What’s better than Christmas? Beer Fest.
The glorious month of February is here and I’m headed to Cincy Beerfest this weekend. While it seems like all fun and games, I learned the hard way that you need a plan of attack. Here’s a few helpful hints so your first beer festival goes smoothly.
1. Come up with a game plan
There’s hundreds of beers among thousands of people during a limited amount of time. You’ll need to figure out the priority of beers you want to try. I don’t think I’ve ever said “nope!” to a beer, which makes choosing hard. Here’s the way I approach it:
“I MUST DRINK THIS”– Top priority! Seek these out first. Any rare/special release beers should probably fall under here too in case they run out quickly.
“I need this”– Batter up! Once you finish the must haves you’ll start this round. You’re still going strong at this point, so no worries on missing out.
“I want this”– Round 3 begins. At this point, you’re feeling good and everything likely tastes good. You should be okay with the fact your tastebuds may not be working and your judgement may be swayed when assigning these beers.
“I could live without it”- AKA I’m not going to remember these beers. Honestly, I’m not sure I ever officially get to this round. My night usually ends with “Oh crap, there’s only 30 minutes left. Run around and try ALL the beer you can because they’re not collecting tickets anymore!” I don’t recommend this. Be better than me!
In case this isn’t obvious, this is the time to try beers you typically wouldn’t. Have an open mind! Do not, I repeat, DO NOT waste one of your tickets on a beer you’ve had before. I personally don’t even waste tickets on a beer that can be easily obtained locally.
Okay, so you’ve figured out your beer list– now map it out so you’re not running around in circles!
2. Prepare your attire
Expect someone to spill on you. Choose clothing accordingly.
I try to keep my clothes light since it gets hot between the beers and the crowds. And I personally have a thing against jackets. Not just at beer fest– all the time. What’s worse than getting overheated in like 25 seconds and stuck carrying around a jacket all night? The beer fest I go to has a coat check, so if a beer jacket isn’t enough for you, then make sure you check your coat ahead of time.
3. Eat & hydrate
Make sure to eat plenty of food and drink lots of water being heading to the festival. Also, try to eat and drink (water) frequently during the event as well. I see a lot of people in pretzel necklaces. I’ve never personally made one, but I’m guessing it’s not hard. Even better, invest in the night/yourself! I go to the connoisseur event which runs simultaneously and gives you food at every beer station. It’s a little pricey, but worth it.
3. Log your beers
You’ll regret trying a ton of beer and not being able to remember what was what, or if you even liked it. I use the app Untappd. Super easy and a simple 5-star rating.
Also, it’s fun to look back and see you actually ended up trying like 50 beers and didn’t even have a hangover. (Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee this).
4. Don’t collect freebies
Free stuff always sounds like a good idea… but it’s not. You’re stuck lugging it around all night and I’m 99% sure you’ll never even use it. At beer fest last year, I opened my purse and found a bunch of coasters from beer fest THE YEAR BEFORE.
5. Go home
Temptation to go out after beer fest will hit. Just don’t. Go home. In an Uber.
6. Drink Pedialyte
Fact- I have never been hungover after drinking Pedialyte. Yes it’s for babies, and no I’m not ashamed. I promise, you’ll thank me later.
That’s it. Six simple rules for survival. May the odds be ever in your favor.