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The Three Pint Stance - 06/15/2016

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Brewfest DOs and DON'Ts

With Bangor's premiere brew festival Tap Into Summer! - right around the corner, I figured I would discuss some strategies for making the most of your next brew festival adventure.

DO: Drink plenty of water before, during and after the festival. Brew festivals serve small samples, but many small samples adds up to a large quantity of beer. Water has the downside of contributing to more frequent bathroom breaks, but will be invaluable to you if you plan on making it to the end of the brewfest and remain standing.

DON'T: Skip out on food and water to make room for more beer. This is flawed logic that I have heard discussed as a good plan, but have never seen properly executed in the real world. Beer contains alcohol, and alcohol's effects are amplified in a dehydrated, hungry person. Eat a good meal before the festival and plan on either bringing a snack (most brew festivals allow pretzel necklaces, google it) or buying a bite at the festival.

DO: Ask pertinent questions about the beer or brewery when are at a booth. Breweries love it when festival attendees ask about the beer and want to know more. Most of the time with smaller breweries, the head brewer or someone who works on the production side will be at the festival pouring and would love to share some info with you as you sip your sample. Be sure to move to the side once you get your sample to keep the line moving.

DON'T: Stand at the table, drink your beer and ask mindless questions. Remember, this is a brewfest and lines are constantly forming. Be mindful of your fellow attendees and make an effort to move to the side if you are having a chat with one of the brewery representatives. This give the people behind you a chance to get their beer sample as you finish up your conversation.

DO: Read over the list of beers available before the event (if it is made available). This will help you plan out which beers you might be interested in trying and which ones you would be all right with skipping out on. Most brew festivals have over 100 different beers available to try, and at four ounces each, you will not be able to try them all. Go into the festival prepared and make a note of your must-haves. If there is a beer that you just have to try, make sure to hit it early in the day as more popular beers tend to run out before the festival is over.

DON'T: Go around asking each brewery for the strongest one you got'. This is poor form. If you only came to the festival to get drunk, that's fine, but don't make it obvious. It might just be a fun day of drinking with buddies for you, but to the brewers in attendance, this is our work and our passion. Showing even a minor amount of interest in the product beyond its intoxicative properties is always appreciated.

DO: Respect the festival staff and stay within your personal limits. Most brew festival staff are volunteers who are just there to help you have as much fun as possible. Be respectful to them and your fellow attendees.

DON'T: Be rude, obnoxious or vulgar. This is just common sense. People don't like jerks, so don't be one.

DO: HAVE FUN! Beer is fun, and brew festivals are a blast! Know your limits, be responsible, have a designated driver, but most of all - have fun.

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