2019 Great American Beer Fest tips

Discussion in 'Mountain' started by Mebuzzard, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,553) May 19, 2005 Colorado
    Trader

    Ok, GABF advice. Here we go...

    • Drink water, especially if you're "low-altitude" folk
    • Wear comfortable shoes
    • Get a sample of beer, move to the side (or away) to allow others their sample
    • Chat away from pouring tables/booths
    • Bring a snack (pretzel necklaces are always cute)
    • Pockets are better than bags
    • Backpacks are a no, at GABF and the surrounding GABF week events. Not always policy, it's just that they are bulky and have spilled too many beers
    • Utilize ride sharing and RTD (light rail, bus)
    • You may plan out your GABF route...be prepared to scrap it.
    • You WILL miss something, accept it
    What other advice, BA peeps?
     
  2. ssteigerwald

    ssteigerwald Aspirant (207) Mar 4, 2010 Colorado

    Denver weather is extremely unpredictable in early October. Check weather vigilantly before coming, and even then still come prepared for winter or summer weather.
     
  3. Rihup

    Rihup Devotee (424) Oct 7, 2011 Illinois

    A tip that has helped me at other beer fest: I drink one liquid IV before, one during and one after to help with having a minimal hangover.
     
  4. Powell014

    Powell014 Initiate (33) Oct 30, 2014 Colorado

    My two tips to avoid hangover and getting too smashed are:

    1) If you get a pour of something and don't end up liking it, dump it out. You have 'X' amount of pours in you, no sense wasting them on something you don't like.

    2) Bring a water bottle. Everyone says their going to hydrate but before you know it you haven't seen a water fountain in 45 minutes. And you're certainly not going to spend any of your precious last hour looking for one. Bring a water bottle. Take a pull after every 2 or 3 pours. If you see a water fountain, finish the bottle and fill it up. Without even trying you'll have drank 4-5 bottles of water in a session.
     
  5. t4h2c0

    t4h2c0 Initiate (86) Jun 5, 2007 Washington

    If you have leftover GABF cups from previous years bring back multiple glasses/plastic cups. I always bring at least one extra cup that way if you are waiting in line you have something extra to drink and when you get to the front of the long line you can fill both cups. Just say the other one is for your wife or whatever if anyone gives you a hard time but i have never had a problem
     
  6. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,553) May 19, 2005 Colorado
    Trader

    There is water (usually) on the tables. Get a beer sample, drink it, fill glass with water, drink it. Repeat.
     
  7. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,783) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    Don't laugh and cheer when someone drops their taster glass.
     
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  8. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,339) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Trader

    I brought my plastic cup from two years ago so I wouldn't drop my glass members only cup. I was two fisting utopias at the end of the session. It was stupid and I plan on doing it again this year...
     
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  9. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,553) May 19, 2005 Colorado
    Trader

    And if you're gonna drop your cup, don't do so in the bathroom.
     
  10. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,611) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Society

    Something that has always helped me is setting a hard stop and sticking to it. It becomes really easy to keep getting "one more pour" until they start kicking people out.
    I usually try and hit all of the places I really want to visit in the first 45 minutes. With the regional layout that's pretty easy since most are in the NE, NW, and SE regions.
    At that point I'm feeling good and I'll spend the next few hours trying random stuff. The event lasts until 10, but I'm rarely there past 9:15. Especially with Rare being the next morning and food being a necessity. Getting decent food near there is an absolute battle past 9:30, but if you leave early tables are around.
     
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  11. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,339) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Trader

    Saw a guy fishing his cup out of the urinal last year. Just let it go man, the urinal is lava.
     
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  12. Dan_K

    Dan_K Zealot (506) Nov 8, 2013 Colorado
    Trader

    I like to pace myself. For the first 2 hours I am fine waiting in lines for the hype beers. If you go hog wild you'll be drunk in 45 minutes.

    Don't shoot a beer down your gullet if you don't love it. Dump it and move on.
     
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  13. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,553) May 19, 2005 Colorado
    Trader

    • If this is your first time, don't let the very long line outside intimidate you. It moves quickly.
    • Have your ID out at the gate
    • They will inspect bags/purses
    • They do have a GABF app. It's pretty cool
     
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  14. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,611) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Society

    Another thing most people don't realize - the people pouring at 75% of booths are volunteers that were simply assigned. Drunkenly expounding how you love their brewery and that you're from the same area is just a waste of time. There are exceptions, but most of the time you're wasting your breath and holding up the line. Unless you're in one of the meet the brewer areas, you're just spouting off at a random person.
     
  15. travis224

    travis224 Initiate (175) Jul 24, 2010 Texas
    Trader

    So, what beers are everyone most excited for? I'm looking at the list on their website and it's pretty overwhelming. A lot of breweries I've never heard of too.
     
  16. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,339) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Trader

    That Tomme look alike at the Lost Abbey table last year was uncanny... :stuck_out_tongue:
     
  17. Prospero

    Prospero Savant (955) Jul 27, 2010 Colorado
    Trader

    Ah come on, it's all in good fun... childish fun, but still.... have fun! Dress up in costumes if you want. I love seeing all the creative costumes and outfits every year. Also you don't need to take a picture or 'check-in' to every sample you're trying on Untappd. If you WANT to take notes, take a moleskin or notepad.

    These should be in bold printed on the tickets FWIW:
    • Get a sample of beer, move to the side (or away) to allow others their sample
    • Chat away from pouring tables/booths
    The one exception, if the booth doesn't have a line and/or you're in the meet the brewer's section, I'd say it's ok to chat it up with the brewer for a minute. Just keep it short and be aware if you're blocking people from samples or preoccupying the pourer.
     
  18. Prospero

    Prospero Savant (955) Jul 27, 2010 Colorado
    Trader

    I was with you until you said you left early. I spent enough on tickets I pace myself to stay the entire time :slight_smile: On the flip side I've also heard getting there 15-minutes after the doors open you can walk right in without a line.... so there's that too.
     
  19. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,553) May 19, 2005 Colorado
    Trader

    I used to get there early enough to be in the middle of the line (2 years, we were first!....long ago...). But that sacrifices about 2 hours before the doors open. 15 minutes after is a better option for me.
     
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  20. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (451) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    I’m feeling attacked
     
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  21. pjeagles

    pjeagles Initiate (149) May 29, 2005 New Mexico
    Trader

    To add on to that- a good number of these volunteers will be have been sampling pretty hard. Over the years I have found that volunteers are more of the Saturday night GABF crowd than the Thursday night/ Saturday day session crowd.
     
  22. kbenson

    kbenson Initiate (116) Aug 15, 2012 Texas

    Unless it's a beer I know I'm going to love, I usually ask for a half (1 oz) or less pour. I really just want to try the beers. And very small pours lets me try a bunch more before I get totally trashed. I also rinse my cup at every chance and drink the water from the rinse rather than dumping it.
     
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  23. BarrelAgeMe

    BarrelAgeMe Initiate (31) Nov 18, 2015 Nebraska

  24. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,611) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Society

    Yeah, I'd agree with that. The Saturday afternoon crowd is probably the drunkest of all of them. The brewers are either celebrating or drowning their sorrows. The volunteers are getting hog wild and trying to hunt for leftovers to take home. The rare stuff is mostly gone, so people are just drinking whatever is left. It's an interesting scene.
     
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  25. Ratman197

    Ratman197 Devotee (422) Aug 11, 2007 Colorado

    The pours are only 1 ounce, how is 1 ounce a half?
     
  26. Ratman197

    Ratman197 Devotee (422) Aug 11, 2007 Colorado

    Volunteers are NOT allowed to take beer home!
     
  27. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (10,939) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    How is 1 oz. even a pour? I completely understand why they do it, believe me I do, but I can't get a feel for a beer in 1 oz. Hell, I can't even tell what it really looks like, let alone get a good whiff of it. I'm hoping I can somehow get a second glass so that I can at least get 2 oz. so I can write a review of beers from 2 or 3 states that I've never had a beer from.
     
  28. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,611) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Society

    ...and people are not allowed to drive over 75mph on the highway...
    We've all known volunteers that came away with stuff they aren't supposed to.
     
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  29. Mebuzzard

    Mebuzzard Poo-Bah (3,553) May 19, 2005 Colorado
    Trader

    You can always get another pour.
     
  30. Ratman197

    Ratman197 Devotee (422) Aug 11, 2007 Colorado

    They get caught they are banned from GABF. It's not that easy. Been Beer Service staff for 20 years.
     
  31. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,339) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Trader

    Cough cough cough Chelsea cough cough