Gene and I attended Buffalo Brewfest last weekend. It was the first time there for both of us. I haven't got any insight into his reaction but I was mildly disappointed. I didn't have a bad experience by any means yet at the same time the event left me wanting more.
Thirty vendors and three thousand guests equals get a sample and then wait in line for the next. $25.00 (presale) got you in the door and gave you a souvenir sampling glass and 25 tickets (1 ticket = 1 sample). Though the fore mentioned lines made it impossible to use all 25 tickets in the time that the event ran. This was just a hiccup, nothing that I didn't expect. The disappointment for me was the lack of any unique brews to sample. Nearly all of the breweries had only two styles to choose from, any one of which can be easily purchased from Wegmans or Consumers Beverages. The atmosphere felt to me more like "Let's get tanked brah!" than "Let's go check out some great new beers".
There was plenty of space (both inside and out) yet the vendors were grouped so close together that at times it was hard to figure out what line you were waiting in. I was also hopping that the breweries would have some merchandise as give aways or for sale but the only thing for sale were brewfest t-shirts and over priced nachos. I think that it has potential to become a great event but there are some major kinks that need to be worked out. I'm not sure if I would attend again. I enjoyed the Art of Beer event much more.