Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cigar City Hunahpu's Day 2014

So I've been to Hunahpu's Day in 2012 and 2013. The first two years I went it was a non-ticketed event, first come, first serve style fest in the parking lot of their brewery. We were in line around 6 AM each year and each year we got farther and farther back in line due to the increasing demand. Once inside, you bought $5 tokens which could be exchanged for beers at the fest (8-12 oz pours depending on the beer). I had great experiences both times, my only fault being that in 2013 it was obviously way too busy but getting there so early and leaving as late as possible, there really was only a 1-2 hour window where things were uncomfortably busy and during these hours I tended to go to my cooler with my friends and open bottles to share.

This year Cigar City sold what we were told was 3500 $50 tickets to get into the fest where it was a beer fest style event. When you walked in they scanned your ticket, checked your ID and gave you a band, then gave you a separate band for Hunahpu bottle sales. You also got a glass 5oz sampler at the entrance, each brewery had a tent/jockey box and they poured you a 2-4 oz taste. It was essentially all you can drink from 11-5. From 11-4 you could pick up 3 bottles of Hunahpu at $20 a pop at a designated station where they would cut off your band and from 4-5 you could get up to a case.

We were told by multiple CCB employees this year not to show up early as they would be setting up, plus there was no benefit because you couldn’t even bottle share before 11 or they would kick you out. With that being said, my group got antsy and our cab came quicker than expected so we were there around 10:15. We walked up to the gate, waited ~5 minutes and got scanned/banded and were in. People were already there and the line for Toppling Goliath was already 100 people deep. We got set up and hopped in a line around 10:50 and started getting pours at 11. Around 11:30 we looked outside and there was a line of people waiting to get in at least 500 people deep. This line didn’t let up until ~2PM. Around 1, it began to get very hard to move and if you wanted beers near the entrance (we were set up near the back), it could take ~10 minutes of fighting through crowds to get up there. Around 2:45 I noticed the Hunahpu bottle sale line was long and hopped in it with 2 friends. You can see the photo I took from the back of the bottle line below but we fought our way through an absolute sea of people, with no apparent line (just a mass of people in front of the sales tables). 45 minutes later we were at the front and got our whole allotment, went back and enjoyed the rest of the fest. 

It wasn’t until I got home that I was reading online of extra ticket sales and forged tickets making the event estimated at 6000 people, some people waiting 1.5 hours in the line to get in and missing out of a lot of beers, at 4 when they opened the bottle sales up to get a case, a large amount of people weren’t able to get bottles and were literally shut out (they closed the warehouse door in peoples faces), fights breaking out in lines and general chaos. Now they are refunding everyone their $50 entry fee, making another batch for the people that were shut out and cancelling Hunahpu’s Day forever. 

I personally had a great time, I went with 9 other people who had a great time and we tasted a lot of great beer with my highlights being:

Toppling Goliath KingSue and Mornin’ Delight (maple syrupy stout goodness)
J Wakefield Kryptoweisse (Berliner with Kiwi, clean lacto sour)
Burnt Hickory Red Velvet Cake (Huge cherry)
Westbrook Gozu and Mexican Cake
Cigar City Rum Barrel Aged Penultimate Push
Perennial Abraxas and La Boheme (Abraxas tapped at the end of the fest when a lot of people had left. There was no line for this beer, I just kept going back for more and more. Great beer)
Cigar City Pancake Brown (Pancakes with maple syrup. Couldn't have much but spot on flavor)

Terrapin MooHoo with Raspberries
Arizona Wilderness Pappy Barleywine

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