Home Beer The pro guide to GABF, part 4: How to beat a festival-size hangover

The pro guide to GABF, part 4: How to beat a festival-size hangover

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With more than thousands of beers and four sessions, it’s easy to overindulge at GABF. Here’s how brewers avoid (and cure) a cloudy head after savoring one sample too many.

Brian Ford, founder and brewmaster at Auburn Alehouse

“Hydration, moderation and a lot of coconut water!”

Scott Baer, head brewer at Telegraph Brewing

“It’s so important to stay well-fed at a beer-drinking event. The 1-ounce pours (Colorado state law) help keep the drinking at a reasonable pace, but the altitude and abundance of beer will get you!”

Dave Logsdon, founder of Logsdon Farmhouse Ales

“I’ve judged at the GABF and many other competitions for a lot of years. So pacing is a serious matter. Start slow and keep it early the first few nights, then as the week goes on, so can you.”

Bill Madden, CEO and head brewer at Mad Fox Brewing

“‘There is drinking, there is sampling, and there is moderation’ is my mantra. I find less of an impact on my body when judging and sampling all day as opposed to traveling around the area checking out breweries (with a designated driver, of course). Plenty of water is the trick and protein snacks/meals will slow the absorption of alcohol; make sure to eat.”

Josh Grgas, distribution manager at The Commons Brewery

“Water! It’s an amazing beverage that tastes even better during a long day of drinking. Sleep, eat, hydrate.”

Victor Novak, brewmaster at TAPS Fish House & Brewery

“To be honest, I don’t drink a lot. I LOVE beer, so I usually order samplers; that way, I can try four to eight different beers. If I do get a hangover, three aspirin, lots of water, and a bowl of pozole do the trick every time!”

Kathleen Hanson, Grand Teton

“Take a break and visit the American Society of Cheese table. Nothing resets you for more beer drinking like great cheese!”

Konrad Connor, head brewer at Redwood Brewing

“Water! And lots of it. Make sure you eat before you start drinking. If you’re not from a place with elevation—Flint, Mich., where I come from is 751 feet—drinking in Denver gets you there much quicker and on less booze! Be careful.”

Tomme Arthur, founder of The Lost Abbey

“I always fill my water bottle and leave it next to the bed. That way, even if I fall into a deep sleep, it’s there when I need it.”

A.J. Stoll, head brewer at Figueroa Mountain Brewing

“Lots and lots and lots of water and vitamins. And, of course, don’t overdo it or try to taste everything.”

Marisa Selvy, co-owner and V.P. of marketing at Crazy Mountain Brewing

“I drink a 16-ounce container of coconut water the night before along with a few bottles of water. This way, you hydrate in advance. Trying to cram in a few cups of water the day-of and assume you are properly hydrated doesn’t work. I recommend a huge breakfast and lunch before an evening session, [and] a late dinner after the sessions get out so you go to bed with food in your belly. My personal favorite hangover trick is coconut water right before you fall asleep, along with Advil, a charcoal pill (to soak up all the toxins from the alcohol in your bloodstream), a B-Complex vitamin and something carby and quick like Easy Mac.”

This week, we’re bringing you tips from the experts on all things GABF. Still to come: where to refuel around Denver, and how to score medal-winning beers. Previously: How to map out your GABF strategy, How to talk to brewers, Where to drink after the fest.



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