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How does this actually work?  If you go to a Comic Con or a Sci Fi Con you walk around in your costume, buy some crap, and that's it.  How do you drink alcohol, get royally sedated, and not fall down or get a bunch of fights breaking out?  Do patrons just taste and spit?  Is it like a wine tasting?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Aug 6th, 2010 at 12:07:55 PM EST
In the UK you are only legally allowed to sell beer in 1/3, 1/2 or full pints. so you have to buy 1/3 at least.

Unlike wine, you can't taste and spit beer because bitter flavours, which are a major component of beer, are only experienced in the back of the throat, so you have to swallow.

As for the rest of it, although being drunk is an occupational hazard, there's a lot less of it than you'd expect. Real ale drinkers tend to be a bit less animal-intent on getting shit-faced wasted, but enjoy the journey and take their time. things have improved, I remember the first beer festival which had all day drinking (a recent innovation in the UK) and it was mayhem because nobody had any practice in pacing themselves and the place was just awash with the collapsed. Now it's much rarer, more civilised.

As for fights, hmm there are a large number of stewards around to spot trouble before it happens and some whom are specialists in dealing with issues if they get out of hand. that said I can't remember any stories of anything ever really kicking off at a festival. Fighters are a different crowd, CAMRA attracts a better class of pisshead.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Aug 6th, 2010 at 12:28:47 PM EST
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