Exactly two weeks from now, I will be emerging from the Friday night session of the Great American Beer Festival (with a nice buzz and not in the backseat of a police car, God willing). It will be my second year attending, and I hope to avoid some of the mistakes I made the first time around. My plan is as follows:
Author’s note 2/16/17: Enjoy one of my “vintage” posts, from the time when I thought I’d start a beer blog but I never really wrote anything. I didn’t have the heart to use the WordPress “Start Over” feature and lose these little time capsules from when I was husbandless and childless and wish now I could tell myself to stop drinking so much beer because post-baby me would have so much trouble losing that beer pooch.
- Try what I want to try: While I was fortunate enough to attend GABF for the first time with some veterans (my husband, his hometown buddy who has lived in Denver for several years now, and a couple of his college friends), and lucky enough to learn some tips and tricks from them, part of me feels a little bit like I missed out on the experience of figuring it all out for myself. I did appreciate their preparedness with the pretzel necklaces (a vital piece of attire at any beer festival), and their quick decision-making when it came to which booth to visit next. However, I also felt like I couldn’t speak up and make my own suggestions, like when I wanted to visit a certain booth because their beer had a funny name. This year I vow to pre-select beers that I want to try and not let anything get in my way!
- Eat more: I walked a fine line last year between falling down and passing out, and that fine line was my pretzel necklace. Not wanting to spend more money and not willing to miss out on valuable tasting time (they only give you four hours, COME ON!), I repeatedly allowed my then-fiancé to talk me out of buying a $10 personal pizza the size of a tiddly wink and inappropriately stalking the free cheese sample table. The end result was a decidedly hungry Kristin disembarking the convention center, and unfortunately there was no food to be had at that point since everyone was tired and ready to go back home. Not only will I gorge ahead of time to make sure I’m well nourished, I also plan on stuffing a $20 in my shoe that will hopefully afford me the GABF equivalent of a Vegas buffet (a burger and fries).
- Plan ahead: I tried last year to plan ahead of time. I downloaded the festival map, looked at the brewer list, and added any blog that mentioned “GABF” to my Google reader. I even bought Andy Crouch’s book and attempted to read it all in a day (Great American Craft Beer). The end result was complete over-saturation and I was totally unprepared for the journey. I guess part of the fun is going into it without a set agenda, but I am a planner at heart, so for me it was more stressful than anything else. At this point I only have two weeks left, so there really isn’t much time for extensive planning. But that won’t stop me from at least trying- yellow highlighter and festival map in hand!
More GABF posts coming as we inch closer to the best 48 hours of the year! That wasn’t meant to be an insult to my friends and family with whom I spend the other 8,718 hours of the year (but would it kill you to be a little more interesting?).