Beer festival season is upon us. These beer havens offer bountiful options of our favorite frothy beverage, but with so many opportunities comes great responsibility. Earlier this week, Irving offered some great knowledge on what not to do at a craft beer bar and that got me thinking about beer festivals. Just as there is etiquette at the craft beer bar, so is there at beer festivals. It is not uncommon to witness some unsavory behavior at a beer festival which may scar you for life. So, take this advice on what not to do at your favorite beer festival.
1. Drink but don’t get drunk
You may be thinking “Say what? If I am at a beer festival, I am drinking…lots!” Yes, enjoy yourself and drink, but for the love of all things holy, don’t get drunk. Getting a buzz is totally acceptable, which even allows you to sway and twirl a little easier when the bluegrass band hits the stage, but falling down drunk is not cool. Even worse, being carried out by security like a baby doll and being put outside on the curb while you hang on a metal dividing gate throwing up. All the while people look at you, laughing and call you the noob and you’re there screaming about what happened to your pretzel necklace. Drool and vomit stain your favorite brewery t-shirt and you start … not that I would know anything about this.
Not only do you not want to be the drunk person at the festival that everyone is giving the evil eye, but your friends will be pissed if they have to take care of you, essentially ruining their festival experience. Pace yourself.
2. Don’t interview the brewer/staff
This one I debated on mentioning. I personally love when the brewery staff or brewers are pouring beers. It gives me the opportunity to discuss the beer, their process and make a connection with the beer that is more significant. So seize that opportunity, but not at the expense of those in the long line behind you. Remember, there is likely a long line behind you and talking shop with the brewer/staff about hop schedules, mash temps and yeast profiles come at the expense of your friends in line from enjoying the same beverage you can’t shut up about. Take the pour, step to the side, take a sip and strike up a small convo about the beer.
3. Don’t drink the same things you do everyday
We are creatures of habit, I get it. But, push yourself to try new styles, new breweries and beers that you have never had. Beer festivals are breeding grounds for finding new beer loves. Step out of the line that is serving your go-to IPA and go try that chocolate porter that you have never had before or that dandelion sour lambic aged in 100 year old grappa casks.
4. Don’t drop your glass
You may be saying “duh” but if you have ever been to a beer festival, you know the public shaming that takes place when the crowd hears the ping of the plastic mug hitting the ground. To avoid being publicly shamed and feeling unnecessary embarrassment, hold on to that little mug with dear life. Tip: clip the mug handle around your festival lanyard, pretzel necklace, Mr. T gold chain, or dig the wallet chain you used to use in the 90’s (you know you had one) out of your closet and use it.
5. Don’t drive
Please do not drive after attending a beer festival. Find a designated driver (DD) to drive you and your buzzed friends home. Responsibility does not cease once you walk out the gates, so plan accordingly. Many festivals offer DD tickets, and be a pal and pay for the DD’s ticket and food throughout the day. A small token of appreciation for someone who is going to drive you home and get you Taco Bell because of your constant requests for a double decker supreme.
Don’t forget Uber, Lyft or any form of mass transit. That $20 cab ride might be worth not getting your license taken away and having to bike to work or depending on your parents for rides. Have you ever tried to pick up girls on a bike? Yeah so there’s that.