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How to Prepare for a Beer Festival

by: BeerAdvocate on 10-17-2001
When people ask us what we do for a living, and they find out that we basically drink beer and write about it, they become instantly jealous. It is insanely awesome to do what you love, and make money doing it. And, if it happens to involve beer ... ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Well, despite the general belief that it must be fun and easy to drink beer for a living, it is not. Well okay, it is, very much so, but there is a lot of work involved. For instance, we recently attended the 2001 Great American Beer Festival in Denver, CO. The GABF is a 3 day event with 4 sessions, 4 hours long each. There was something like 1,488 beers to be had too, from 325 breweries. On average we drank beer for 15 hours a day (around 20 pints a day). We do not give a rats-ass how tough you think you are. That kind of drinking will knock you on your ass if you are not in shape. "In shape?!" you say. You bet your fat ass in shape! We follow a strict regimen when preparing for festivals of this magnitude, loosening it up a bit for our normal day-to-day drinking. Check this out:

Tolerance. This is key, and all of the following will, in some part, contribute to it. We start the process by building up our alcohol tolerance, by drinking at least 6-10 beers a day. This is not a limit, but rather a base to get your body used to the alcohol and its effects.

Sleep. At least 8 hours of sound sleep. How can you drink if you are fainting like a sissy?

Hydrate. Probably the most important part. You cannot get enough water in your system. It helps to detoxify and counteracts the alcohol stripping water from your system. Water is your friend.

Eat. This will not only replenish the system, but it will help to absorb the alcohol so you do not get drunk, too quickly. Taking some vitamin/mineral supplements never hurts either. No one wants to witness a weak, depleted beer drinker in action.

Moderation. Life is not a frat party and nobody is impressed by beer drinking antics. Appreciate what you are drinking and always practice moderation with your drinking. Know your buzz level and maintain it. Exceed it and you will only run into problems.

Milk Thistle. Used for thousands of years, this bad-ass herb, if taken correctly, promotes the protection of your liver by aiding in the detoxification process and stimulating the production of new lever cells. It is also an antioxidant, more powerful than vitamin C and E. Note: Before using this patron saint of the liver, consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Do not smoke. You might think that you look cool puffing on that cigarette (cancer stick) while sipping a beer, but you are actually helping to dull your sense of smell and taste. Perhaps even causing permanent damage. It is said that it can take as long as you smoked for your senses to return to normal, if that. We Beer Advocates need our palates intact so we can accurately smell, taste and talk about beer.

I am not an alcoholic. Damn straight. The politically correct term is "champion of beer" and we individually chant this every night before we go to bed.

Respect. Always, always respect beer. Nobody likes a jackass.
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