The Summer is gone and with it is the beer festival season that we lay our livers on the line for, year after year. But to tide us over until next year, we occasionally get to keep ourselves warm with a few tasting festivals that don’t quite fit the norm. For field research into this matter, I was invited to Strangebrew, a Humboldt beer tasting event that takes place every year to fund the renovation of the historic Eureka Theater. To survive your winter beer excursions, try to keep a few things in mind.
Drink Up: While many of their summer counterparts are often put on by breweries to help extend their brand, winter beer fests (at least here in Humboldt County) tend to be fundraisers for local nonprofits. So remember that for every 4 oz. tasting glass of quadruple Belgian rye dry-hopped lager you quaff down will help renovate a theater or get a kid a Big Brother or some other wonderful cause that will make you feel ok about calling for a cab at the end of the night. Trust me when I tell you that your sacrifice is noted.
Don’t Eat Too Much Burrito: I started an Evernote to try and take notes during this thing, and I only got this far. But let’s be real, you’re gonna want to eat before drinking what could be a gallon or so of high octane brew. Have a sandwich. Maybe some pasta. What you shouldn’t do is get a super-sized carnitas burrito the size of a newborn. Leave room for beer. Speaking of which…
Take Notes: Or at least pretend to. Chances are, you won’t remember your girlfriend’s name (or even that you have a girlfriend) by the end of the night, so don’t convince yourself that you’ll remember the names of the beers you drank last night. Use Evernote, get a tasting app like Untappd, write your girlfriend’s name on the inside of your hand, something.
Don’t Take a Knee: Not all beers are gonna rock the palate, and when at Anderson Valley or Beer Circus, you can just dump those terrible excuses for beer right on the lawn (I’m looking at you, Hell or Highwatermelon Wheat). Remember you’re indoors. Don’t pour beer on the ground. That’s gross. And sticky.
Special thanks to Sonny, the Eureka Theater, and the Strangebrew Festival for facilitating such a lovely evening.