From the Rocket City Brewfest website, with a little bit of tweaking.
Buy your tickets early
The Rocket City Brewfest may sell out this year. Buy your tickets early to ensure that you can attend. Online ticket sales are way ahead of last year. We may not sell out online, but we’re going to be real close to selling out at the gate.
Bring cash for food pairings
There will be food options available at the festival, including several local, independent restaurants that have been specially selected to bring a variety of pairing options with the beers. This year’s participating restaurants will be spread out in the general area and available to all. To enjoy, you will need to pay the restaurants with one or more vouchers that you buy from the brewfest. Vouchers will cost $1 each and most portions should be available for less than 5 vouchers.
Prepare for transportation home after the festival
With so many beers to taste and so little time, make sure you have a safe option for getting home. Bring a non-drinking friend to do the driving, or plan on taking a taxi.
Respect the beer
There’s a reason the Rocket City Brewfest requires all participants to use a small sampling glass provided at entry: so that attendees can enjoy a number of samples of a variety of styles of beer responsibly. Don’t try to sample every beer at the festival, but rather pick some you’re interested in or have never tried before that you’d like to taste. The Rocket City Brewfest encourages responsible drinking and will refuse alcohol to individuals who are obviously intoxicated. For the safety of yourself and others, know your limit and refrain from overindulging.
With the signing into law of Free The Hops’ Gourmet Beer Bill last year, beers with an alcohol by volume (ABV) of greater than 6% are now legal in Alabama and will be available at the Rocket City Brewfest. Beers with a higher alcohol content should be consumed at a slower pace than those that have lower alcohol content. Be sure you know the ABV of the beers you’re drinking so that you can take your time with them. If you’re not sure of a beer’s ABV, ask the server.
Respect the two ounce pour rule
Samples at the Rocket City Brewfest are given in two ounce pours and only in the tasting glass provided at entry. This is a festival and ABC board policy. Do not ask for more than two ounces per sample and do not ask for a beer sample in any container other than the official Rocket City Brewfest tasting glass.
Bring a chair if you’ll want to sit
Seating is very limited at the venue. If you know you’ll want to sit down sometime during a four hour festival, bring a folding chair.
Drinking alcohol dehydrates your body which can make you feel pretty bad. Drink water to help detoxify and keep you hydrated. The Rocket City Brewfest will have water on hand, but it’s not a bad idea to bring your own refillable (non-glass) water container.
Appreciate the beer you’re drinking
Take time to really taste each beer. Note the color, smell, taste, and texture. Try to pick out the individual flavors in the beer. You might taste grapefruity bitterness or chocolately sweetness or any number of other flavors. Notice how one style differs from another. You might even want to write down the name of the beer and make notes so you’ll remember to buy it later. Appreciating craft beer is what festivals are all about.
Beer festivals can get crowded. You will likely have to wait in a line for some beers. Be patient and remember to respect those behind you by not lingering at a crowded booth.
Thank a volunteer
These folks work hard to help make the festival a good time for everyone. Show them your appreciation.
Bring cash for accessories
You’ll want to buy a festival t-shirt, cap, or one of the many other items for sale. Bring cash as plastic may not be accepted.
One of the best ways to have fun at a beer festival is learn in advance about the beers and beer styles you will be sampling. Learn the difference between an American Pale Ale and a Russian Imperial Stout or a Belgian Tripel and a German Rauchbier. Know what colors, smells, and tastes to expect (and not expect).