10 Beer Fest Essentials

Beer Festival Crowd

Beer fest season is upon us. Heck, in a lot of places, it’s already started. Are you ready to go? Do you know what it takes to get ready? If not, I’m here to help with 10 essentials for beer festival success. Even if you’re a seasoned veteran, it’s nice to have a little checklist before taking off.

This list covers most everything needed for the day of the festival. It does not include what you might need for camping or other aspects of the trip outside the festival itself. Let’s get into it…

1. Perseverance (and a Tolerance)

Seriously. You’re going to be drinking all day (and possibly, all night). Take it slow. No need to try everything, and if you’re past buzzed, approaching drunk, slow it down a bit. Make it through the day, try the beers you wanted to try, and you’ve succeeded.

2. Pretzels or Crackers

Pretzel Necklaces for Beer Festivals

Pretzels and crackers are great palate-cleansers between tastings. You might see a vendor selling pretzel necklaces, but why not make your own before the festival? Save your money for some real food later on.

3. Water

Water Bottle Canteen

They’ll have water coolers all over the place for rinsing your cup, and also for light refreshment. But you will get thirsty for something other than beer, and you don’t want to be the guy who drains the water cooler for a 16-ounce chugging session. BYOH2O.

4. Knowledge of Festival Etiquette

Have you been to a beer fest? Do you know what’s considered appropriate etiquette? Make sure you do. A few quick tips:

  • Don’t stand around talking with the brewery rep when there’s a line behind you.
  • Rinse out your glass between pours.
  • Don’t tell the guy or gal pouring to “fill it up.” You’ve got plenty of time to drink, and 4-6 ounces at each tent/table will be more than enough. If you really like something, go back for more later.

5. Sun Screen  

Sun Screen Lineup

Most beer festivals are held outdoors in the summer. If it’s sunny and warm, you’re gonna want sun screen and/or a baseball cap. Drinking all day in the sun is tough even without feeling the burn.

6. Research and a Plan of Attack

See who’s pouring at the festival before you attend. Make a list of the breweries and beers you’re hoping to taste. If it’s a rare one, you’ll probably want to hit that first, as it will likely run dry sooner than others.

7. Adequate Sleep

Homer Simpson Sleeping

Get a solid 8 or 9 hours the night before the festival. You can’t drink all day if you’re coming off an all-nighter. Trust me on this one.

8. Tickets

GABP Tickets

This seems obvious, but there are certain festivals every year that sell out within days, if not hours. This may not be the case for the festivals you plan to attend, but get your tickets in advance anyhow. Better safe than sorry, right?

9. Money for Food

Corn and Chicken on the Grill

The crackers and pretzels are great for palate-cleansing, but you need something solid in your stomach before the day ends – otherwise, you likely won’t make it.

10. A Tasting Notebook

Little Book of Beer Tasting NotebookYou may not necessarily need this one, but if you’re someone who takes the tasting seriously, it’s nice to have a notebook on hand.

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If you cover these 10 essentials, you should be good to go on game day. If you have another idea that you consider essential for festival success, get at us on Facebook or leave it in the comments below!

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