When KC Beerfest first announced that the festival would not be taking place this year and that the brand was being put up for sale, I mentioned it on our Facebook page but decided against putting a post together yet because there really wasn't much detail available about the decision. Now, the festival's website has been updated with a letter, explaining the situation..though details behind the decision are still a little fuzzy. From kcbeerfest.com:
For over 5 years, the KC Beerfest has been the most recognizable craft beer festival in the Kansas City area. Over 12,000 beer connoisseurs and first-timers have attended the KC Beerfest allowing them to sample hundreds of different types of craft brews from around the world. KC Beerfest has been a huge success and is viewed by many as the premier craft beer festival in Kansas City.
However, the missions of both benefiting agencies, the Kansas City Free Health Clinic and the AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City, are not being met by the KC Beerfest. Initially, leadership at both agencies felt their missions would be shared with the thousands of beer lovers who attended the festival. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Therefore, KC Beerfest will not be held this fall. However, we are seeking prospective buyers who would produce the KC Beerfest and take it to the next level.
We propose a $5,000 payment that would grant your organization ownership of the KC Beerfest, www.KCBeerfest.com, the KC Beerfest logo and all marketing related materials; contacts with distributors/brewers in the state of Kansas that have supplied the beer to the festival; access to an army of 150+ volunteers; remaining inventory of KC Beerfest sampling glasses, buss tubs, banners and other supplies; contacts with marketing/media partners; and the goodwill of 5+ years of satisfying the taste buds of the KC craft beer community.
Should you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please feel free to call Kirk Isenhour at the Kansas City Free Health Clinic at (816) 777-2762 or Michael Lintecum at the AIDS Service Foundation at (913) 269-7960.
We look forward to hearing back from interested parties soon and thank everyone for your support of the KC Beerfest.
Kansas City Free Health Clinic
AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City
I imagine there's one section of this letter that stands out and is the most puzzling to everyone:
"Initially, leadership at both agencies felt their missions would be shared with the thousands of beer lovers who attended the festival. Unfortunately, this was not the case."
Holy vagueness. What does this mean? They weren't making as much money as they expected? They didn't feel that the cause was being promoted or recognized enough in relation to the festival? The way that statement is worded, they seem to take issue with the actual attendees more than anything. Also, does this mean that KC Free Health Clinic and AIDS Service Foundation of Greater KC are completely unloading this, or are they looking for an organization/group of people that can revamp the festival and help festival-goers 'share the mission' of those two organizations better?
Though this letter attempts to explain things, there are still questions that remain unanswered. And, despite past instances of running out of beer and being overrun by swarms of bros, my impression has been that this is a fairly successful beer festival, and is obviously a major one in the area each year. While it may not rake in as many limited or special beers as some of the other festivals, it served a nice role as a way for people new to the craft beer scene to try something new and explore a bit.
I'm going to reach out to Kirk and Michael to see if we can get the above note explained a little further, but for the time being, the future of KC Beerfest is in limbo, unless one of you devoted readers has a cool 5 grand laying around that you're not doing anything with.