Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Is Hops & Props Overpriced?

Judging by the people I’ve spoken to over the past couple weeks, the answer would be a resounding yes. Hops & Props is this Saturday, March 7 from 7-10 p.m. at the EAA’s AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh. And though the $75 ticket price is the same as it was last year, I’ve heard much more grumbling about it this year. I’m sure there’s a fair amount of selection bias going on here.

Most of those I speak to about these things are beer geeks. These are people who might attend three or four beer festivals each year. When they compare the ticket price for Hops & Props to similar festivals, you can understand why they experience sticker shock.

For example, the Wisconsin Micro-Brewers Beer Fest in Chilton charged $40 last year. The Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison will have a $60 ticket this year. Hops & Props is an excellent festival, but it’s not in the same league with either of those. Especially if you’re looking at it strictly as a beer event.

But Hops & Props has never really been about the beer. It’s about generating money for the EAA, which says it uses the proceeds to “support museum activities offered by EAA.” If you think that’s an initiative worth supporting, then you can hardly say the festival is overpriced. If that’s not something you care about, then I think it’s hard to argue that Hops & Props isn’t overpriced.

If you’re on the fence, I’d say go for it. Especially, if you haven’t been there before. Drinking beer in the AirVenture Museum while you wander among all those incredible airplanes is a memorable experience.

Tickets are still available. Visit the EAA’s Hops & Props website, to order tickets, see the brewery list, the bands that’ll be playing (Dead Horses!), and all the other little details that’ll make for a fun Saturday night in Oshkosh.


  1. For what it is worth, despite the high ticket price, this is one of the better events you can go to. more beer, music, and appetizers than you can possibly take in within three hours. (which is a gripe of mine concerning modern beer festivals: length.)

    1. I agree, Tim. For the most part, it’s a well-run event and I’m glad we have it. And as long as it keeps selling out, you can’t fault them for the ticket price. At the same time, I’m beginning to think that going that high with the ticket is going to create problems for this festival in years to come. They may end up pricing themselves out of attendance.

  2. The higher price point is intentional; they want an older beer-drinking demographic.