Chances are if you’re a fan of craft beer, your summer plans include attending a few beer festivals. Well, we’ve attended quite a few of those boozy affairs so we thought we’d share some of our wisdom with you. In fact, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about attending a beer festival!
Preparing to attend a beer festival
Trust us, you don’t want to walk in blind and unprepared to one of those booze battlefields. (We’ve seen some things.) Take a few minutes to prepare so you can actually have some fun and possibly avoid being that person puking in the corner. #NoOneWantsToBeThatGuy
Safety first: designate a sober driver or arrange transportation
Don’t leave this up to chance. Make a solid plan on how you’re getting home at the end of the day.
Know the line up & make a plan
Most beer festivals will have this information available on their website a few days prior. Go ahead and make your attack plan. Determine which beers you omg absolutely must try and map out your route. Take it a step further by making a list and categorizing the beers accordingly:
- Must have
- Want to have
- Would like to have
- Eh, it’s cool if we skip these
Check the forecast and plan accordingly
Hot and sunny? Make sure to have a hat and/or sunglasses. Cool and misty? Layer up and bring a poncho. You’re smart, you’ll know what to do. Just don’t go in blind. We all know forecasts can change on a dime, so make sure to check just before you head out the door, too. Don’t let rain stop you, either!
Plan to wear comfortable shoes
A beer festival is not the place to make a fashion statement. You’ll be on your feet all day and walking all over creation. Comfortable shoes will be your saving grace.
Pack the essentials
Plan to wear a backpack or fanny pack (yes, those bad boys are making a comeback) with everything you’ll need. Just make sure to double check the festival’s website--some festivals don’t allow backpacks anymore.
Beer Festival Essentials:
- MUNCHIES! Crackers, pretzels (you can even make a nifty pretzel necklace), bread, any kind of carby snack.
- Bug spray
- Refillable water bottle
- Lip balm (salty snacks + beer = chapped lips)
Tips For Tackling the Beer Festival
Arrive early to avoid the crowds
It’s no secret that beer festivals can get awfully crowded. Plan to get there early so you can make sure to hit all your favorite beer spots before the lines get too long.
Establish a meeting ground
Friends don’t leave friends behind. Pick a place that’s easy to find and plan to meet up there in case your group gets separated. Phones die, and it’s easy to lose track of people in the crowds.
Get a festival program & bring a pencil
Not only will the program help you execute your attack plan--it’s an awesome way to keep track of your thoughts. Love a particular beer? Circle it. Was it extra hoppy? Make a note. Think a friend would really like that one? Write their name next to it. Trust us, you tend to forget these things as the day goes on. ;)
Apply & reapply sunblock and bug spray
You’re a responsible adult, so this one kind of speaks for itself, right?
Talk to the beer masters
They take their craft seriously, and this is their chance to share it with you! A beer festival is more than just a place to get a good buzz. Actually participate and learn a thing or two!
Find the Montford Misfit guys and grab a 3D Craft Beer Map!
Ordinarily, we’d advise you to save your heavy and/or bulky purchases until the end of the festival. But come by and see us at any point! We’ll hold onto your item until you’re ready to leave. Go ahead and browse our selection so you can come prepared!
Don’t be that guy…
Skip the pre-game.
We love a good pre-game as much as the next guy. But pre-gaming for a beer festival is completely unnecessary. Don’t be reckless.
Eat before you head out.
A beer festival on an empty stomach is a recipe for disaster. But we’re not speaking from experience or anything... ;)
Keep it movin’ at the pouring table.
Get your beer and move along. If you’re waiting on your buddy to finish up, step aside. Crowding the table is a party foul.
Leave the kids at home.
Keeping track of the little tyke in a big crowd while consuming lots of booze just isn’t the best plan.
Don’t stick to what’s familiar. Make sure to make the rounds and try a few new things. That’s what the festival is for!
Don’t make it your mission to try every single beer.
In most cases it’s simply not possible, but in all cases it’s really not smart.
Don’t even think about driving.
You’ve been boozin’ it up all day. Put your action plan into motion. If you forgot to make one, or you’re simply too drunk to remember what it was...hail a cab or call an uber. We want you to live to see and booze another day!
Make sure you’re following us on Facebook & Instagram to keep track of what we’re up to this summer. We may just be at the festival you’re planning to attend! Always plan to stop on by and say hi. We’d love to meet you!