Here's how that came to pass. Last year, Shorty's Nursery had an Oktoberfest/Brew Fest weekend that was a fundraiser for the local libraries. I had heard about the Beer Fest somewhere and wanted to check it out, even though there wasn't much info online, since I love brew festivals, and I loved the library as a kid and would be happy to pay admission to a beer festival that supported such a worthy cause. My friend Jacob and I went to the Shorty's Brew Fest, paid about $20-25 and got a souvenir pint glass and five or so tasting tokens. There were maybe half a dozen local breweries and we wanted to try all of the beers, so we ended up buying more tokens, hanging out, buying some food, listening to the live band, and buying some chocolate bars. It was super fun, it was for a good cause, and we felt like we got our money's worth. I loved the nontraditional venue and the beers were delicious. I have been waiting all year for this event to happen again.
This year, there wasn't much info available either, but we did see a facebook event for Oktoberfest at Shorty's for $25. Even though it didn't specifically mention a Brew Fest, we decided we'd just go check it out. So we bought tickets, talked it up to some friends, and went to the event. Apparently, Shorty's/the libraries aren't doing the Brew Fest portion of their Oktoberfest anymore, they're only doing "Oktoberfest." Which meant all that our $25 ticket actually covered was one plastic "gold" token which got us either one of three medicore Sam Adams beers, or one of two wines. No food was included, additional beers were $5, and Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer steins were $10 (which included filling it with beer). There was still live music, but there was a really limited food menu and it was overpriced. And the food was from BEACHES of all places (don't get me wrong, Beaches has great food, but not German food). And we were about two decades younger than everyone else there, so other people kept staring at us. We decided to leave shortly after finishing our beers and go to somewhere with local beer and better food.
I don't know if the Shorty's Oktoberfest pricing and goods are the same as prior years, but I was incredibly disappointed by this year's event. I feel like it was a huge waste of money. Last year, we spent more money, had more fun, and supported LOCAL breweries. Saying that your event supports a charity isn't an excuse for a bad event, especially when they know how to plan a GOOD event that supports a charitable cause.