One of the great things about hosting a festival series for over a decade is that you learn something every year–and come back that much wiser next time! In that spirit, we’ve compiled our favorite scraps of knowledge that we’ve gleaned from years of quizzing Beer Dabbler attendees about their best practices for enjoying the Midwest’s signature winter craft beer festival.

Flip through our gallery for our full list of tips, and feel free to save them and share them with your friends!


Tip #1: If you don’t like it, dump it

Let’s face it, you will not love some of the beer that you try at Winter Beer Dabbler. No need to be a hero and finish every sip that’s been poured for you!

Tip #2: Cotton is Rotten

As Minnesotans, we should know better than to think that cotton will keep us cozy. Try going for a wool or polyester blend when layering up to get your dabble on.

Tip #3: Have a Rendezvous Point

We all have those friends that like to wander off when drinking. We suggest choosing a spot for your group to meet if you do end up having to play a game of Find-My-Friends.

Tip #4: Channel Your Inner Penguin

If you find yourself walking on a slick sheet of ice, do as the penguins do and walk like one.

It’d be a shame to slip and spill that beer, eh?

Tip #5: Drink Water

We know what you’re thinking: “But it’s winter, I won’t get dehydrated!”

You will.

Tip #6: Don’t Cry Over a Broken Glass

We get it, accidents happen, especially if your mittens get a little slippery.

If your glass ends up breaking or becomes lost, replacement glasses are available for $5 where you entered the festival.

Tip #7: Bring Sunscreen & Chapstick

Sunburn in the winter? It’s a real thing, believe it or not. Be sure to protect yourself from the sun and the wind. Your lips will thank you as you put them against a cold sample glass.

Tip #8: Do Not Be Alarmed

At Winter Beer Dabbler, you’ll come across some things that might seem a little scary at first.

These include giant columns of fire, large flying objects, and excellent party music.

Tip #9: Pace Yourself

We know, you’re excited to be back at Winter Beer Dabbler! But it’s important to remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. The beer is not going anywhere, don’t worry.

Tip #10: Waterproof Boots. Do it. 

This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed by some of the footwear choices we’ve seen in the past. Do yourself a favor and protect your feet from the winter elements.

Tip #11: Make a Snacklace

Even though there will be 15 food trucks at Winter Beer Dabbler this year, it is a good idea to create a snacklace to munch on in between beer samples. Get creative!

Tip #12: Bribe a Designated Driver

Nothing says “good friend” like offering to be your designated driver. We suggest making it worth their while with some subtle (or not) bribe.

Tip #13: Plan Your Route

Want to find all of your favorite breweries? There’s an app for that! Be sure to download the Beer Dabbler app so you can see exactly where those breweries are.

Tip #14: Get Vaccinated

Although this is not a requirement to attend Winter Beer Dabbler, we encourage you to be proactive about protecting yourself and your loved ones by getting fully vaccinated!

Tip #15: Pre-Game Responsibly

Enjoy a nice coffee and maybe 1-2 beers at our Pre-Wristbanding Parties prior to the event. Beer festivals are no fun when you don’t even remember showing up.