Your Beerfest Strategy?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by 19etz55, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. get drunk.
    RobertColianni likes this.
  2. Word. The Toronado Bwine Festival of 2008 and the fallout afterwards taught me much....experienced I am....

    Never pass out drunk on a shitter in a Haight-Ashbury vendors bathroom with a slice of pizza in your mouth...just sayin'
    JArena13 and kemoarps like this.
  3. I look for "new" stuff I haven't had before. Don't need to "taste" anything that I have had many times even if it is excellent. I look for either a new beer from a well known favorite brewer or I look for a brewery that I have never had before. After that I look for a cool T-Shirt to buy.
    Newenglandcraftbrew likes this.
  4. vthippie

    vthippie Aficionado (210) Vermont Dec 18, 2012

    First I knock out any wants, one-offs and collabs from my favorite breweries, then I move on to new (or new to me) breweries. Also keep an eye out for any events within the event. At the last VT Brewfest they had a chocolate pairing where we got to sample 4-5 beers and got free chocolate (Heady Topper with dark chocolate covered almonds is amazing). Having a partner that you can split tasters with does allow you to cover a lot more ground.
  5. ipas-for-life

    ipas-for-life Savant (495) Virginia Feb 28, 2012 Beer Trader

    The majority of big beer fests in my area aren't worth going to. It's the same old off the shelf beers that you can find any day. You might get some interesting stuff from the local breweries but that's it. When I do go I try to get there as early as possible. By the time I have tried the majority of stuff I want the lines start getting huge and I head home.
    19etz55 likes this.
  6. 1. Get food in me before hand
    2. Get water in me. Lots of water.
    3. Go to the brewery that is located at the farthest location from the festival's entrance. This way, I don't get crowded by a bunch of assholes, at least during my first 6 or 7 beers. Once I develop a buzz, only then can I deal with the assholes
    5. When I feel myself getting too drunk, get more food and water in my system
    4. Wander until I taste something that pleases my palate. Then I keep going back for said beer until I feel like trying something new.
    5. Mainly, just go to enjoy the company of my friends, drink beer and check out some good looking chicks. I was surprised when I went to TAP NY last year, there were a decent amount of hotties walking around and pouring beer samples.
    BrewTasting likes this.
  7. PaulB

    PaulB Savant (275) Massachusetts Sep 3, 2002 Verified

    Get drunk fast, throw up first.
  8. I never understood when a brewery gets an invite to a festival, why do they only bring beers that you can buy at any store. I can see bringing a couple of the flagship beers, but at least bring a limited release or seasonal beer with you.
    19etz55 likes this.
  9. djaeon

    djaeon Champion (755) California Oct 2, 2006

    Eat plenty before and during the fest. Drink water between tasters. As far as deciding what beers to drink, I usually go to stations with short to no lines. If there's something I "have" to try, I might wait in a longer line, but that's pretty rare. I mostly try and sample new beers that I haven't tried before. If I find any I really like, I'll usually go back for another 1 or 2 samples of it.
  10. 19etz55

    19etz55 Savant (430) New Jersey Aug 12, 2007

    Sounds like a GREAT plan!!!
  11. 19etz55

    19etz55 Savant (430) New Jersey Aug 12, 2007

    I can relate.
  12. ColdOne

    ColdOne Advocate (700) New York Jan 19, 2013 Beer Trader

    There's no science, because first and foremost it's about hanging with my friends and having a killer time. So I go with the flow. However, given the option I like to:

    1. Hit casks, barrel aged brews or anything that seems out of the ordinary, especially from breweries I respect.
    2. Along the way, I'm happy to hit beers I've already had here and there. This takes the sting away from tastes that are less than impressive.
    3. Get the buzz of the room and find the new brews that people are talking about.
    4. Return for second tastes of stuff I've loved.
    5. If Schmaltz is around, head there for a kick in the nuts before I leave.
    6. Drink the night away at the lodge. Laugh, cry, piss, repeat.
    19etz55 likes this.
  13. aasher

    aasher Poobah (1,270) Indiana Jan 27, 2010 Beer Trader

    Drink your rinse water!
  14. Don't wreck your palate. Start off with light lagers, blondes, hefes, wits, then go esb, mild, pale, hit up some browns, porters, stouts, then IPAs, then finish with sour. It's important to pace your palate, or you will not be able to taste the beers at the end of the fest. No coffee the day of, big greasy burger beforehand.
    utopiajane and 19etz55 like this.
  15. NWer

    NWer Advocate (740) Washington Mar 10, 2009 Beer Trader

    So much for my "serious" answer I had planned.
  16. Genuine

    Genuine Advocate (525) Connecticut May 7, 2009 Verified

    Usually before I Have anything to eat, I'll go towards more hop forward IPA's, belgians and the like. After I have something, I usually crave stouts, barleywines, etc. Depends on what brewery is there for example would be if Sierra Nevada is there, I've had most of their offerings and like them all very much. If they have a new beer available that I haven't had, I'll go for that. Otherwise, I like to try new beers only. After I have tried the things I haven't, I'll go for the "go-to's".
    19etz55 likes this.
  17. RyanBeer13

    RyanBeer13 Initiate (0) Virginia Jan 24, 2011

    I try as much as possible
    19etz55 likes this.
  18. Find the group of girls that are drinking the most, and go out with them afterwards.
  19. Kopfschuss

    Kopfschuss Advocate (560) Oregon Aug 19, 2009

    Haha! Don't lie, you're going to do some brawling this year at the WA brewer's festival right?

    Real response, have a good time and try not to injure my foot on a large cable like I did a couple years back at the Portland Waterfront Beer Festival. Damn that hurt :( Over-thinking the festival makes for a hurried and less enjoyable time to me. I take it as it comes, avoiding huge line-ups for sure.
  20. GRG1313

    GRG1313 Poobah (1,030) California Jan 15, 2009 Beer Trader

    This is a great thread. Lots of good comments (both serious and witty). Love it.

    I can tell you seriously that my first time to GABF I went alone. THAT was a huge mistake! I was overwhelmed by the size of the place and the quantity of beers available. I hated it. I didn't know where to turn first; had no idea about 3/4 of the breweries in the place so I had no idea if I was passing the greatest or worst brewery on earth. I tasted a bit; waited in lines a bit and just got discouraged while my feet continued to hurt.

    I learned my lesson. I now go to most beer events/festivals/parties with friends and family so that we can share up to 4 or 5 different beers at the same time. Sometimes we all go to one brewery and get 4 or 5 of the different choices. I drink my rinse water and, perhaps most importantly, I wear really good and comfortable shoes! I also make sure to get some food about 1/2 through the event. And, like others, I try what I really want first, if possible, but I won't pass up a good beer with no line. I also attend knowing that it is unlikely that I'll get the newest DFH since I won't wait in the line and that Allagash will probably run out of my first choice as well. Lost Abbey always brings great stuff that runs out quickly and is only available at designated times, like a few other places. Just a few examples but you get my point - you can't get too frustrated if you don't get "the beer of the day." Sometimes....shit just happens and you miss it.

    But, if you hit some of the places with no lines and that everyone else is avoiding, I'll bet you that you're going to find at least one sleeper!

    Best advice: Don't plan on drinking it all or getting a taste of everything - ain't going to happen!
  21. 19etz55

    19etz55 Savant (430) New Jersey Aug 12, 2007

    Nice advice. Beer on!
  22. Pretzel necklace? People actually do that? Good lord.
    EnronCFO likes this.
  23. NWer

    NWer Advocate (740) Washington Mar 10, 2009 Beer Trader

    True that. Best laid plans beforehand never match what I end up doing. Short lines for sure - or wait in line while enjoying a beer. Whatever, only beers not readily available worth considering.
    "A" list for me are SIB, OBF, Belgianfest. All others not so much anymore.
    Attended Surlyfest last year - what a blast - but that was a one-time opportunity. Unlikely to repeat.
  24. Kopfschuss

    Kopfschuss Advocate (560) Oregon Aug 19, 2009

    Ugh I'm jealous. I am contemplating if I will be attending any large festivals this year. I am so content just visiting breweries/venues and sampling numerous outstanding beers. Summer usually draws road trips and beer adventures for the girlfriend and I, so I am sure something fun will pop up.
    19etz55 likes this.
  25. GRG1313

    GRG1313 Poobah (1,030) California Jan 15, 2009 Beer Trader

    Here's the bigger question: Why, after 2 to 4 hours at a beer festival, do the people with the pretzel necklaces leave with seemingly as many pretzels as when they entered?!!? Truthfully, enquiring minds want to know!
    19etz55 likes this.
  26. Kopfschuss

    Kopfschuss Advocate (560) Oregon Aug 19, 2009

    Got drunk and forgot :(
  27. GFG

    GFG Savant (315) North Dakota Oct 24, 2012

    I make it my goal to try every single beer as long as its not BMC
    19etz55 likes this.
  28. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poobah (1,475) California Mar 18, 2010 Verified

    I will usually walk around and try to get tastes of things I think will kick first. After that, I just make sure to try everything I haven't had before. This strategy has given me some rough nights though.
    19etz55 likes this.
  29. BrewTasting

    BrewTasting Savant (280) Nevada Dec 8, 2010 Beer Trader

    The breakfast burrito in the morning is what makes or breaks it.
    ColdOne likes this.
  30. Bildo

    Bildo Aficionado (195) Minnesota Jan 24, 2013

    Get there early to scope out the beer list. find the ones that sound interesting esp from breweriesI havent had the pleasure of tasting before. then hit the limited or special casks of beers i enjoy. after that try to go back to ones i truely enjoy at the same time grabbing a beer from he booths with no line.
    19etz55 likes this.
  31. If there is an option to buy a souvenir glass get it. The last few beer festivals I have been too, beer gets served in little 4 oz plastic cups. And since they can only hold 4 ounces there is no way to get any more of that in your glass. But the souvenir glass usually holds more than 4 (with a fill line somewhere to indicate 4 oz). But usually the guys pouring aren't really that accurate and will almost always pour higher than that line.
  32. Rion

    Rion Savant (390) North Carolina Jan 30, 2013 Beer Trader

    I try to eat as much as possible and drink lots of water so I'm not the guy stumbeling around all over the place.
    19etz55 likes this.
  33. kemoarps

    kemoarps Champion (805) Washington Apr 30, 2008 Beer Trader

    Good suggestions so far. One I figured out today was: if it's really warm where you are, wear a hat. And put ice in it. It melts and cools your scalp and offers a miniscule hydration.
  34. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poobah (1,045) New Jersey Feb 23, 2012 Beer Trader

    I like to give a quart of blood right before I go.
    That way the alcohol kicks in quicker.
    GrindFatherBob likes this.
  35. hoptualBrew

    hoptualBrew Advocate (595) Florida May 29, 2011 Beer Trader

    Camelback. Of water.
    19etz55 likes this.
  36. TheNightwatchman

    TheNightwatchman Advocate (730) Pennsylvania Mar 28, 2009 Verified

    I usually make it a priority to go to breweries I haven't had beer from, or have only had a few beers from. I'll still stop by the places that I'm extremely familiar with, but they aren't my top priority. I tend to go to beerfests to get exposed to new beers.

    I'll usually grab a beer from someone close to the entrance of the venue, and then walk around the entire place to see what else is available before deciding what to target first.
    19etz55 likes this.
  37. haknort

    haknort Savant (325) Illinois Apr 10, 2013 Beer Trader

    Which is exactly why my friends and I show up wearing matching Team XYZ shirts made out of pretzels.

    The awkward moment comes after we've sampled forty or so beers and then begin gnawing on each other.

    Also, we BYOB. Usually something they don't have at beer fests, like Coors Light.

    As for necklaces, ours are made of Advil and Tums.
    19etz55 and Higy like this.
  38. willbm3

    willbm3 Savant (390) Massachusetts Feb 19, 2010

    A quart?!? Christ
  39. Hit a couple places up, eat, a few more, eat, several more, eat.
    I'd rather be a tad bloated and buzzed than the alternative.
    Oh, and lots of water in between everything. Cleans palate, hydrates.
    19etz55 likes this.
  40. it's not gonna help absorb the booze (and i've never done one for myself), but i imagine pretzel necklaces are more for palate cleansing than anything else. my palate starts to get completely screwed around beer #15, and some neutral flavoured bread or chips or something would help a lot.
    19etz55 likes this.