Drinking good beer from wee glasses in the dark while pop music plays in the background: This is Hopscotch Spring Beer and Scotch Festival at Fremont Studios, and it is good. I went last year and camped out by the Firestone Walker booth, a California microbrewery that makes some of the best pale ale and IPA I’ve ever tasted. But there are so many good breweries on hand it will make you dizzy, check out the list.

A ticket ($20 in advance; $25 at the door) buys you a tasting glass and five tokens, each good for one beer. You can go on either Friday, April 23rd from 5pm to 12am or on Saturday, April 24th from 1pm to 12am. Or go on both days. Nobody’s judging.

An added attraction are the spirit flights—scotch or tequila—each $10. There is also the option of super-sizing your experience by paying $25 in advance, $30 at the door and receiving, in return, 10 tokens. If you’re going this route, I suggest you plan ahead. There is food at Hopscotch, but what if they run out? Or you don’t like sausage sandwiches or whatever stadium eats are on hand this year? You’re in Fremont, there is plenty of food around. Go to Roxy’s for latkes and eggs beforehand, or Homegrown for a grass-fed organic something something, or Paseo for a giant Cuban sandwich. Whatever you do, eat before you drink.

I’ll leave you with two final suggestions. 1. Buy the tickets in advance, it’s cheaper and that way you can plan for a designated driver or Hummer limo or whatever mode of transport strikes your fancy. 2. Arrive early. The line becomes atrocious as early as 30 minutes into the festival. It’s seriously terrible. If you go late and find yourself stuck, for an hour, behind six drunk girls in tank tops screaming into a cell phone, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

Happy Hopscotch!

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