The 2012 Great American Beer Festival will serve the largest selection of American beers ever, and we know you won’t want to miss out on a single one. After all that, ahem, testing, it’s vital to have a safe way home so you can rehydrate, replenish those electrolytes, and sleep. Here are some tips on how to enjoy the festival to its fullest and be worry-free about how you’ll get home:

  • MAKE A PLAN, STAN: It may seem like a no-brainer, but we all know how a vague plan to get home only gets vaguer as the beer tally rises. Make concrete plans.
  • PARK IT: With 49,000 attendees, finding a parking spot is going to be rough. Instead of feeding a meter on the street all night, grab a spot in the 24/7 parking garage at the Colorado Convention Center. Better yet, find alternative transportation (see below).
  • GO PUBLIC: In lieu of a car, take Denver public transit. The RTD Bus System near the Center can get you almost anywhere you need in town. There is an X, a Y, and a Z stop on 15th Street between Champa and Welton streets, and buses will run until 1 a.m. Or take the Light Rail. A stop is conveniently located in front of the Convention Center and its last line leaves just before 1 a.m.
  • SHELL OUT: Know a friend who doesn’t want to drink and loves handcrafted soda? Buy them a Designated Driver ticket ($25) so they can sip Tommyknocker Brewery sodas, wander the festival floor, and even get a massage in the DD Lounge.
  • BOOK IT:  Taxis are always a reliable option. But if you do drive, and don’t want to leave your car downtown overnight, check out one of these DD services: The Party Poopers, Be My DD, or The Denver Roadies. They can chauffeur you and your car home (prices vary, but 10 miles can cost about $40).
  • STAY OVER: You have to leave the Convention Center at 10 p.m. each night, but that doesn’t mean you have to go home. Why not book a hotel downtown? The GABF has deals at several hotels. Check out their hotel page for an up-to-date list of room availability.