Great Taste 2019

So Many Beers, So Little Time

August 6, 2019

-Kitty Dunn Photo

If there were a heaven created especially for beer drinkers, I imagine it would look a little like Olin Park on Saturday. It's time once again for the Great Taste of the Midwest, with a ticket that's almost as hard to get as those yellow tickets in Willy Wonka candy bars.

I've been to the Taste every year for about the last 20 years, so I've learned a thing or two that can help fest-goers and wannabe fest-goers alike.


1. Pre-plan your beer drinking adventure. Check out the list of vendors and locations ahead of time to make sure you get to try beers you're most anxious to try. There's an app you can download to help with your planning.

2,  There will be a long line--and the first ones in get the first crack at the much hyped beers. Get there early and enjoy beer conversation with other folks in line, or go right when the gates open, your choice. The line moves very quickly!

3. Drink a lot of water and take breaks. Drinkable water is provided!

4. It's okay to bring in snacks and bottled water. One thing I've noticed: the pretzel necklaces get more elaborate every year, with cheese sticks, candy bars and other snacks hanging around fest-goers necks. I wouldn't be surprised to see an entire ham this Saturday!

5. If a particular beer doesn't meet your fancy, it's totally okay to dump it out. That way you can try more beers without getting too drunk.

6. Have a designated driver or take a $1 taxi home. Be safe and live to drink again another day!


1. If you didn't score a ticket, show up at Olin Park anyway. Many times folks who come here from out of town on buses have extra tickets from no-shows that they will sell for face value. You may also be able to find someone selling a ticket on the Great Taste enthusiasts group page on facebook.

2. Check out the pre-parties on the nights before the Great Taste. Not only will you get to try brews from rare and interesting breweries, someone might have a ticket for sale, or the bar may be giving some away as prizes. Check out the list here.

3. Go to the liquor store and buy some beers you've never tried before, and have your own Great Taste with friends at home! I've heard of quite a few people who do this as an alternative to the party at Olin Park.