Grab some broad-spectrum sunblock, eat a stomach-lining breakfast and buy your designated driver a ticket for Hops in Humboldt on Saturday, Aug. 26 from 1 to 5 p.m. in Fortuna's Rohner Park ($45, $35 advance, $75 VIP, $10 non-drinkers). If you've never been or your memory of the last one is fuzzy, here are some pro tips.
Your ticket gets you unlimited samples of microbrews and a vote for the Taster's Choice Award. Rein in your ambitions, though, as there are more than 50 breweries and you are a mere mortal. Take stock of your physical limitations/plans for the future and be sure to take advantage of the free water, especially if you have plans for Sunday beyond weeping softly into the cool side of your pillow.
Don't let long lines get you down. Use the time to socialize, reapply that sunblock (nobody wants a Hops burn) and enjoy the music from the three bands on stage throughout the day, Jenny & David & the Sweet Soul Band, Strix Vega (featuring the Journal's own Andy Powell) and Melange.
Take a few beer breaks with some vendor browsing and games, like the ring toss and the beer-themed version of Plinko, Drinko. There'll be more than a dozen food stalls hawking goodies like Indian tacos, barbecue, wood fired pizza, doughnuts and steak on a stick for when you get peckish, so bring some cash. Drunk you loves doughnuts.
Don't forget to pat yourself on the back as you amble out of the park. After all, the Hops in Humboldt nonprofit has raised and doled out some $400,000 in local grants. Cheers to that.