Firestone Walker Invitational: First Timer’s Guide

Firestone Walker Invitational is right around the corner!  Ray and I attended with a group of friends last year. We made some mistakes as first-timers but this year we are coming back strong! Here are some tips for all the newbies and reminders for all you veterans.

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  • Be there early or on time – Do you ever watch those YouTube videos and see people running into the event center? Well, there is a reason for that. With over 60 breweries from around the United States showcasing multiple tastings, there is almost no way to finish. Every minute counts! Our friends and I decided to pre-party and have lunch at the house beforehand which caused us to get to the event after it opened and we ended up missing out on a whole area of tastings.

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  • Don’t eat too much beforehand – I guess feasting beforehand wasn’t the best idea.  We were completely stuffed when we arrived and we were too full to try out all of the delicious bites they offered. They even had dry aged beef sliders and honestly…I only had one bite and couldn’t enjoy it.
  • Pace Yourself – It’s super hot during the event and by mid-afternoon we did see some people passed out on the ground. You don’t want to miss out on all the breweries that have come from out of state. Plus, the event is only  5 hours…think about it.
  • Stay cool – Yes. It’s hot…if you couldn’t figure it out by the previous tip. You’re going to want to stay cool while drinking. Make sure you bring your sunnies, a portable and lightweight blanket to lay on (honestly I go to 99 cents store and just buy a table cover that looks decent, the grass makes me itchy). Bring a hat! Bring a fan mister or a cooling towel…it’s all fair game. People were dunking their hats at the water stations and plopping them on their heads because it was so hot. Dress light…Don’t wear pants…..really….just really don’t do that to yourself.

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  • Wear SPF – No one wants to prematurely age or risk skin cancer. Shady spots are available but trust me….everyone is trying to sit in them TOO.
  • Dress up – Whether you are all in matching shirts, or sporting a pretzel necklace…Honestly, everyone who dressed up was the envy of everyone there.  Don’t be boring. Be fun! This event is epic!

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  • Get the goods – Purchase your favorite shirts from Firestone Walker and other vendors, they do sell out of some styles and sizes. Note my FAVORITE t-shirt I bought was my “Support Your Local Breweries” from Anderson Brothers. I decided to buy a second one towards the end of the festival as a gift and they were sold out. Live your life with no regrets!!

Hope these tips help someone out there! Do you have a tip you want to add?? Comment below!

See you all on Saturday!

Michelle B
Meet Michelle! Fellow foodie, owner of EnjoySLO and founder of At Her Table.

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  1. If you’d like a guide to the festival, including the Untappd beer ratings for each beer on tap, check out this google doc:


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