The Brew Fest has changed a LOT over past 8 years). Or, maybe it's me who's changed, and gotten older and become less of a fan of a drunk-fest. Hijacking ABs organization:
As a Patron:
The rules have gotten much stricter, the lines have gotten much longer, the beer selection hasn't gotten better (maybe I'm a snob in this area, but if you're at a brew fest - bring something more than kegs of your most popular 4 beers if you're a local brewery, we can buy those in the store).
As a volunteer:
Something I've never done. But based on what I've always seen as a patron, I can't say that I'm jumping at the opportunity to do so...
There is quite a distance between some of the breweries. I was hitting a couple a weekend. I was just using them as destinations for motorcycle rides. The problem arises in the Burlington region as the breweries are fairly close and I don't ride drunk so I can visit but not drink and what is the point of going to a brewery.
Your idea of a tour director and bus trip splitting it up into a 3 day trip would work. They could split it up with other activities and not have a bus load of drunks.
Not a brewery, but if you're a beer lover in VT, you owe it to yourself to check out Threepenny Taproom in Montpelier, unbelievable draft selection on any given day. I'm lucky enough to live only a few minutes away, and I don't know anywhere else around where I can get a Belgian Grand Cru on draft followed by a Lawson's Finest Chinooker'd.
Also, Hill Farmstead in Greensboro is putting out some amazing beers right now and is already getting lots of attention in VT and far beyond, very much worth checking out!
I feel like the VT department of Liqour Control has ruined the brewers fest. After this past year I heard that several of the Brewers from Montreal will not be coming back because of how crazy strickt the rules are.
I haven't personally been to siptemberfest but I heard great things.