(Seattle, WA) It's happened to us again and you guessed it, tomorrow will be a scorcher for sure and I am sure the following days as well. Because of this I feel the need to remind many of you of common mistakes made when having several four (4) ounce samples of good beer under the sun, beer affects you. Below is a small guide or checklist if you will of things that you need to considering before, during, and after your trip to a beer festival during the Summer.
1. Make a shopping list. Have a game plan of what you would like to sample before you show up at the gate awaiting your glassware and tickets. Beer festivals shouldn't be looked at as a day at the collector's trade show. The only thing you gain from trying to have everything is a sore liver, a hangover, and possibly a visit to the emergency room. If you have had a particular beer in the past wait until after you have had those previously untried. Additionally obey the alcohol listings within the guide since some of these beers will knock you completely off your butt if you have too many of them. It's not a buffet its a beer festival so moderate when you can.
2. Water hydration. This should be a topmost concern with you consuming at least thirty-two (32) ounces of water before the event and another thirty-two (32) ounces during the event if you plan on spending several hours in the heat. Look at this way, as you are consuming that nice rare shot of JW Lee you won't know the difference once you add eight ounces of water as a chaser. After you have left the event maybe take another pint or two for good measure. The bright side from consuming so much fluid is you are less likely to dehydrate, more likely to dilute the impact of the alcohol, and worse case you will have an overwhelming urge to take a leak.
3. Think food. Another well known fact is that if you are drinking on an empty stomach there isn’t much that is standing in the way of your bloodstream and your inhibitions. If you know that you are going to be heading to an event which revolves around drinking the equivalent of a pint or two grab a bite to eat. Speaking from experience where I didn’t have breakfast, lunch or dinner and then had a pint, it sucks when you can’t focus.
4. Be courteous of those around you. Let’s face it you're a lover of craft beer but so are others around you. So if you see someone that you know or the brewery rep is behind the table, ask what their hours are, get a card and move along. It's ok to ask what went into the beer if they will volunteer but in the interest of keeping the beer flowing and helping everyone out, wait till you visit the brewery.
5. Designate a driver. I cannot stress this enough times since this event revolves around an element which alters your mental and physical state. If you don't know what your getting yourself into and you are not planning on spending several hours in the city, start considering a buddy. Might I advise a couple of options such as the public transit, or a cab service. No one should get themselves in trouble with the law simply because they thought could make it home.
Have a happy festival going experience and have a Happy Independence Day weekend.