter Beer fest has become too large for the hotel in Covington. For the first time, the fest was actually held in Cincinnati. Again held in a hotel, it quickly overran the facility, though many had fun. I again took pictures and had a great time meeting fest goers and talking to brewers.
The summer of 2010 was interesting. Craig Johnson wanted to do something different. In October, he conducted a fest on the Purple People Bridge. The setting was unique and it promised to be a good fest. The weather on the 10th was near 80, sky was clear and the crowd did other things. Still good pictures and good conversation.
Columbus also came on the menu for beer fests in 2010. Expanding in the May, the first was well attended and held over two days. The Columbus fest would grow to include the winter as well.
The beer fests of 2011 grew in attendance, beer selection and choice of events. The fests were held in Cincinnati and Columbus. The pictures were great too.
The year 2012 started as normal. The Columbus fest in January and the Cincinnati fest in February. In need of setup help, I arrived in Columbus hours early to do my time. The Cincinnati fest also took some extra time. I climbed the Leinenkugel’s truck to get great shots of the crowd. I wrote an Insider’s Guide To Surviving the Cincinnati Winter Beer Fest. All was well.
The summer Columbus fest was the beginning of the end. Though I could not attend anyway, I was not asked to take pics. It was a bit thrown together, so I figured it was an oversight. Then the Columbus Winter fest came and went. No call. Now the Cincinnati beer fest is close and I’m not taking pictures.
It is the end of my era as fest photography geek. I may still be there as a beer slinger, but it is not nearly as fun. Being able to walk among the crowd, talk to the attenders, chat with beer industry insiders. That’s what beer fest means to me. I may have to find new meaning.