Did anyone here go to the Oktoberfest kickoff on Wednesday? It's a good batch this year. There was actually a lot of people at the Eagan, MN location. I only need like 100 beer points to get to 1200 and I think it's a $75 credit added to my Mugclub card. With the stock price at $.50, I guess I better use up any money on my card before they close the doors for good.
I went to the event in Maple Grove, MN. A couple of observations.
1. last year everything was outside in a tent, it was packed, the food line was way too slow, and they ran out of Oktoberfest long before a lot of people even got any. So my expectations were for complete chaos.
2. Arrived at about 6, midway into the event. We were first disappointed that it cost $10 instead of the advertised $5, but the manager explained they were doing more of a full dinner buffet so that location had planned on $10 before the company emails went out. Sounded kind of fishy, but we were already there so we figured we'd just pay it.
3. I can say, for once with this company, I was pleasantly surprised. The food was a good selection of hot food, more a dinner buffet than snacks and apps. So the manager was right and we didn't feel cheated.
and lastly 4. The BEER! The Oktoberfest is, by far, the best beer that GC has ever brewed. I have never thought their IPA or Stout or Bock compares with other decent micros like Summit or even other local brewpubs. But this year's Oktober is very, very good. I don't even usually like the maltier beers, I'm more an IPA type of guy, but this was excellent. So for ten bucks we got a nice dinner, and two large mugs of beer. Great deal.
Now, we can only hope this is a good sign of things to come. I don't know how much money they might have made off the event, but hopefully it was good PR and advertising.
It seems like the company has made several missteps in it's infancy over the past handful of years, but it is a good concept and fills a hole in the market. Let's hope they can weather the storm and be successful long-term.
It was $5, held outside in a tent. The wind was howling until about 6:30 PM. We got 2 plastic cups (16 oz?) of beer, and there was a small "German" buffet set up, with crackers and cheese, brats mit kraut, buns, large warm pretzels, and beer cheese soup in small plastic cups as pretzel dip. Additional beers were $2, and we received another ticket for the drawings. From the ticket numbers I heard drawn, I would guess around 300 people came through. (I don't think too many bought additional beers.) I know they ran out of O'fest in kegs at one point, and had to go inside and fill another. A lot of people were drinking O'fest inside, as well. I think it was a good value for $5.
I agree the O'fest was better this year. Much drier, (more roast character, less cloying sweetness) and less alcohol than previous years. (It was hard to drink a couple of mugs and make it home previously.)
When my two beers were dry, I went inside and got a mug of Duke for happy hour $2.75. It was delicious. I don't know if it was a new batch, or just the contrast from the less hoppy O'fest.
It seems to me that the Fargo store is usually quite busy. It would be interesting to find out which stores are money-makers, and which aren't.