Hey all! I recently went to the infamous Dark Lord Day beer festival, hosted by Three Floyds Brewing Company. There was a lot going on, a lot happened, good things, bad things, lessons to be learned, lots of new experiences. It’s a craft beer release, giant beer share, metal concert, and beer festival all rolled into one. I am going to write a series about it this week since there’s just so much to cover.
Today’s post focuses on surviving a beer fest. How to come out alive and on top.I went to a beer fest two weeks ago and did not fare well. Dark Lord, while being a much more positive experience, still came with some obstacles. There are a lot of important lessons I've learned, and I want to share them with you. Mostly, it’s a list of things to do and not to do. A lot of people who know me said, “Dark Lord is going to eat you alive, Brad.” I got slightly worried about going after seeing dozens of pictures and videos of people passed out on the ground. Gladly, I had learned a large part of the lesson at the beer fest two weeks ago and came out a survivor.
(Photo provided by Alex Berlingieri, amazing meme made from actual footage during DLD)
Do not attend a beer festival alone. Make sure to least bring at least one friend. This makes sure that you have someone to talk to in between sampling. Talk about what you enjoy about the beer or what you don’t. This time in between samples makes sure you’re indulging faster than your liver can handle. I know, a lot of people don’t have friends who are into beer as much as them and are not going to shell out the funds to go with you. Outside of paying for your friend to go, there are other options. Talk to other people, socialize, get to know the brewers (without holding up the line!). If there’s music, check out the band for a little. Whatever you don’t do, do not rush from booth to booth trying as much as you can. It’s not a race, it’s a marathon. Take time to enjoy yourself. I did the opposite and ended up on the ground.
- Fuel up. Obviously, you should drink water before, during, and after. But that’s not all. Make sure to eat something before attending. Sounds obvious, but it’s important.
As you may or not know from my previous posts, I juggle my beer love with a keto/low-carb lifestyle and do intermittent fasting. So I am used to not eating breakfast ever, and when I do have a meal later, it’s typically not bread. This was the recipe for disaster. I got to the beer fest 2 weeks ago with an empty stomach, and right when I got in sprang into sampling mode. By the time I realized I didn't feel good and I should eat something, it was too late. It’s best to eat early and eat something grain/bread-based. It soaks up the ber nicely.Sorry I feel the need to go over this, but this really ruined the fest for me.
- Go after what’s important. Figure out what brewers or brews you want most to try and focus on those first. Don’t let FOMO or the feeling that you need to try everything take over. IF there is a peach stout, and you don’t like peaches, maybe skip it. Don't drink a lot of flagships. Flagships are the brewery’s main offerings which you can get outside the fest. If you’ve already tried them, then go try stuff you haven’t. You don't need the extra work on your liver and calories. One of my favorite beers, Daisy Cutter from Half Acre, I have had dozens of times, it’s one of my go-to fridge beers.When I find myself drinking it at a beer fest, I know I have crossed over to the dark side. I have had this beer so many times and it is pointless for me to be drinking it at this moment. Now if you’ve never tried Daisy Cutter, by all means, go for it. I think helps to strategize what you’re going to do. Now, I’ve heard before, “Brad, you’re over-thinking it, just man up and stop trying to strategize everything.” Wel, what happened what I didn;t. You don't have to go control freak on everything, I am just saying to find what’s important to you so you can get most out of the fest but make it out in one piece.
- Protect your stuff. I love the craft beer scene but there are opportunity thieves. The cool glass or the allotment you received at the fest will be stolen if you leave it unattended. As you drink more, you’ll be less guarded. Numerous people at Dark Lord had their allotments stolen. That’s $200 of beer right there. Probably even more in secondary value if you were looking to sell later. That’s a catastrophe. After that, you’ve pretty much ruined your whole fest experience. Luckily, no one stole my stuff, but there were ample opportunities. If you’re allowed to leave the fest and someone has a car, put your beer in there. Or if there are lockers available, use them. Make sure to least bring a backpack (if allowed) to keep your allotment (and other valuable belongings) attached to you at all times.
For the sake of brevity, these are the 4 guidelines I am sharing today. There’s a lot more. But I need to remember first.
Please stay tuned, the Dark Lord Day shenanigans will continue. If you enjoyed the post, please follow and/or upvote. Whether you’re just tuning in , new to beer, old to beer, I get around and have made a lot of mistakes, I love to share so people can learn from them, or at least have a laugh.