Strategies to maximize a beer fest: Indiana Microbrewers Fest, July 27

Three to Five minute read, 650+ words:

If you don’t have your tickets yet to sample from 80+ breweries on Saturday, July 27, CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS and read below for strategies! 2-6 p.m., Historic Military Park at White River State Park. (1 pm Early Bird)

So you’re excited about the chance to sample as many 3 oz pours as you can, but you want to be efficient? This is a chance to try Indiana Grand Champion Brewer 2019, Backstreet of Crawfordsville, as well as other recent award winners! Rather than trek to Fort Wayne for the recent Indiana Brewers Cup recent award winners, visit Mad Anthony (2 medals), Hop River (3 medals), and Junk Ditch (3 medals) in one spot> Maybe Summit City (3 medals) will attend . Not tried Gugmann House yet? GH won three first place medals at IBC after being open just a few weeks and they’ll be here.

Use some of the strategies we’ve learned at many fests and make your visit efficient:

Enter and go immediately to an opposite end of the site! You’ll get a map and much of the crowd will stop at the first tents they see. Choose the other end and work backwards, to reach the farthest breweries early.

For a broad variety choose the shortest lines. Sure we love and know Sun King and they’ll post specialty beers but save those if you have time. Look for the breweries that no one knows and try them. You went to sample, right? So sample away from the crowd and you will spend less time. We’ve had amazing beer and amazing visits in short lines.

Start with a master plan. Look at the list of breweries below and then choose which you really want to hit. Sometimes I choose mostly new breweries for the samples (Creatures of Habit Brewing opened in Anderson this year and will be there.) Sometimes I choose furthest away breweries (Maidens Brewery of Evansville’s brewer John Mills II, photo, is a veteran and has great beer, and is a bit of a drive) . Sometimes I go for award winning breweries (read recent Indiana Brewers Cup awards HERE) working from the back of the field or checking them off on the site map.

Share with buddies or the spouse. We often travel in a family ‘pack’ and vow to each try a different beer either from the same brewery or adjacent lines then share sips for different beers.

Ask for ‘short pours.’ You can handle more beer if you are willing to drink a shot of 1 1/2 or 2 oz. tasting the beer, saving room for the next. This is a marathon of a few hours, not a sprint to drink and forget — well hopefully you do have a ride home, but it is more fun to remember what you had.

Choose your favorites. Sometimes you just want to grab a beer you know and love. That’s okay, as it may be worth a line to get that beer. It is also worth a line to sample from some brewery you’ve always wanted to try. For example if you’ve not been to Byway Brewing of Hammond which was named Brewery of the Year in 2016 by IBC this is a great chance to sample. ZwanzigZ Brewing of Columbus was Great American Beer Festival Small Brewpub of the Year in 2016 (it was a good year!). ZwanzigZ brewer Mike Rybinski recently shared a delicious Koelsch with us that just tapped, had a hefeweizen that day, and the famous Ghost Pepper Stout is almost always available at their booth.

Remember your goal! It is easy to have a plan and then after awhile just start standing in nearby lines like everyone. Hey, it’s your money and your time so just remember, if you have a goal try to focus that when you wake up Sunday you may be glad you had that plan!

Relax, take a break, ask somebody! This is only a beer fest. There are no points for logging in every sample on Untapped or for visiting every brewery and there may be a ‘cost’ next day if you overdo. Have fun. Ask someone you don’t know what their favorite beer is so far. Ask a brewery person if they could sample another beer which brewery would THEY go sample from.

THE LIST:

18th Street Brewery
2Toms Brewing
3 Floyds Brewing
450 North Brewing
Ash & Elm Cider Co
Back Road Brewery
Backstep Brewing Co
Bare Hands Brewery
Bier Brewery
Big Lug Brewing
Black Circle Brewing Co.
Black Acre Brewing Co.
Blind Owl Brewing Co.
Broad Ripple Brew Pub
Burn ‘Em Brewing
Byway Brewing Co
Cannon Ball Brewing Co
Carsons Brewery
Centerpoint Brewing
Chapman’s Brewing Co
Chilly Water Brewing Co
Creatures of Habit Brewing Co
Danny Boy Beer Works
Daredevil Brewing Co
Deer Creek Brewery
Deviate Brewing
Field Brewing
Flix Brewhouse
Fountain Square Brewery
Four Day Ray Brewing
Function Brewing
Goshen Brewing Co
Grand Junction Brewing Co
Guggman Haus Brewing
Half Moon Restaurant & Brewery
Hoosier Brewing Co
Hop River Brewing Co
HopLore Brewing
Indiana City Brewing
Ironwood Brewing
Kekionga Cider Co
Kopacetic Beer Factory
Lafayette Brewing Co
Mad Anthony Brewing
Maidens Brewery & Pub
Mash Craft Brewing
Metazoa Brewing Co
Mind Over Mash Brewing Co
Misbeehavin’ Meads
Moontown Brewing
New Albanian Brewing Co
New Day Craft
Off Square Brewing
Pax Verum Brewing Co
People’s Brewing
Planetary Brewing Co
Quaff ON! Brewing Co
Ram Restaurant & Brewery
Rock Bottom
Saint Joseph Brewery
Scarlet Lane Brewing
Shoreline Brewery
St. Benedicts Brew Works
Sun King Brewing Co
Switchyard Brewing Co
Taxman Brewing Co
Teays River Brewing
Terre Haute Brewing Co
The Devil’s Trumpet Brewing Co
The Guardian Brewing Co
Thieme & Wagner Brewing Co
The Sour Note Brewing
The Tap Brewery
Thieme & Wagner Brewing
Traders Brewing Co
Triton Brewing Co
Turoni’s Main Street Brewing
Upland Brewing Co
Upland Sours Brewery
Wooden Bear Brewing Co
ZwanzigZ Brewing