10 Tips for Festing Like a Pro at the All Pints North Summer Brew Fest
The All Pints North Summer Brew Fest is the best craft beer festival in the state. Sure… we might be a little biased but… c’mon! Sampling 70+ breweries on the shores of Lake Superior?! That’s hard to beat.
We love All Pints because it gives us a chance to introduce beer lovers from all over Minnesota to the amazing City of Duluth, its beer, and the spectacular setting of Bayfront Festival Park. It’s epic!
The festival is hosted by The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild which is a not-for-profit organization whose goals include promoting Minnesota breweries, facilitating communication between brewers, and connecting craft beer with craft beer lovers… pretty solid goals. “The Guild” sponsors a variety of beer-related festivals and special events and basically showcases the talent of Minnesota’s craft brewers.
This year is the 5th Annual All Pints North Summer Brew Fest and we’re excited to celebrate Minnesota’s amazing beer scene. Join us by the lake to meet the brewers and enjoy unlimited craft beer samples, local food vendors, beer-centered activities and educational components, live music and much more!
In an effort to prepare you for this excellent event, we did some… let’s call it… research and came up with 10 Tips for Festing Like a Pro at the All Pints North Summer Brewfest. Enjoy!
Get Your Game-Face on for the Best Darn Brew Fest in Minnesota – All Pints North!
By Dave Grandmaison
1. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
Start out by figuring how you’ll end the afternoon. There is no reason to even consider drinking and driving. All Pints North starts at 3pm and ends at 7pm… that’s 4 hours of sampling. If you follow any of these tips… this is the one. Grab a hotel (see our list of lodging affiliates) and spend the night. You’ll have plenty of time to explore Duluth after the festival and you might even get out for an adventure the next day. Many of Duluth’s hotels are within walking distance and if not… cabs are cheap and smart. Use them. If you’re a designated driver then you’re tickets are only $10! Check out the event website for more details.
2. HAVE A GAME PLAN
A little planning will go a long ways. Check out the event website and find out which breweries are participating. Identify your “must-taste” sample list and get in there! And c’mon folks… go a little outside your normal beer selection… try some new beers! Visit breweries you haven’t sampled or even heard of. An adventurous spirit can take you to interesting places and brew festivals are ideal for broadening your craft beer horizons.
Remember this general sampling strategy – start out with lighter styles and work your way up towards the big beers.
3. DUMP IT
Hey… if you decide to get adventurous and try something new… that doesn’t mean you have to like it. If you decide that a sample just isn’t for you… dump it and move on. There’s no need to slam an unwanted sample. And don’t worry. None of the brewers will even notice you dumped their beer… unless you do it in front of them which… is not advised. Be discrete. Dump it and move on – there’s plenty of beer that you will enjoy.
4. HAVE SOME FUN & PLAY
Seasoned festival-goes know that there is a lot more to a brew fest than slamming beer and getting wild. Partake in event activities like hammerschlagen, cornhole, and yard games – make new friends, take a tour of venue, check out the non-brewery vendors like… ahem… The Duluth Experience! We’ll be there hanging out and we’d love it if you stop by and chat with us.
Other activities… dancing! All Pints North always includes some fun live music and there’s no better better way to celebrate than by jammin’ to some great tunes. And remember – one of the Guild’s missions is craft beer education. Check out All Pint North’s lineup of great educational opportunities and expand your knowledge of the brewing process, ingredients, and other beer-related topics. Have fun, learn, and sample!
5. PRE-GAME WITH FOOD
Never, ever, show up to a beer festival on an empty stomach. That’s a sure-fire way to end up snoozing in the shade after a mere handful of samples. Maximize your ability to sample by putting down a nice base of food before you arrive. Looking for some great options near the venue? Check out Canal Park Brewing Company, Endion Station Public House, Lake Avenue Restaurant, Grandma’s Restaurant, Northern Waters Smokehaus, or 7 West Taphouse.
And don’t forget the on-site festival food vendors! There are a variety of great options listed on the festival website. Check them out!
Water is your friend… drink lots of it! Alcohol dehydrates the body and will wear you down after a long day of sampling under the summer sun. The more water you drink during the festival, the better you’ll feel afterwards. It’s true. Try alternating beer samples with an equal amount of water. Stake out the water fountains ahead of time and bring your own water bottle with you to fill up. You can use this supply to refresh and to rinse out your sample glass between fills.
7. DESIGNATE A RALLY POINT
Do yourself and our crew a favor and identify a location where you can meet up periodically if you get separated. There’s going to be a lot of people in Bayfront Park and it’s very easy to wander off from your group… especially when you’re in search of that “must-find” sample! Designate a time and place to re-group and check in. That way you can keep track of your buddies and get their suggestions on where to sample next. This tip will also help you minimize confusion as folks start to file out of the park at the end of the event.
8. KNOW YOUR LIMITS
This one is pretty self-explanatory but can also be difficult to put into practice. We’ve all heard the phrase “…like a kid in a candy store…” and beer festivals are the big kid version. There’s a lot of beer to sample but please don’t be the drunken fool. Know your limits. Stay hydrated. Grab an occasional snack from the food vendors. You can do it!
9. DRESS APPROPRIATELY
The All Pints North Brew Fest is held outside in Duluth. Did we mention that the event is in Duluth? That means the weather could do all kinds of crazy things. Be prepared. Watch the weather and dress accordingly. It could be sunny and hot. It could be humid. It could be raining. Duluth can throw all kinds of conditions at you… even in July. Whatever the weather, the show must go on. Plan ahead and you’ll be ready to rock. As an added tip, wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be on your feet most of the time.
10. BRING CASH FOR GOODIES
It’s always good to bring a little bit of cash for goodies – snacks, souvenirs, a cab…
If you’ve got some advice to share please do so in the comments section below!