With the mother of all beer fests, the Great American Beer Festival, quickly approaching, it seems to appropriate to call your attention to 7 tips from Charlie Papazian for surviving and enjoying beer fests. Papazian is the author of The Complete Joy of Homebrewing and founder of the Great American Beer Festival, the American Homebrewers Association, and the Association of Brewers.

Here is an abbreviated version of his tips:

  1. Know your limits.  Know how much alcohol you are consuming.
  2. Moderate your intake of beer with food and water.
  3. Sample the beer in small servings or share larger portion with friends.
  4. Talk about the beer.
  5. Dance and play.
  6. Dump the beer.  Life is too short to spend your time drinking beer you don’t like.
  7. Be responsible and above all don’t drink and then drive.

I would add one more to the list: Find out ahead of time what breweries will be there and visit the ones you’re most excited about first. Even at small festivals it’s not possible to sample everything and the vendors often run out of beer near the end of the day. Decide which ones you don’t want to miss and visit them first so you don’t miss out because of time, availability, or inebriation.

Beer Utopia will be at the GABF and we’re hosting a party with Flying Dog on Friday. We hope to see you there!

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