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New Times Beerfest 2013 Survival Guide

The "Original" New Times Beerfest returns to downtown Fort Lauderdale for its 16th incarnation this Saturday, from 6 to 11 p.m. So, as ol' Beerfest pros, we are here to offer you a little advice.

First and foremost, hopefully you have already purchased your tickets. If not, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Purchase them online immediately -- you only have until 2 p.m. Saturday to get $10 off your tickets.

At the gate general admission is is $40 and VIP is $85 -- still totally worth it, but why not save the ten bucks?

There's even still a chance to win a pair by commenting on this post with your favorite beer.

See also:
- Win a Pair of Tickets to New Times Beerfest
- Beerfest 2013: How to Party with Modernage, Beat Machines, the Hongs, and More!

Follow the jump for your Beerfest survival guide.

This year, there will be a college basketball viewing pavilion with Jumbotron screens; 100-plus local, international, and craft beers; live music performances; interactive games; good food; and a swell time to be had by all.

There will be a VIP area where guests can enjoy premium craft beers not available in general admission, unlimited sampling of delicious food from local restaurants, liquor samplings, and premium stage views.

Now, with all those beers to try it can get a little overwhelming.

First, arrive early and wear comfortable shoes. We all love the heels, but you'll be walking around a park drinking beer. Choose picnic attire, not club attire. Something with pockets wouldn't be a bad idea.

Upon entry you will receive your official Beerfest tasting vessel. Do not lose this! This year's version is a pilsner style -- super nice. Aside from the fact that it makes a lovely souvenir you are sure to treasure for years to come, it is your golden ticket to beer tasting nirvana. Without it, you are just a sad, thirsty person.

After 16 years we are crowd flow masters, but Beerfest is massively popular. The lines really aren't terrible, but they will exist. A good strategy -- if one booth has a crowd, amble over to one nearby that doesn't. Keep a sharp eye and when the crowd thins, make your move. No line jumping! Be cool, dude.

Pace yourself. Yes, there are over 100 beers to try, but Beerfest is also a five hour event. Remember, this is about tasting, not guzzling. Really, savor the beers, keep track of what you are tasting, what you like, and what you don't. There's also plenty of food available from local restaurants and food trucks, so alternate suds with grubs.

Finally, this is a social experience so don't leave out your social network. Snap photos of your favorites and Tweet them @CleanPlateBPB. Share them with us on our Facebook page, We WANT your feedback like you want beer -- seriously, we crave it.

Esplanade Park is located at 400 SW Second St. in Fort Lauderdale. At the gate, general admission $40; VIP is $85. Advance tickets are available online until 2 p.m. Saturday for $10 off at A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale Inc. Visit

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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane

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