Ah the Beerfest. It's a wonderful time. It's an opportunity to try a bunch of different beers at the right price. Not to be confused by the movie, this is not about quantity, it's about quality and variety.
The one issue with Beerfests is that they seem to be young enough that there is not an established set of etiquette or rules to follow so you can avoid being a drunk, an idiot or a drunk idiot. Here are some rules to follow so people don't think you are either clueless, a jerk or a drunk.
1. Get your beer and get out of the way.
Every fest I've ever been to, there is some idiot who gets to the front of the line, tries a beer and then sits there and drinks it while talking to the server, then finishes and asks for the next beer. Do not be this guy. He is a jerk. Everyone behind him hates him.
2. You are not there to get drunk cheaply.
The key word here is cheaply. If you are a Natty Light (or any other beer you can get a 30 pack of) drinker and you're just coming to the fest to get drunk, please stay home. The words "What's your strongest beer?" or "I don't really care what it tastes like." shouldn't really come out of your mouth at any point. As people like you will never read this, hopefully at least you find something you really like, enough that you stop drinking crappy beer.
3. Never arrive with an empty stomach.
The exception is if you are going to eat a meal (not just a soft pretzel or a brat) on location prior to festing it up. Have a beer with your meal, but just trust me on this one. Ignoring this rule is a good way to end up puking in a Port-a-Potty (if you are lucky) and needing a cab ride home.
4. Never drink from the dump bucket.
Another rule I learned the hard way. It might be delicious at the time and it may make a funny story later, but if this sounds like a good idea, you're so drunk that you are not making it home without a cab ride. Go eat something. The only exception to this rule I can imagine, is if it's for charity.
5. Don't Drop Your Glass
6. Only "Oooooh" at people when you see/hear them drop their glass.
It's annoying. Stop it.
7. Do not block access to the beer.
While this should be covered by #1, it's not. I'm talking to you, group of people who, while not standing directly next to the table, make it impossible for those of us with empty glasses to actually get to the table.
8. Do not get back in line until your glass is empty.
Pretty self explanatory. The exception to this rule is if the line is three booths long or longer. (In that case, can I suggest trying some other beer so others who have not gotten through the line the first time can give something a shot?)
9. Drink an Hour, Eat Something.
Closely related to #3, but not the same. Most folks from Wisconsin know this one. As Lewis Black says, they are professionals.
10. Know what you want before you get to the head of the line.
This is especially hard if the breweries/distributors don't hang the options up where they can be seen. If not displayed properly, you are excused from this rule. Event planners: Help us out on this one.
11. Use the dump buckets
You are an adult. If you don't like something, save your alcoholic intake for something you like. Nobody should take offense at this, or give you crap for it. If they do, they need to grow up. Event planners: Have enough. Empty early and often.
Rinse your glass. You're not going to get the full flavor of each beer if there are remnants of the previous beer in your glass. Event planners: Make sure there is enough water available.
13. Don't drive drunk
It's stupid that I have to bring it up. Don't be an idiot. Have a local cab company number programmed into your phone before you go or book a hotel room nearby.
Please feel free to add suggestions, call me a d-bag, or offer to buy me a pint. Cheers!