American Craft Beer Fest was everything we imagined: too many options to keep track of, busy crowds, and a lot to learn about beer. Before we even made it to the event, we realized we were two of the youngest people headed to ACBF and we had a lot to learn.
About halfway through ACBF we started to take note some of the lessons learned, and made a video about the event along with some tips and tricks to help get us through the next beer festival.
- Don't make eye contact unless you want to talk. Don't get us wrong, we met some interesting people at ACBF and we're not anti-social. But we learned that if you don't want to make conversation with someone, don't make eye contact - some people are happy to stop and chat and keep you from moving on to the next brewery.
- Wear a pretzel necklace. We can't tell you how many times we regretted not having a pretzel necklace. It was at least every time we tried a new beer and every time we saw one of the dozens of more well-prepared beer drinkers wearing their own necklaces. We were prepared with food - some granola bars and cookies - and even bought some (mediocre) fried dough, but it just didn't compare to the pretzel necklaces. Some really ambitious people had full-size soft pretzels around their necks and one guy had a duct tape belt of various snacks. We were impressed.
- Wear stretchy pants. 3.5 hours of beer drinking. Enough said.
- Hydrate. Key to ACBF's motto: Respect Beer. There's no way we weren't leaving ACBF sloshed, but drinking water kept us on our feet and feeling fine the next morning. And thankfully, ACBF provided plenty of water throughout the event.
- Pee before you need to. Do not wait to pee until you can't wait any longer - anticipate the line and go early. We even used the bathroom at the start of the event, when there was no line at all, just to be safe.
These five tips can probably help get you through a lot in life, but we definitely think they'll help you survive your next beer festival.