That’s right kids, this is beer festival education 101. An essential study guide to kick off a bountiful summer of drinking beer and surviving to talk about it. My husband and I are beer aficionados — yes, a fancy term for ‘beer snob’ or ‘beer geek.’ We scout out festivals, bars, breweries, liquor shoppes (pronounced SHOP-eeeees) to find different unique beers or old favorites from different breweries. We truly taste the beer, analyzing: head, froth, aroma, mouth feel, finish (tasting 101 to come in a later post.) And, we take festivals like champions. Having the right skill set will greatly improve your beer festival experience. So, from me to you, well seasoned advice from a pro:
1. EAT FIRST: Go to the festival with a full stomach. Eat hearty, not light. None of this salad bull crap because I’m on a diet. Eat protein. Eat carbs. But not grease. Your drinking beer for goddsakes. Its not time to fuss over weight. You need stamina and strength. Remember the first time you drank yourself silly, maybe senior year of high school or freshman year of college? Think back to that night. You prayed to the porcelain god all evening while your roomie took pity and held your hair? Well, buddy, if you don’t eat a hearty meal before a beer festival that is what will happen, however it won’t be a porcelain deity, but a smelly plastic one, kind of like fat weird sketchy Uncle Norm. You will be praying to the gods of the port-a-potty. And, probably getting some disease for dessert. So, take my advice and eat. You don’t want to be called a pussy after one 3 oz. Taster, now do you?
2. GO PREPARED: Make one of those douche-y pretzel necklaces. see the picture above. This is not for a fashion sense of style. It is to keep you from being a drunken fool. Also, it helps to clean the palate between beer tastes. Pretzel necklaces are getting creative too!! At the last beer festival I saw donuts, slim Jim and all different types of pretzels on the necklaces. Donuts are going a little to far, but if a slim Jim will keep you from spilling that delicious craft beer when you fall…DO IT!.
3. PLAN/ TARGET: Figure out what breweries will be there and what ones you REALLY want to try.
Plan and target which ones you want. At the last beer festival we were at, a smaller one, a lot of breweries were tapping out early. Some of the beer we missed. So, scout it out first and taste what you really want to try first. You will be bummed later if you make it over to a brewery and can’t try something. It will suck. Be social. When you taste a beer, savor it. Smell it. Talk to the brewers. Learn something. Engage.
4.HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE AND THEN SOME HYDRATE SOME MORE: Yes, good olé h20, drink it like you drink beer. Hydration is essential. Drink a Nalgene bottle of water the night before. Water water water water. Chant it, splash around in it, put it in your body. Do it, because you will be miserable if you don’t. Beer snobs take craft beer festivals seriously. Beer will dehydrate you. So will the sun. Know your limits, keep it together —You are not in a contest to see how much shit Budweiser you can drink. If you wanted this, you could just go to hoedown. But, you don’t want to be the drunk dude AND you probably paid a pretty price for those tickets. SO, drink water to drink beer.
As always, drink responsibly. You can do it!!