The Great American Beer Festival kicks off tomorrow! I'm not the beer connoisseur that some of my colleagues are, but I enjoy the annual opportunity to sample as many beers as possible and chow down on palate-cleansing pretzels. That being said, sometimes I'm frustrated by how the breweries are organized: Aisles are designated by different regions of the country (Pacific Northwest, Mountain, New England, and so on). I have no idea what region makes beers that I like. I guess that's the point—and it does make the most sense—but it would be nice to hone in on the beers you want to try and avoid others you know you won't like in an easier fashion.
So, here's our totally tongue-in-cheek list of the Ways We Wish GABF Was Organized. (Note to readers: I realize most of these are crazy as they'd require one brewery to be in three to four different locations...but let a gal dream.)
By Type: Know you don't like dark beers? Then head to the wheat aisle. Or steer toward the pale ales. Into sours? Great. There'll be a whole section devoted to them.
By ABV: Let's be honest. Some people attend the festival because they love trying and learning about new beers. Others go just to get drunk. So make it easy for everyone.
By Alphabet: Arranging the breweries alphabetically is helpful for people who know the names of breweries they want to check out or who are trying to circle back to a beer they tried earlier in the night. Plus, this still allows for people to explore beers they don't know since the groupings are mixed.
By Label Style: Yes, I'm that girl that picks my NCAA bracket lineup at random (team colors, team name, what have you). At GABF, I'll sometimes swing by a table just because the brewery has a humorous name or a super creative logo. So break them up like that: Abstract labels go here, text-focused labels are over there, and ones with people on them go in a different area.
—Image: © Jason E. Kaplan
Follow assistant editor Daliah Singer on Twitter at @daliahsinger.