I wouldn’t call myself a big beer drinker, I do enjoy Cincy Winter Beerfest! Like so many Cincinnati festivals, I run into friends, neighbors and old coworkers and end up talking more than using my 25 sampling tickets.
For as long as it has been held at the Duke Convention Center, I’ve told people to go on Friday night since there’s about one-third of the crowd of the Saturday night crowd.
If you’re serious about your beer, it would be worth it to purchase the VIP ticket, which provides a bigger tasting and gives you an extra hour before general admission arrives. For 2013, the general admission tickets had 5oz pours and VIP had 8 oz pours.
There were 375 beers at 100 booths (give or take based on the number of booths on the map). On Friday night, there were small lines at various booths most notably local breweries.
I eat a decent lunch and drink plenty of water in order to prepare for the evening, so I didn’t have any food but I saw plenty of options. We took advantage of being able to get water throughout the event, other years we had to depend on the few drinking fountains.
There is a music stage and the very back of the room, but if you like dancing to the beat of your own drum, check out the silent disco. Your moves provide plenty of laughter for those of us watching!
If walking isn’t your thing and you just love Goose Island, you could belly up to their mobile bar or challenge a friend in cornhole. Cincinnati’s Pedal Wagons were there and you could hop up and drink your beers there, too.
My favorite part of the night is evening, it’s not unlike closing time at a bar.
BeerFest is a great time but if you find yourself passed out on a pole, hopefully your friend bought the Designated Driver ticket and will get you home before a blogger snaps your photo – oops too late! 😉
Every year has been a little different.
In 2013, they added pre-wristbanding at Rock Bottom so you could pick up your wristband and ticket between 3pm and 5:30pm and zip through admission, ID check, cup pickup and coat check (if needed). Since my ticket was through the 5B Blogging Conference, I arrived a little before 7:30pm and picked up my ticket from will call and headed in with no lines. I saw photos of Saturday night and people were lined up to enter.
This year it seemed like more cab companies were aware of this event and lined up around the convention center. Although given the number of attendees, it is possible some will think there still weren’t enough. Honestly, if you’re not within walking distance, a hotel via Priceline is your best bet.
If you’re new to Cincy Winter Beerfest keep in mind the website isn’t thorough in providing information and they’re not the best at answering emails or Facebook.
Cincy Winter Beerfest site
Cincy Beer Festivals Facebook page