Shaan Stevens,Shaan Stevens,Shaan Stevens,Shaan Stevens-Beer Festival Survival Guide,Dress Appropriately – Beer festivals are held indoors and out and in every kind of weather. I’ve been to festivals where rain turned the festival grounds to a nasty swamp of mud and other festivals on top of parking garages under an August sun. Know where the festival is being held and what the weather forecast is and dress appropriately. And wear comfortable shoes. Festival organizers don’t always think to provide enough seating so you could be spending hours shuffling from one beer pourer to the next without a break. Have a Plan – Whether you think that you’re going to or not you are going to wind up thinking and talking about which brewery is from where, what styles they’re serving and what they taste like. It’s a good idea to have a look at the festival information before you go. Although many festivals provide brochures and even floor plans at the door, taking a few moments to review the brewers and beer styles a few days before will give you a good idea of what to expect. Decide which beers are “must tries” and plan which you will try in order of lightest (in flavor) to heaviest. Bring Cash – You may want to buy something. Beer festivals attract vendors of other beer products and food. Although some accept credit cards or provide ATMs things are just a lot easier if you have some cash in your pocket. Pen + Paper – Once again, you might not plan to get all beer-geeky about the festival but odds are you will come across a beer or three that you really like and want to remember to buy more of later. No matter how good your mental notepad is you will not remember all the beers you tried, trust me. At two or three ounces a taste, in the confusion of the crowd and with all the brewery names you will forget a beer. The most common question I hear after a festival is, “What was that one beer, you know, the one that was really good that we tried after that other one?” Bring something with which to take notes.