I do love a good beer festival. Then again I love it when I get the opportunity to taste new beer. I mean, if you've been drinking long enough in any one particular geographical location, it gets tough to find new breweries to try. Then again I really do love me some NC beer. Well, thank goodness the World Beer Festival Raleigh is coming up this weekend so I can get my fix of NC beer and beyond!
If you're headed to the World Beer Festival in Raleigh, I have a few tips for you.
World Beer Festival Tip List
- UPDATE: Bring your ID. I can't believe I forgot this when I originally wrote up these tips, but you need to prove you're 21 before you can enter the festival.
- Bring cash. There will be food vendors and parking fees. You'll want cash.
- Bring a pen or pencil to take notes about the beer you're drinking. The World Beer Festival programs are really excellent ways to take short notes about the beer your sampling. There's nothing worse than tasting a FANTASTIC beer and not remembering the name or which brewery poured it. Trust me, it's a terrible feeling.
- Wear comfortable shoes, but make sure you're okay if they get dirty. People are drinking and sometimes spilling beer. Your shoes may get dirty.
- The pretzel necklace is your friend. If you plan on doing a lot of tasting, get some string and loop on a bunch of pretzels. Put more on than you think are necessary.
- When you hear the loud crash of beer bottles being recycled - cheer! I don't really know why, but we do. It's more fun after you've had more samples.
- Don't feel the need to try EVERY beer. It really isn't a competition to see who can taste the most. Skip the breweries you don't particularly like or need to be reminded of what they pour. Go to the ones that spark your interest.
- Read the program! Not just because there's an essay in it by moi but because there are these awesome smaller classes where you can learn about beer. These classes are a great way to go a little more in depth about styles, history, and culture of beer.
- Drink water. Do I need to explain?
If you're the afternoon session -
- Show up early. Parking can be a bear in downtown Raleigh, so show up early, have lunch at one of the many fabulous bars/restaurants in the area and then get in line. Alternatively, walk.
- Wear sunscreen. It's supposed to be 70 degrees and sunny tomorrow afternoon. You'll be drinking (and most likely not hydrating enough) so wear sunscreen.
If you're in the evening session -
- Parking is harder since you've got to time it just right to miss the afternoon people and early enough to get a good spot in line.
- Prepare for warm weather to become slightly chilly. There's a chance of rain, but I don't think it'll be an issue for us at the festival.
Remember that the World Beer Festival's mission is to educate the public in beer appreciation and beer quality, and to build the local beer community. Keep that in mind and get the most out of this upcoming festival with beer and community.