GABF preparation for the uninitiated

By Jerrod Cotosman

Much like how the pious undertake pilgrimages to Jerusalem, the craft beer lover should make a similar voyage to the Great American Beer Festival. The 2016 version occurs October 6 -8 at the Colorado Convention Center. Tickets are hard to get so if you are lucky enough to have one, here are some tips for making the most of your investment.

  • Rock the Pretzel Necklace – The recipe for success includes a bag of pretzel twists and a piece of string. Thread the string through the pretzels and wear it around your neck to achieve the height of beer fashion. Why on earth would anyone do this? Well, the thought is that you eat the pretzels as you go and they soak up the beer in your stomach. Sure some extreme beer snobs may scoff at you, but who cares about them when this simple trick may let you drink more ounces.
  • Plan to Succeed – Either get the GABF App or spend some time with the Festival map. Even veterans can be overwhelmed with the choices available. Trust me, the Colorado Convention Center is big and after a few hours your sense of direction may be, um, impaired. Get the App and ensure your wanderings take you to all the great breweries you want to visit.
  • Pace Yourself – Upon entry to the GABF you will become the proud owner of a 4” plastic cup that will soon contain some of the best beer in America. However the breweries and volunteers will only fill this cup to the one ounce line. Now you may think that one ounce isn’t much but keep drinking and all of those ounces of high ABV beer can quickly stack up on one another. Keep a reasonable pace because you don’t want to be that guy causing a cleanup on Aisle 6 when you can’t make it to the bathroom or a trash can.
  • Arrange for a Ride Home – Call a cab, Lyft or Uber, take public transportation, have a friend or family member pick you up, whatever. The point is to enjoy yourself and make it back home alive. We at Thirst Magazine want you to be able to support our advertisers for years to come and you can’t do that from jail or if you are pushing up daisies.

So keep these tips in mind to avoid making any rookie mistakes in order to make the most of your GABF experience.