Beer Festival Tips and Tricks

Later today, and again tomorrow, The Christmas Craft Beer Show will be providing thirsty craft beer and cider lovers the drinks they enjoy. Most will enjoy responsibly, but some will make some poor judgment calls in their behaviour and judgment.

If you’ve never been to a Beer Festival, or even if you’ve been to plenty, they can be overwhelming. Lots of people, lots of booths, lots of beers, and never enough time to enjoy them all.

That’s where this article comes in. Over the last few years, I’ve developed a process to maximize my enjoyment of all the aspects of a Beer Festival.

  • Eat before you go

Have a hearty meal before the event. This will slow the absorption of alcohol and keep you from losing steam halfway through. Don’t drink alcohol with this meal though, as this is an easy way to get turned around at the door.

  • Water between each beer
  • Don’t drink to get drunk.

If you are going to a Beer Festival to get drunk, reconsider going. You take away from your enjoyment, and the enjoyment of others, and worst of all, you risk the festival being shut down for over service. Please note, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a few and end up a little inebriated, but don’t make it your goal. Drink responsibly.

  • Water between each beer
  • Have Plans

This is plural. You should have multiple plans. One for how you will get to and from the venue, along with a backup, one for how much you’re planning on drinking and spending, and one for what beers you hope to try along with an “if that runs out” backup. If you need help planning, check out this list of beers at the event.

  • Water between each beer
  • Enjoy the beer, don’t critique it.

You’re likely going to have at least 2 or 3 beers per hour. by the 2nd or 3rd hour, your taste buds are burnt out, your judgment is suspect at best, and when you’re rating that beer a 2 because you can’t taste it right, it’s not fair to anyone. Also, if you don’t like it and need to pour it out, get far enough away from the brewer that it won’t be seen.

  • Water between each beer
  • Socialize

Chat it up with other people in line, see what they’re drinking, what they liked, didn’t like, and what they’re having next. Something lower on your list might be something you make a dash for on a recommendation. It also gives you backup plans for when you’re 2 people behind the guy who emptied the cask.

  • Water between each beer

Finally, have fun. I’ve been to festivals with groups, and I’ve been on my own. Either way is a good time as long as you go out there and make it one.


Oh, and PS. Drink water between each beer.

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