The life of a beer festival organiser cannot be a happy one at times. Sure it's very rewarding seeing the crowds of drinkers having a great time sampling all those wonderful beers, but something that would haunt me for weeks beforehand is getting the beer order right.
Which is worse? Running out of beer a few hours before closing time, or throwing away gallons at the end of the night? Is it possible to get it spot on so that there's just enough left for the staff to have a quick knees up after the doors close?
It's very rare that I visit a festival on the last day, but I hear reports from a fair few and I know that there are festivals who find themselves at both ends of the spectrum, and may swing from one to the other from one year to the next. At Oxford on Saturday the beer was running out fast and apparently did end a few hours before closing. At Northampton this year we had quite a lot left, whereas the year before it did run out.
I think given the choice I would throw I away. It's certainly not ideal, and wastage of any type doesn't sit well with me, but as long as a profit is made, then I think it can be justified rather than be in a situation where a large number of punters are cheesed off with the beer running out.
It's a tricky decision but someone's got to make it. Nobody ever said being in charge is a bed of roses.