Hello Beerploma Nation!

For those tried and true Minnesotans you know that winter is all about hunkering down, and waiting for the spring thaw.  It brings on a state of mind called cabin feaver.  It can drive a person totally crazy.  Luckily the Craft Beer Industry is here to help!  There are several craft beer festivals to help you thaw out for a few moments and forget about the -26 F days (and for those non-Minnesotans out there, that is BEFORE the wind chill).  We recently had The Mankato Craft beer festival last week, and we have two more coming up that Beerploma will be attending (if you want to meet us, just post a message down below, we would love to meet some of our audience):

http://www.stcloudcraftbeertour.com/about/

The St. Cloud Craft Beer Tour (January 18th):  For those of you up in the St. Cloud area this is a perfect time to sample beers you might not get elsewhere.  It’s indoors so you will stay warm, and there is a great selection of breweries.

http://beerdabbler.com/

Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival Event (January 25th):  For the tried and true, or the just plain insane!  This festival is help outdoors at the State Fair Grounds.  So dress warm, and don’t forget your mitts!  This is one of Minnesota’s most popular beer fests.  This year people in attendance can help participate in a chance to set a world record for the worlds largest snowball fight!

http://www.wingsandbrewfest.com/ 
 Red Wing Wings and Brew Fest (March 15th): If you can think of a better way to thaw yourself from a long winter then drinking some killers beers, and spicy chicken wings…well then you must be at the bacon/beer fest, because seriously, that’s the only thing that can top this!
So pick one, or pick all of these great events, scrape the snow off your car and head out to for a great winter time!  So if this is your first fest here are a couple of survival tips:
  1. Don’t forget your ID:  They won’t even let you in the door without a proper ID.  And if by some chance you forget yours, don’t be mad at the staff.  They are just doing there job to make sure these events don’t get shut down by letting a minor in.
  2. Eat a big meal before hand:  Those beers add up fast, not to mention that you will be mixing several types and flavors which can wreak havoc on a stomach.  
  3. Bring Pretzels:  Most beer fests let you bring pretzel necklaces in order to cleanse the pallet between beers.
  4. Shed some pounds:  My first beer fest I brought a backpack with books and all sorts of other non-sense.  Leave them at home, you won’t have time.
  5. Bring a Journal:  If you keep a beer journal, like I do, go ahead and bring it.  Just you should come up with an abbreviated way to jot your notes down.  One of the earliest lessons I got from my bird watching days is that you don’t want to spend all your time with your nose in a book.  A lot of beginners will take a glimpse at a bird then spend the rest of their time with their nose in the book trying to identify it.  Instead spend that time studying the bird until it flies out of sight.  Remember you are there to celebrate the beers, plenty of time for research later.
  6. Do not boggart the line:  Get your beer and step off to the side.  There is a good chance there are about 20 to 50 people in line behind you waiting to taste it to.
  7. Do talk to the people from the breweries:  Once you have your beer feel free to step aside and ask questions about what you are drinking!  It’s a great learning opportunity, and they are there as a resource.  Again, just make sure you are not holding the line up, and don’t expect them to stop working to make time for you.
  8. Take in the shows.  A lot of these craft beer fests have a stage area set up where beer historians, beer experts, and brewers will put on presentations.  It’s a great way to get off your feet for a few seconds, and learn what these great people have to say.
  9. Meet some new friends:  Everyone who participates in these fests have one thing in common, the love of craft beer.  And isn’t that the hardest part of getting to know people, finding that initial point of interest to spark a conversation.  Break out of your shell and say hello to someone new.  And the best part is that it gets easier after a few drinks!
  10. Be safe and responsible:  Always drink responsibly and have a plan to get home, or get a hotel near the event.  Just be SAFE.

So if you happen to be at one of the above events, feel free to track us down and say hello!  We would love for a chance to meet you.