going to a beer festival? Here are some useful tricks you can use to survive the event and enjoy your time. And not end up sick and in bed or worse, the hospital.
Whether you go to Oktoberfest or just a local beer event, a little planning can make you enjoy the event and try the best beers there are to offer. Here is a look at the best way to survive and enjoy it all.
Ignore this if your goal is to get drunk
If your goal is to waste quickly, skip this advice. Drinking a lot of beer quickly and without food will get you drunk. Your goal is not to try hard-to-find beers or nuances of flavor. Just skip a beer festival. Get a box of beer and drink at home. You will save people the step of taking you or finishing in the hospital.
Photo of Florian Köppen de Pexels
Choose the event wisely
Not all beer festivals are the same. The bigger the event, the bigger the queues for both beer and bathrooms. Consider smaller local events, especially outside the city. You will taste beers that you cannot find locally and you will have time to talk with the brewers.
Research the breweries
Once you choose an event, take the time to investigate each brewery and the beers it offers. Use apps like Untappd to map your favorites, and spend time examining the website for the festival. I also like to see if a beer is available locally, especially if it can be taken on tap. Again, Untappd will tell you. At the festival, if you try a beer that you can get locally, you are wasting your potential and sobriety. Focus on the things you usually can't get where you live.
Map of your strategy
Sometimes, the website or application for the festival will have a map of the breweries and their locations within the festival grounds. Write the beers you want to try in each place. If you really want to try a beer, send an email to the brewery. The craft brewers are sociable and accommodating, and a quick email more than once gave me a beer of choice.
Eat Well Feed and Well Rest
Two things will intensify the effects of alcohol: lack of sleep and lack of food. Sleep well the night before and eat beforehand. Do not eat anything spicy or something that can "be repeated" in you. A soft meal will not interfere with your enjoyment of beer. Also, from personal experience, do not overeat. If you drink too much and vomit, you will regret that great meal.
Yes, pretzel necklaces are one thing
They are not just for fashion; They fulfill some essential functions. First, clean your palate. If it has a fruity sour taste and then a robust bourbon barrel, those flavors will not mix well. The bread and salt in pretzels clarify that in your mouth. They also serve as sustenance. You are less likely to feel the effects of beer so fast when you have things in your stomach. The higher the ABV or IBU, the more pretzels you will need. Of course, people will ask you for pretzels, and you will be popular. My secret to make these necklaces uses a bamboo skewer and flosses to the end. Stack the pretzels on the skewer with dental floss. Flossing serves as an extra to clean things trapped in the teeth.
Bring a sling and a bag
When you're at the event, many of the breweries will give away stickers, coasters and koozies. They will also sell t-shirts and baseball caps. As your head becomes a little blurry, you are more likely to leave those valuable things somewhere. Bring a bag to carry. I take one of those bags that fold over themselves to fit in the palm of your hand. It even has a carabiner to attach it to a clip.
To hold the sample vessel, look online for a sling. You are less likely to drop the glass if you have a support for it. It also keeps your hands free to carry your bag. That sling is useful when you go to the bathroom safely.
Photo of Elevate on Unsplash
Take a picture, it will last longer  Even if you charted your beer trip, all festivals have late tickets. A brewery you didn't expect or a beer you've never heard of. Then you will remember that great beer, take a picture of the cabin and the menu. You can then add it later to Straightened and rate it. I use Evernote for that and take some notes about beer.
Keep your water and beer intake under control
Just as you should eat a pretzel after each beer, you should also drink some water. That further cleanses your palate and dilutes the alcohol in your body. Of course, you will have to go to the bathroom more, so that is just a fact of life.
Don't drink things from cans or bottles
Since you've already mapped things before, if a beer is easily found in retail, then you don't need to go to a festival to try it. Just go to the local liquor store and call it good. Your goal is to try things you can't try elsewhere. Even if they have their favorite draft beer, avoid it. Get your favorite at your local bar or store, not at the festival. The exception to this rule would be a rare release that could be impossible to find at the local liquor store.
Do not drink the whole glass
Here it is good to waste some beer. If you don't like it, spill it. Usually, there are garbage cans and water jugs to clean your glass. Pour the beer you don't like in the bucket and wash it. However, I avoid doing it in front of the brewery. I don't want to offend them if I don't like it. However, after talking with the brewers, many do not care. They know that not everyone likes every beer. However, I'm still a little shy about it.
If you are not sure of a beer or want to slow down, order half a spill. They are always willing to pour less beer, so it lasts longer.
O Buddy Up
I often go with my spouse to drink events or just to a friend. We will try two different beers in the same brewery or wait in separate lines. We will share the samples. I could be getting only half of the beer, but we can both try twice as much.
Photo of Lukas Eggers in Unsplash
Meet your brewer
When possible, don't just walk and say “beer with me " Meet your brewer and ask them questions. They enjoy their trade and love to share. The best question is how they came up with the name of a beer. There is always a story. If you're starting to feel the effects of beer, chatting is a great way to slow down and reach your body.
Ask what's under the table
Brewers often have reserve beer figuratively and literally. They will bring unique beers that people should request. They are not on the menu. If you did some work in advance, you may have already requested that particular beer. Brewers appreciate educated consumers, so if you don't see a beer, ask. When in doubt, ask if there is something "under the table" to try. Sometimes they will look funny, but sometimes they will surprise you. If you like a brewery, it is worth asking.
Do you become drunk? Wait in Line
There will always be some cabins with long lines. I keep those long lines for when I need a little more sobriety. My stomach gets dizzy and my head is spinning a little. I know I will not fully appreciate a beer unless I take a break. That line is a built-in pause.
Use yeast or charcoal to stay in the game
Jim Koch of Sam Adams takes a spoonful of baker's yeast along with some yogurt before trying the beer. That may work for him, but for the average person, it doesn't work. Science does not support it either. Most likely, your tolerance is higher.
Activated carbon is a different story. It is a common remedy that is offered to quickly eliminate venom from the body. Take it after drinking not long ago. Taking it before you start drinking is a different story. If the carbon is in the stomach before drinking, some of the alcohol is bound to it. The studies are mixed in terms of their impact. I did it and noticed a moderate difference. I tend to know my limits and it lasted much longer taking a spoonful of coal before an event.
Don Don't worry, you missed a beer
No matter how hard you try, there is always A beer that I missed. I was too caught up in the event, and my brain was cloudy. There is never enough time to drink all the beer. That's fine because there is never enough time to go to all the festivals. Enjoy your adventures!