Hitting up the New TimesBeerfest -- now a local tradition -- requires a stealthy approach. First, judge yourself against the "you know you're a drunkard when..." list on www.moderndrunkardmagazine.com. Do "you always finish your drinks because there are sober people in China?" Do "you distrust camels or anything else that can go a week without a drink?" Do "you always confuse the words picture and pitcher, especially when someone says, 'Hey, take my picture'?"
If you answered yes to any of these questions, please practice some restraint. You don't have to try everyone of the 110 -- count 'em! -- beers available for sampling! Regardless, buy your tickets in advance at www.newtimesbpb.com -- and save $5 off the $20-at-the-gate admission fee. Arrive at Beerfest (the sooner you come, the drunker you can get), strap on your wristband, and move from booth to booth. Lift cup to mouth, swallow, repeat.
For that one ticket price, sample brews like Lost Coast Downtown Brown, Hop's Alligator Ale, and Flying Dog Doggie Style Pale Ale. Good companies like Brooklyn Brewery, Sierra Nevada, and Yuengling will pass out their wares, as will Costa Rica's Imperial and Boca-based Beach Babes Beer. After downing a few, have fun pronouncing Lindeman's Framboise Lambic or Gordon Biersch Marzen.
Oh, it wasn't beer that you wanted? Look for three flavors of Freaky Ice, five kinds of Bacardi, Mike's Hard Lemonade, cider by Green Mountain and Magner's, and Tequiza. Your designated driver? He's in luck too -- Beerfest tix for nondrinkers cost only $10, and they're bringing a truckload of O'Douls.
While supplies last, restaurants like Pizza Max, Tequila Ranch, Siam Oishi, Mama Mia, and the Billabong Pub will make sure there are a few solids in the night's diet -- food samples are included in your ticket price too. Local bands Catalonia, the Remnants, Scott Saunders and Dwight Mark, Two Story Double Wide, and Dooms de Pop provide the soundtrack.