Beer and wine festivals are picking up again around Hampton Roads. The all-day affairs can be a daunting, but fun day full of drinking, food and activities.
Here’s are tips to surviving a beer or wine festival from Complex Magazine’s First We Feast and Beerfest.com so you can make the most of your time at one — or all of them — this fall.
Plenty of upcoming beer and wine festivals feature a wide selection of alcoholic beverages that vary in alcohol content. Pacing yourself when you drink is a safe bet because before you know it, you could find yourself 10 drinks in. Don’t be afraid to skip a drink every once and a while, too. Pacing yourself will give you a better idea of your limit and help you get more out of the money you spent on the ticket. Drink water between each tasting.
Eating foods like cheese with wine or peanuts with beer help absorb alcohol and aid in reducing your chances of getting really intoxicated. High-protein foods also help. Pack a picnic or plan to visit a food truck or other vendor at the festival.
We should always drink water in our every day activities, so drinking water before, during and after a beer and wine festival is no different. Water helps you stay hydrated and balances the dehydration some alcohols can cause.
Map your way
Beer and wine festivals offer a variety of booths, vendors and tastings. The best way to make the most the festival is to plan your way around the grounds before you head in. This will help you pace yourself while drinking and give you an idea of what types of beverages (familiar and unfamiliar) you may be drinking that day. A plan also helps you focus on what you want you to try — new brands, tried and true favorites or a little of both.
Bring a friend and have a designated driver
Designate a driver before the festival starts. Many festivals, including the Craft Beer Bash at War Memorial Stadium, sell discounted tickets for designated drivers and non-drinkers. Also, bringing a friend to enjoy the day and help you along is never a bad idea.
Here are some notable beer and wine festivals coming up:
Virginia Craft Beer and Wine Festival: More than 18 breweries and six wineries will be on-site 2-6 p.m. Saturday at the Portsmouth Pavilion (16 Crawford Circle, Portsmouth). Tickets are $30. Info: virginiabeerandwinefestival.com.
Craft Beer Bash: More than 10 breweries 1-5 p.m. Oct. 14 at War Memorial Stadium in Hampton. Tickets are $40 and designated driver tickets are $10. Proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula. Attendees must be at least 21. More info: warmemorialbeerbash.eventbrite.com.
Gloucester Wine Festival: The eighth annual festival, which features 13 wineries and food options from 10 restaurants, is 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 23 at Brent and Becky’s (7900 Daffodil Lane, Gloucester). Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Info: gloucesterwinefestival.com.
Yorktown Wine Festival: Take a trip to Riverwalk Landing from noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 7 for a festival that includes wine, live music, vendors and food. Admission starts at $10. Info: visityorktown.org.
Fall Wine Festival: The 30th annual Fall Wine Festival is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 21-22 at Town Point Park in Norfolk.Tasting tickets are $35 (Saturday) and $30 (Sunday) before Oct. 15 and $40 (Saturday) and $35 (Sunday) after the 15th. Non-tasting tickets are $25 (Saturday) and $20 (Sunday). VIP options are available. Info: festevents.org.
Drag Brunch at The Grey Goose
Join drag queens Aria Ovahere, Jasleane Jade, Chantennah Spaulding and more at The Grey Goose (118 Old Hampton Lane, Hampton) from 2-5 p.m. Sunday for brunch. The restaurant will serve a limited menu full of breakfast and lunch items. Tickets are $27 and do not include adult beverages or tips.
Watermen's Museum Oyster Roast
The 11th annual all-you-can-eat oyster roast is noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Watermen's Museum (309 Water St., Yorktown). They will serve raw and roasted oysters, bushels of oysters, harvested oysters and more from local seafood companies. Other foods include hot dogs, clam chowder, sides and desserts. Tickets are $35 (oyster eaters), $30 (non-oyster eaters) and $20 for children ages 5 to 12. Children 5 and younger are free. Info: call 757-887-2641or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zoes Kitchen raising money for Hurricane Harvey relief
Now through Sept. 30, Zoës Kitchen will accept monetary donations for the American Red Cross to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey, according to a news release. Every Zoës Kitchen location across the country, including the Newport News location at 12090 Jefferson Ave., Suite 1240, will participate. Each location will match a portion of the donations and guests who donate will receive $3 off their next purchase, the release said. Info: zoeskitchen.com.
The Mariners' Gallery Crawl
Sip, eat and enjoy viewing artifacts during the third annual Mariners’ Museum Gallery Crawl from 6:30-10 p.m. Saturday. This year’s theme is “The Secret Life of Objects” and the event features food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Tickets are $65. Info: marinersmuseum.org or 757-591-7705.
Sal & Mimma’s opens in Denbigh
Sal & Mimma’s opened where the Famous Luigi's used to be located at 15400 Warwick Blvd. in Newport News on Sept. 7. The restaurant offers delivery, dine-in, catering and carry out Italian food. Info: 757-243-2802.
Peninsula brewery round-up
Brass Cannon Brewing released a new langrage beer called a Black IPA II that combines the hop forward flavors of an IPA with malty and roasted tones of a great stout. The beer is on tap for a limited time. Info: brasscannonbrewing.com.
Tradition Brewing Company will host a Latin Flavor Day from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday to celebrate the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Food trucks El Coqui, Cubania and Taquerita De La Silla will be on-site. Info: traditionbrewing.com.
Joseph can be reached by phone at 757-374-3134.