Great Taste Season Has Begun

We’ve set aside our mash tuns and rolled up our sleeves to work on the 28th iteration of The Great Taste of the Midwest. March Madness has a whole different meaning for the Madison Homebrewers & Tasters Guild.

We kick off Great Taste season with preparations for ticket sales and we’d like to point out a few changes that you’ll need to know for 2014. Those changes are outlined on the ticket sales page but we’d like to make sure you all have the full context to make your game plans especially considering that Madison Craft Beer Week is a perfectly timed complement to Great Taste ticket sales.

First, the ticket price has risen to $60 to account for the additional breweries that have been added over the last few years as well as infrastructure requirements that have been asked of us. As many of you are probably aware, we have been up against an attendance cap for some years now and without the ability to nudge that upward, we are subject to pressure on ticket pricing. That’s a hard conversation for us to have but the flip side is that we do it in a way that provides some price stability for what we hope is  a 5 year window.

The second change regarding ticket sales is that we will only accept cash for the on-site ticket sales. There are a whole host of logistical reasons for this that would probably make you stop reading so we won’t get into the details of it, but just know that you’ll need to leave the checkbook at home. (we’ll still accept checks for mail orders).

Third is that we have brought the on-site sales closer to each other in the more immediate Madison surroundings by adding two new ticket sales locations (The Malt House on the east side and Vintage Brewing on the west side). We’re excited to have them but bummed to say that this means that Tyranena Brewing will no longer be a ticket sales location. This was strictly a logistical decision on our part and we’re grateful for their terrific partnership over the last few years. So please pick up some Tyranena beer before and after ticket sales as a show of gratitude.

Finally, we’ll note that there are 3000 on-site tickets available on May 4th and with 8 sales locations, no vendor will have more than 400 tickets so this may change your strategy on “game day”. The remaining general admission tickets will be sold via mail order.

And speaking of mail orders, those procedures remain the same as previously. Postmark the mail orders on Monday May 5th. Any sooner than  May 5th and it will be rejected and any later than May 5th would be very unlikely to be filled as our mailbox is overflowing with May 5 postmarks in all likelihood. Don’t forget the self-addressed stamped envelope. We’ll either mail you tickets or return your check in it.

As always, we’re grateful for your enthusiasm for craft beer and you can expect that we’ll be tweaking the festival to make improvements as we always strive to do.