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W’bago event profits $1,000

By Staff | Aug 5, 2012

The final tally is in and the profit for the inaugural Craft Brew Fest in Winnebago may not be what organizers were expecting.

Early reports had the event held on June 23 making about $10,000.

That figure has been revised quite a bit, to around $1,000.

City Administrator Austin Bleess admits preliminary projections may have been “overly optimistic.”

Bleess says higher-than expected advertising costs and first-year expenses ate into profits.

“We didn’t have a full grasp of all the expenditures. There were a couple of large ticket ones that came in,” he adds.

Some of the first-year costs included electrical work, power cables, fencing and supplies.

“We had a lot of cups left over, because we didn’t want to run out. We bought more stuff than we needed,” he says.

The event was considered a sell-out, with nearly 30 breweries providing samples to the 800 in attendance.

Bleess says gross revenue totaled around $22,000.

The city administrator doesn’t think as much will need to be spent to publicize next year’s fest, which is scheduled for June 29.

“Word-of-mouth will help us. Everybody who came here and had a good time are going to be doing the advertising for us,” he says.

Half of the profits will go to the Winnebago Lions Club, sponsor of the event. The rest will be put into a fund for next year’s brew fest.

Bleess downplayed this year’s profit, saying “having a first-time festival to make money is quite impressive.”

“The bottom line is we made money. We’ll be back next year and make even more,” he adds.

Don Selvig of the Lions Club says they’re pleased with the first-year showing.

He says start-up costs are always high for a new event.

“I can’t see why we wouldn’t sponsor it again. This year was a learning experience,” he says. “The event is something definitely worth carrying on. People now know about the event. The word is out and it is good.”