If you’re like me, you tend to just go with the flow and never have a plan. Sometimes this works out. Sometimes I have regrets and wish I would have listened to my husband (but I will never admit it). More often than not, I have found it is important to have a balanced approach. Plan ahead, but when things go awry, don’t get your undies in a bunch. Life is crazy and you never know what it will throw your way!
That being said, here are some tips for you to make the most out of any beer festival you’re attending. You don’t need a meticulously thought out itinerary, just a strategic guideline for the day. Here are some things to think about as the second annual Centermost Point Invitational quickly approaches! These tips can also be applied to other events as well.
- Safety First. First and foremost, select a designated driver or plan to Uber/Lyft with friends. If you are driving, drink responsibly! Figure out where parking is ahead of time and try to get there early. Give yourself some cushion to work with so you won’t be late! Oh… and don’t be late!
- Plan Out Your Day. Prioritize your favorite breweries over others and try to map out (if possible) where you’ll head to first. Do some research ahead of time and try to figure out if there are any breweries that will be there that you have never heard of or visited before. Maybe you can do a loop around the place. Check out the perimeter and see if you can find out where everyone is onsite!
- Buy VIP Tickets! Sure, it costs more, but you are almost ALWAYS guaranteed early entry which will give you more time at the festival. This gives you more time for tasting, drinking, and having fun. In the rare case that there is no early entry, VIP tickets will likely still include special privileges you wouldn’t otherwise have.
- Split Up. Some vendors or breweries release special small batch brews at festivals at certain times. If you go with friends, you can split up and get samples that you can share with each other.
- Keep Up with Social Media for Updates. Check Facebook and Instagram frequently and right before the festival. If you can, you should also try to sign up for e-mails to stay current as well.
Do you have any other helpful tips? How do you plan out your beer festivals, or do you just wing it?
I usually find myself going to beer festivals with no method of navigating through the rambunctiousness and I sample things way too quickly (raise your hand if you know what I’m talking about). Before I know it, there’s only 30 minutes left and I haven’t visited all my favorite places and missed a release or two. I have also been late in the past, and that kept me from getting my money’s worth. Don’t create more problems for yourself, avoid stress, and try to have a general plan!
Also, if you want to see what I thought about last year’s CMP, you can find more information on that here.
Good luck, and happy beer fest-ting!