5 Things you need to know before attending the Great American Beer Festival
1. You’re not going to be able to try every beer. Even if you attend every night available it may be impossible. There are over 800 breweries with over 4,000 different beers. That’s 250 pints of beer you would have to consume in an attempt to try them all. We suggest using the app or going to www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com and finding breweries and beers that interest you.
2. Bring food. You’re going to be drinking a lot of 1oz samples and it will sneak up on you quickly. Why waste your time standing in line for a $10 pizza? The most popular thing we saw was the Pretzel Necklace. It’s modern ingenuity at its finest; a cheap string used as a necklace, strung full of pretzels. Everyone wore them.
3. Find the Porta Potty Station. The lines to the regular bathrooms are crazy long but there is a large area filled with porta potties that hardly anyone uses. That means no lines and you get back out to the action quicker.
4. You’re probably not going to meet your favorite brewer. Your best chance is on Thursday or Friday in the ‘Meet the Brewer’ area. If you have expectations of rubbing elbows with your favorite brewer we recommend you attend those days. Rumor has it that most brewers leave after awards are announced on Saturday. We were able to meet a few great owners and brewers of beers we wanted to try. Otherwise, volunteers were pouring brews at most stations.
5. Our last tip is the most important. DON’T DROP YOUR CUP!! The public shaming ritual for those who can’t seem to hang on to their 1oz sampling glass is quite comical and possibly our favorite part (besides the beer). It took us some time to figure out why we would hear a large crowd erupt into a long winded, "OHHHHHHHHHH". When we finally witnessed it first hand, it was AMAZING.