Beer festivals are great fun. They offer a chance to try a wide variety of beer and hang out with other beer lovers and brewers. You can literally drink all that you want for just the entrance fee. I can’t think of a better way to spend a few hours.
But to enjoy a festival it’s good to do a little planning. Here are our tips for not only surviving but getting the most out of the festival.
Eat – Have a meal before you go to avoid the temptation of diving in and drinking on an empty stomach. But avoid spicy foods; you don’t want to destroy your palate before even entering the festival!
Drink Water – It will be handy to keep your palate fresh and to stay hydrated.. It will likely be a HOT day!
Pace Yourself – Besides the water trick, you should also pace yourself. Although beer festivals tend to attract a better quality crowd of drinkers than, say, the dollar a pint night at the local bar, there are always a few attendees who let their drinking get away from them. The point of the event is to try many beers, not to drink uncontrollably. Taste the beer, get an impression of it then either dump it or take some more time to get to know it. The Festival will last four hours, It’s not a race.
Dress Appropriately – Check the weather before you go. Last year it was really hot, wear clothing that will keep you cool and consider bringing a hat too. Wear comfortable shoes, there will be limited seating and you will spending hours shuffling from one beer pourer to the next without a break.
Bring Cash – You may want to buy something. There will be vendors and food. Although some accept credit cards or provide ATMs things are just a lot easier if you have some cash in your pocket.
Pen + Paper – You might not plan to get all beer-geeky about the festival but odds are you will come across a beer or three that you really like and want to remember to buy more of later. No matter how good your mental notepad is you will not remember all the beers you tried, trust me. At two or three ounces a taste, in the confusion of the crowd and with all the brewery names you will forget a beer. The most common question I hear after a festival is, “What was that one beer, you know, the one that was really good that we tried after that other one?” Bring something with which to take notes.
Bring a Camera – You’ll see plenty of spectacles worth recording, just make sure you share them all on our facebook page after you are done!!