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10 tips for Bluegrass & Beer Fest at Keystone

Beer aficionados will tell you the way to enjoy a beer festival is all about tasting the beers as if you’re on a Napa Valley wine tour: appreciating the appearance, aroma and mouthfeel (that word makes me laugh) of each beer.  But to some of us average Joe’s, a beer festival is just about enjoying a few beers, listening to great music, and celebrating a beautiful day in Colorado.

Here are 10 tips to enjoying the 15th Annual Keystone Bluegrass and Beer Festival this August 6 – 7.

1. Make a plan
There are a lot of activities going on at this event so check the schedule and plan your agenda for the day.  You don’t want to miss your favorite band because you had a sudden hankering for a corn dog.

2. Keep the kids entertained
There’s nothing cuter than watching a child dance it out to some good bluegrass music, but a six-year-old can usually only take so much banjo.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other activities at the festival to keep junior entertained, from magic shows and face painting to a climbing wall and bounce house.

3. Try new and different beers
Yes it’s great to sip on your favorite beer while listening to great tunes, but to make the festival more memorable, try some brews you haven’t tried before.  Seek out different breweries or seasonal beers.

4.  Wear a pretzel necklace
There’s no better way to look like a beer festival seasoned veteran than by sporting a festive and functional pretzel necklace.  I mean, what goes better with beer than pretzels?  You can make your own: just get a bag of pretzels and some string and if you can’t figure the rest out here’s how.

5. Drink a lot… of water
Especially if you’re from out of town or coming up from the front range, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

6. Have plenty to eat
Be sure to eat enough so the brews don’t hit you too hard.  With festival food on site including baked goods, BBQ dishes, and turkey legs, you shouldn’t really need any reminders or additional encouragement.

7. Stay nearby
Since Keystone is offering lodging and festival packages for $87 (that includes a $35 one-day glass — wow that’s a smoking deal!) there’s no reason to worry about driving before and after the festival. There are two-day packages as well.

8. Leave your doggie at home
I think the terms “bluegrass music fan” and “dog owner” are officially synonymous, but most beer and music festivals would be too chaotic with everyone’s four legged friends there, and this one is no different. Leave Patches the pooch at home.

9. Bring something to sit on
There are lots of seats at the music venues around River Run, but it could get pretty packed and you might be really glad if you’ve got a chair or blanket with you.

10.  Think ahead
Bring sunscreen and a jacket, and of course make absolutely sure you’ve got a designated driver if you plan on enjoying a few beers.

— Dave Hall

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