With the St. Joseph Winter Beer Fest happening soon, I thought I would share some tips on how to have the most fun at the event.
- The first and most important thing to consider for the event is, how are you getting home? Be sure to plan in advance, designate a driver who will not drink alcohol, have a friend or family member come pick you up or hire someone to get you home safely. If you are traveling from out of town, there are many great lodging options nearby.
- Learn about the breweries and their beers before the event. Many of the breweries at this event are from Southwest Michigan and they all have unique beers and brewing techniques. To learn about the breweries in our area visit the Makers Trail website and or download the Makers Trail app.
- Dress for warmth and comfort. Wear comfortable shoes, a warm jacket, and bring a hat and gloves in case you need them.
- Take notes about the beers you try. This way you will be able to remember which beers you enjoyed after the event is over.
- Be sure to eat a meal before going and do not pre-drink. Starting with an empty stomach will lead to a short and unpleasant day at the event.
- Eat! Many people who attend beer festivals wear a string of pretzels, cheese and meat sticks to snack on. Pretzels can also help refresh your palate between beers. There are also plenty of restaurants downtown to stop in for lunch.
- Be sure to drink water. It’s important to keep yourself hydrated.
- Pace yourself. Take time to taste and enjoy the beer and know your limits. It’s great to sample and taste new flavors but be cautious about how much you are drinking. Don’t overdo it.
- Keep an open mind and try new breweries and kinds of beer. It is worthwhile to sample beers you generally do not like; you might be surprised by how different similar sounding beers can be when made by different breweries. If you don’t like the taste, you don’t have to finish it, try something else.
- Enjoy the time with friends and make new friends. Discuss the beers and the breweries, learn from others and ask questions.
- Don’t rush home. . . Relax and enjoy the local shops, restaurants and coffee before leaving.
These are good tips to keep in mind for the other upcoming beer, wine and spirits events coming up, as well.