It’s finally happened; I’ve lowered myself to the lowest common blogging denominator: lists. The penultimate of click-bait, used to rack up hit counts and page views while imparting absolutely zero content.
Before you send an angry mob, brandishing pitch forks and torches, hear me out first. This will be my second time at the Beer inCider festival, which begins tomorrow at Albion Park Raceway, and I want to impart a few pieces of advice that will save you some time and headache if you haven’t been before. It just happens to be in a handy, list format.
Here are my 5 tidbits of info I wish I had my first year:
- Bring your ID
While this may seem like a no-brainer, it really is necessary. Beer inCider is an 18+ event that is strictly enforced. The plus side of this is that you don’t have small children buzzing around your feet but despite having a full facial mane of blazing red hair, I was denied entry to the grounds on the first day. I was an idiot for being so forgetful, but in my defense, I was rushing out the door to try and make it on time for a conference that 250 Beers was running.
- Come early if you can
If you DO happen to forget your ID, then you’ll give yourself heaps of time to head home, grab it, and make it back with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the day.The crowds at Beer inCider do get fairly large, and it does get pretty busy. Coming early will give you time to peruse the various stalls without the need to swim through throngs of people. Take this opportunity to have a chat with one of the 32 brewers/reps while sampling their wares. They’re generally really friendly people and only bite on occasion.
If the music is your draw card, coming early will give you an opportunity to stake out a spot in the grass to enjoy one of the great acts playing, including British India, Busby Marou, and a personal favourite of mine from last year, The Glorious North.
- Bring Enough Cash for the Day/NightThe currency on the day is the ‘Bob’, in where 1 Bob = $1. Bobs are purchased inside the grounds and exchanged at the stalls for beverages and food. While Beer inCider will take EFTPOS, its a much quicker process using cash. No one wants to be ‘that guy’ that holds up the line trying to remember their PIN. Bringing cash is also a great way of keeping tabs on how much you spend, and if you’re like me, the Bobs can fly out of your pocket before you know it!
ATMs will be on hand, but as history teaches us, ATMs at festivals will usually have long queues and if you’re really unlucky, will run out of money before the night is through. Best bet: load up on cash before arriving at the festival!
- Bring a PonchoProper planning prevents piss poor performance. It also prevents getting soaking wet, leaving you feeling cold, miserable, and wanting to go home.
A small, disposable poncho can be purchased for approx $3 from most bargain shops. They are easy to carry around and quick to deploy should the weather turn a bit south. The forecast for Friday and Saturday is showing a good chance of precipitation, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it ‘rain on your parade/festival‘.
- Drink Responsibly!Just because there will be over 150 different beers and ciders on offer, doesn’t mean you have to try them all. Sculling cup after cup of frothy beverage in an attempt to claim a non-existent award for consuming them all is not only bad for your health, but makes you look like, well, a dick head.
Instead, buy yourself one of the cool little tasting paddles. These wooden souvenirs can then be filled with 4 small sized beers, perfect for tasting. Sip on these, relishing the myriad of flavours put forth by the 32 Australian breweries on hand, then head up later for a fresh 4 from someone new. This will allow you to have the maximum flavour experience, without getting off your face drunk.
To help pace yourself, there will be some great food options to line the stomach. Food trucks serving some A+ grub will be there, including That BBQ Joint, Pizzantica, Juan More Taco, and more. A personal favourite of mine is Little Back!
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you could sign up for the Gourmet Tasting Lunch, hosted by none-other-than Matt Kirkegaard!
There you have it! Follow these rules and you’re bound to have a great time at this years festival. Hopefully, this has provided you with enough useful info that I’m forgiven for the format.
Now to keep an eye on the hit count…