pint of beer poured form tap

Beer Festival Survival Guide

The beer festival is quickly becoming one of the hottest events across the country. Every summer and fall, millions of thirsty beer fans flock to beer festivals searching out fresh new brews from breweries large and small. Here’s how to make the most of your beer festival experience.

Go in With a Plan
When you’re strolling along the many tents and taps, it can be overwhelming. Like a kid in a candy store, your mind and tastebuds are screaming out, demanding you taste every one of those amazing beers on display.

What could be worse, though, than leaving a great beer festival without having tried some pours from the new brewery you’ve been looking forward to? If you don’t head in to a beer festival with some kind of plan, you could miss out on inventive and game-changing beer.

Check in ahead of time and get a list of the breweries and eats that will be vending at the festival. Take a little time to research the places on the list that are new to you and see if they have anything of interest. Circle the spots you must visit, then have a back up list of spots to see as you stroll.

Try to get tastes of anything new to the market or that you can’t find in your local pub and bottle shop. Look out for super small businesses and startups; they’re often the most likely to give out free merchandise and talk with you about their brewing process and ideas for the future. It’s a great chance to be an early adopter in an up and coming business.

Keep Notes
Make the most of your beer festival experience by taking brief notes on what beers you liked. Like your first junior high dance, it’s easy to fall in love at first sight. But keep those hands to yourself! There could be an amazing beer hanging out with the wallflowers.

Take the time to jot down which breweries you definitely want to spend more time tasting. There are probably more than enough IPAs, stouts, and amber ales to go around, so try to make a note of the interesting brews that really stood out. You don’t want to end up at home afterward, knowing there was that one…brewery…that..amazing…beer…that you just can’t remember.

Food and Water is a Must
Skipping the food and water could seriously ruin your beer festival experience. If you’ve made a list of tents to visit, and you’re keeping notes on your favorites, you’ll have plenty of time to quaff pint after pint at another time.

Put at least one pint of water in your gullet for every pint you knock back. Not only will you feel better at days end, you’ll have a clear head and a memory of your fun time.

Food plays an amazing supporting role at beer festivals, and often you’ll find them working in delicious harmony. Take some time to chill at a table and grab local eats that go well with your drink choices. You can use this meal time to make a plan of attack for tasting at the rest of the tents moving forward.

Say Thank You
The two greatest words in our language are frequently forgotten. Make everyone’s beer festival experience that much better by being an upstanding, polite beer drinker. Through the summer and fall months that sun can be brutal, and days spent standing and pouring beer can take a toll.

Those folks pouring your beers and making those pretzels are working hard to bring you that boozy pleasure you crave. Tip generously even though you’re not at a bar and say thank you with every pour. Not only will you make the staff happy, your beer will taste even better!

Follow these simple rules and you’ll be a beer fest pro in no time! Beer festivals are a great way to discover new beers and support your local brewing industry.