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Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Suggestions/Tips for ACBF

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Events' started by jecatudel, May 8, 2013.

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  1. jecatudel

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    First time going to the ACBF, attending the Friday session...anyone have any tips, suggestions, or things to know/be aware of for the festival? Thanks.
     
  2. Robtobfest

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    Just remember to pace yourself And if you don't like a beer dump it! Don't force it down cause you feel bad about dumping it or you'll be in rough shape! Also I would suggest making a list of your top 10 beers you want to try as it can be a bit overwhelming and sometimes you can't forget to circle back.
     
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  3. BrittEBurke

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    Eat before you get there and snack during the fest (they have food for sale at the venue)
    Drink plenty of water
    Wear comfortable shoes (the floor is concrete or concrete covered in thin carpet)
    Definitely grab a fest guide on your way in. There's a map in the back that is super helpful.
     
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  4. willbm3

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    Eat dinner beforehand. There's plenty of good restaurants in Boston so get a good base of food in you. They sell food there but it isn't very good. Prototypical bad stadium food.
    If pretzel necklaces are your thing, make one of those. Lots of people do that.
    Lines can get long (especially at Ommegang, DFH, etc.) so grab a sample from a place nearby and drink it while you're in line at another place. I'd rather spend 5-10 minutes in the long lines drinking a beer than standing there with a thumb up my ass.
    There are Gatorade buckets full of water all over with dump pails. USE THEM. Rinse your glass and drink water. It would also be worth buying a bottle of water from the vendors.

    Most importantly, have fun. This isn't supposed to be work. Unless you like running around like a madman ticking off all your wants, don't do it. I don't go in with a plan. I like wandering. You may be different. There will be plenty of good beer poured
     
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  5. Ericness

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    Be wary of long lines. If you see a shorter one go for it! Sometimes you find something awesome from the lesser known breweries that don't attract the biv crowds. If you do want try something with a long wait have a beer in hand when you get on it.

    Pace yourself. You'll be feeling the beers by the end. I believe you can bring pretzels in and water is your friend.
    State IDs won't get you in.

    MA liquor ID, passport, or driver's license (any state) are a must.

    Harpoon Brewery is nearby only a few stoos down on the silver line if you're feeling adventurous.

    If you like dark beers see the duck rabbit folks.

    At least scope out the tables of your favorite brewers early on. Sometimes they only start serving certain beers at particular times.

    Enjoy yourself and be responsible inside and after the event! Don't be an obnoxious drunk on the T, seen it too many times at these things.
     
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  6. willbm3

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    Harpoon is less than a 10 minute walk from the convention center, don't waste your time on the silver line
     
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  7. fearfactory

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    Above all the other great tips already listed, I suggest not to be afraid to talk with anyone! I met more great people just starting conversations with total strangers while standing in lines.....except the pourers of course! A quick thanks and step aside will suffice.
     
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  8. cappy201

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    Be nice to the folks humping water buckets, slop buckets, etc. We're BA's lending a hand for a good time.
     
  9. willbm3

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    This is a great point. While I understand the desire to talk a bit with the pourers it's a little rude to the 20 or so people waiting behind you to get a sample.
     
  10. HattedClassic

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    Use the bathroom before you leave the convention and as often as you need it during the convention. Apparently, the BPD does not like it when you pee on someone's shrubbery on the way back to your apartment. Oh, and there are bathrooms on both sides of the convention center. I also second the Duck-Rabbit recommendation.
     
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  11. Lledd

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    BRING A PRETZEL NECKLACE! Reaching in with one hand, into a bag in the other hand is tough...WITH A SAMPLE!
    Take notes on what you like. I promise you won't remember. Hit Lawsons.
     
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  12. ljkeats

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    If you plan on taking notes, bring your own pen or pencil.
    There'll be a zillion porta-potties outside the building but enclosed inside the fest area, almost never a line.
    There's no re-entry, and there's no ATM inside the fest (I think), so please bring cash with you if you plan on buying brewery swag as some don't take cc's.
     
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  13. BostonHops

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    my typical gameplan is to make a short list of breweries that I definitely want to hit, and target those early... then just kind of wing it, see what looks interesting, what has a short line, etc... and yeah, those 2oz pours catch up to you quicker than you'd think, so food and water are wise decisions.
     
  14. jlenik

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    Tip I learned last year: Don't expect to try everything. Mark down what you try and take a look the next day; you'll be amazed at the tiny dent you made into the list.

    Make a list of what you want to try, eat before and during, and don't go out of your way to overindulge. Odds are you will overindulge without trying! ;)
     
  15. Thads324

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    Try at least 1 beer from 5 breweries you've never heard of. You are bound to be surprised and you'll be glad you did.
     
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  16. bramsdell

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    Pick five things you want to try and then head to the places with the shortest lines.

    Also, don't wear a pretzel necklace. Bring pretzels or crackers in a bag.
     
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  17. ShogoKawada

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    drink water, pick like 5 beers you 'gotta try' and wait in line for them early, then spend the rest of the time wandering around to the no-line places.
     
  18. TheMonkfish

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    If you plan on buying any brewery gear do so early in the night. Last year I woke up with a dopey baseball hat in my pocket.
     
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  19. Janeinma

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    do they allow you to bring in empty water bottles, or isnt it worth it?
     
  20. darkerpower

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    as stated above, pace yourself those pours add up quickly. Make a short list of the beers/breweries you really want to try and go to those first. Eat before, during and after. Talk to the people in line around you, make recommendations as to what you've already tried/ask them what their favorites are so far. A few lines will always be long (dfh and goose island come to mine from the past).

    most of all have a great time.
     
  21. DerekMorgan

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    Moving pretty quick last year I got to try 31 beers. This year I made a list of 17 that I'm going to be aiming for first instead of winging it because it did feel a little overwhelming. I suggest making a plan and use it as a base but definitely don't feel the need to stick to it; if something is open and you haven't had it before go give it a try. You'll be surprised how many good breweries have no line just because they don't have one of the overhyped pours.
     
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  22. dawatts

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    Might I add, hit Lawsons FIRST.
     
  23. cappy201

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    Shhhh!
     
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  24. Kinsman

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    Pretty sure the line for their booth has already started forming
     
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  25. jdauria

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    Make sure to try beers from breweries that you cannot normally get in your own area first. I save all the Mass ones for last hour and try to hit the out of state ones like NoDa, Duck-Rabbit, Lawson's, DC Brau, etc. that don't selll in MA, then work on the out of state that do sell in MA, but may have brought beers that are not available here.
     
  26. dawatts

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    Definitely. Session B last year, we were within the first 200 people through the door, headed straight to Lawsons and there was already 40 people in line.
     
  27. dawatts

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    Haha. I wish someone had told me before my first fest.
     
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  28. nsheehan

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    Any reason not to wear a necklace?

    (I usually wear cargo shorts to keep my crackers in a bag in one pocket. And I can put the sample glass in another pocket if needed.)
     
  29. bramsdell

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    Because pretzel necklaces make you look like a moron. I don't wear my Fuelbelt, either. Put the pretzels in a bag, put the bag in your pocket or in a bag that you carry around.

    Plus, most of those people are wearing necklaces of salted pretzels, which don't actually help clean the palate.
     
  30. mmcgrath

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    while it's likely not the crowd reading this forum, when disposing of your unwanted samples, please use the dump buckets at the rinse stations and not the venue's garbage cans.
     
  31. Lledd

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    Haters be hating. It's fun and festive, and some people enjoy it. I think calling people out for enjoying some harmless fun makes you look like a...
     
  32. willbm3

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    Do beards, beer bellies, tattoos, piercings, novelty tee shirts, and cargo shorts make you look like a moron? Didn't realize there"s so much judgment at these fests.
     
  33. bramsdell

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    One man's opinion. And while cargo shorts might not make you look like a moron, it looks like you got suck in 1998. I expect there's a discman playing Third Eye Blind in one of those pockets.

    And yes, wearing a necklace of salted pretzels makes you look stupid. Why are you eating a salty food when you're trying to sample beers? Plus, why not just keep the pretzels in your pocket? That would even give good reason to have cargo pockets.
     
  34. willbm3

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    Cup in one hand, fest guide in the other. Need a hands-free way to eat pretzels brah
     
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  35. ShogoKawada

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    was on the fence, but I'm in for final session. 4th one in a row. let's do this.
     
  36. bramsdell

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    I've heard this argument before. No one's neck is long enough to reach those pretzels. Plus, just stuff that guide in your pocket. With cargo pockets, you don't even have fold or roll it.
     
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  37. willbm3

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    Especially with all that beard and all those chins
     
  38. bramsdell

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    I'm glad we're on the same page.
     
  39. RKing44

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    Will be wearing my JNCO jeans and HF black polo, still cool right?
     
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  40. Auror

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    Sounds like you're losing that cargo shorts argument with yourself.
     
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