Countdown to GABF: 1 Week

Exactly 1 week from now, I will be emerging from the Friday night session of the Great American Beer Festival with a lone pretzel dangling from my necklace and a purse full of coasters and bottle cap magnets. To prep myself before I wreck myself, I thought of the top 10 things you should never say at GABF. In a definitively non-random order….

Author’s note 2/16/17: Enjoy one of my “vintage” posts, from the time when I purchased this blog URL but never actually consistently wrote. 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.

10. Why would I want someone to draw a mustache on my finger?
Uhhhh, because it’s awesome?! GABF 2010 was the first time I was exposed to the “finger mustache” (bear with me, it’s not as dirty as it sounds), and I’ve now seen it popping up all over the place (oh god that sounds even worse). If it is offered to you, accept it!

Minds out of the gutter! (and pardon the demon eyes!)

9. I’m just gonna wing it!
This is OK if you’re going to multiple sessions, but if you only have ONE shot, then you don’t want to risk missing something awesome because you like to “go with the flow”. Do yourself a favor and at least crack the big program book (or the new iPhone app debuting this year) and take a look at what’s out there. With 2,200 beers from 516 breweries (fact!), it’s very risky to wander aimlessly. 4-4.5 hours goes by PRETTY quickly…

8. I’m not hungry.
Eat something, stupid. Copious 2 oz samples + a couple pretzels = super drunk GABF-goer.

7. I don’t want water.
Drink water, stupid. They put water coolers throughout the hall for a reason. Hydrate!

6. Do they sell wine here?
Shut the fuck up.

5. Did someone just touch my ass?
You don’t want to know the answer. It’s a big crowd. Just move on.

4. This has some really nice grass notes with a strong bamboo flavor and a hint of marmalade on the finish. (or anything else similarly douche-y)
Now, you can say this kind of thing, but only if you really know what the hell you’re talking about. For most of us, descriptors like “smoky” and “hoppy” will do just fine, followed by either “I love it”, “I hate it”, or “I’d have it again”. [Side bar: here’s a great little blog post about beer snobbery– and please no comments about what this guy chose to name his blog!]

3. I’m gonna get soooooo wasted!
You’re a tool. Pull it together. GABF is not about getting trashed, it’s about enjoying beers until you’re thoroughly buzzed…and then getting wasted at an after-party.

2. Hey guys, can we go check out the Blue Moon booth?
Now, not to knock Blue Moon. It’s a nice gateway brew; found at many bars, enjoyed by many frat boys and sorority girls making the transition from Natty Ice to New Belgium Brewing Co. I’m not saying you can’t stop and sample if you happen by one of the few “mainstream” brewer’s booths- and honestly, you should ignore jeers from some beer snobs who see Sierra Nevada as inferior just because it’s distributed nationally- I’m just saying that you shouldn’t necessarily seek them out. Why go out of your way to try a beer you can buy at home when there are hundreds of other breweries at your feet?

1. Can we leave soon?
Blasphemy! Take it back! Don’t you EVER suggest leaving before it’s all over. Not only did you pay a decent amount of money to be there, but you have to understand and appreciate WHAT YOU HAVE BEFORE YOU. This is the largest gathering of craft beer enthusiasts that you’ll ever see in the U.S., and you should celebrate til the very last second. It’s not every day that you can share your passion with thousands of other people (not in a sexual way, although I’m sure there’s a convention for that too).

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