Beer festivals are great after a few months of extreme cold, and not just because they give you an opportunity to drink outside. The Edmonton Beer Festival gives you access to rare, less-available beers, so you can taste a wide variety, hang out with your heroes and other beer lovers, and learn a thing or two. At beer festivals, you can literally drink as much as you want for just the entrance fee, and there can’t possibly be a better way for beer lovers to spend a few evening hours.
In order to enjoy beer fests, it is important that you take the necessary preparations. The following tips will help you survive massive beer events in 2015 and guarantee you a great time:
Eat prior to entering the festival
Give yourself time to get the flavor of the food out of your mouth or you will be tasting food-flavored beer, and continue to seek out food for the duration of the festival. Typical beer festival fare of turkey legs, pizza, nachos and different sandwiches will give your stomach a much needed buffer between beer and alcohol absorption. Take time to enjoy your food; this will also help to cleanse your palate between flights of beer.
Try to come close to drinking equal parts water and beer
If you have four two ounce servings of beer, try and drink that same amount of water before moving on to another flight of beer. Most festivals provide either bottled water or some other way of obtaining water specifically for this purpose. You will undoubtedly use the restrooms more frequently, but in the end this will keep you from becoming dehydrated and could help reduce the chance of suffering a hangover later on.
Have a list of beers and a plan
Almost all beer festivals provide lists of both breweries and the beers that they plan to bring along to vend at the festival. Get hold of that list and start planning what flights you might want to try. The Beer festivals also provide a site layout–this makes finding your favorites that much easier.
Make sure you actually taste the beers.
Too often attendees at festivals look at those festivals as a four hour kegger. To enjoy the festival and create a lasting impression in your mind, and to retain a happy memory of the beers you drank (that you should be able to find after the festival), take your time to actually taste the beer. Tasting hints to consider:
- Aroma – Since half of taste is actually our olfactory perception, take time to smell the beer. Make a mental note of what you can smell.
- Appearance – Although most festivals pour in two ounce portions, you should be able get a good idea of the look of the beer. The head retention, color, cloudiness, etc.
- Taste – When tasting, it is recommended that you drink only half of the sample initially. Make a note of the different properties of the beer (bitter/sweet/tart, etc.).
- Mouth feel – What did the beer feel like? Thick, chewy, silky, fizzy? The texture will have an effect upon your perception and enjoyment of the beer.
One last tip: dress appropriately for the weather and put on some comfortable shoes, as you will be spending a lot of time on your feet at the Edmonton Beer Festival.
Source: Enjoying a Beer Festival