The tenth annual Hops in Humboldt beer festival on Saturday in Rohner Park is your chance to bask in beer without the lederhosen and oompah ($40). Here's how it's done.
First, leave the kids and pets at home. It's a beer festival.
It should also go without saying that you need an exit strategy. Plan A: Take the bus. Buses run from Fortuna to Eureka and Arcata, and the $2.75 fare spares you, other drivers, pedestrians and local law enforcement much grief. Plan B: Snag a designated driver. Non-drinkers get in for $5, and paying for your D.D.'s ticket and a day's worth of festival grub is still cheaper and more fun than the aforementioned grief. Be generous and your D.D. may even be merciful with Facebook footage.
Eat. There will be a tomorrow, so you need to put down a base. Tamales, tri-tip, "beer-kissed" sundaes and frozen cookie dough on a stick are all on the menu. Order before the taps open at 1 p.m., while you still have some judgment.
Drink. So many craft beers, so little time/room in your body. Last count was 40 participating breweries bringing all manner of IPA's, stouts, sours and more. You need a strategy. Of course you want to sip some classics, so put aside about 20 percent of your internal real estate for those. With the rest, drink around. Take advantage of the sheer variety before you and expand your palette — discover what you didn't know you loved. Then, armed with experience, text your favorite for the Taster's Choice Award.
Be Merry. Slather on the sunscreen and revel in outdoor fun (nobody likes a festival burn). Shop the local crafts and get a temporary tattoo — no regrets! Beer-themed games are afoot, too, like beer bottle ring toss. Is beer pong over? Give Drink-O a try. That's the name. What else do you need to know? Keep in mind all the proceeds go to area nonprofits, which means you're not just day-drunk in the park — you're a philanthropist.
So when they shut it down at 6 p.m., hug your D.D. a little too long and roll home happy.