Another week of good friends and good beer is upon us: the 2017 Rochester Real Beer Week. It’s easy to just survive the Week: stay home and look at photos of the events on Facebook. What good does that do you, though? The point is to not just experience it, but to truly enjoy it, to savor the staggering amount of goings-on that our great city bestows upon us. You may figure it a no-brainer when it comes to attending any of these affairs, but sometimes the most basic of guidance is needed.
You’re not going to make every event. Plan your Beer Week like you would any trip to a rodent-inspired amusement resort: pick your top events each day, and shoot for one or two. Leave yourself open to flexibility. Give yourself time to savor each one, versus making unfulfilling surgical strikes.
It’s better in pairs. This is a great time to visit the restaurants that you’ve been passing up. Pick out some events that are pairing up good food with craft beer, and see how well certain beers go with various plates. Oh, and bring a friend. See what I did there?
Explore uncharted territory. Look, we are freakin’ spoiled here in Rochester. We get fantastic craft beer from a slew of distributors, we have great beer joints everywhere, and you know at least two people who go to Vermont and brag about their beer haul (but they share it). Now is the time to mosey away from your old standbys (great though they may be) and try something new. Don’t waste golden opportunities!
Support your local breweries! Great beer comes into Rochester; great beer is Rochester. There is no better time/reason to get out there and hit up the metro-area breweries, as well as the far-flung friends in the Finger Lakes and elsewhere.
Pace yourself. Be it the Beer Week or the Expo itself, the keyword here is “enjoy.” Your projectile vomit should not be the most memorable part of the week.
If you don’t like it, don’t finish it. Blah blah sacrilege, blah blah blasphemy. Oh, I’ve heard it. Seriously, though: if the beer you’re drinking is simply not your thing, do not force yourself to finish it out of obligation or guilt or whatever. You’re just going to feel green, and that’s just going to send your day downhill.
Safety first. Until the Uber mothership lands in Rochester, many of us need to remain smart regarding proper transportation. I won’t sermonize: get home safely.
Marvel in the bigness. At some point, step back from the middle of everything and appreciate how craft beer brings so many people together. Watch how friends come up to each other and rattle off short lists of what they’ve sampled. See grown men wear pretzel necklaces without shame. Be thankful for what we’ve got.