Your Arizona Strong Beer Festival Itinerary

Christmas? Nah. Arizona Beer Week is the most wonderful time of the year, and it kicks off Saturday, February 15, with the 14th Annual Arizona Strong Beer Festival, a showcase of the best (and most alcoholic) brews available in the state. This year, about 120 breweries will pour more than 300 beers, and many of those are specialty kegs that will be tapped at certain times throughout the festival. This leaves us with a conundrum: With so many options available, just 15 or 20 tasting tickets (depending on whether you went for the VIP package or just bought regular admission), and a limited time to use them, what's the most efficient way for a festival-goer to tick off all those rarely seen, sure-to-run-out-right-away kegs?

You could take advantage of a cool new text-alert feature offered at this year's festival that sends a message to people who've opted in just before a special tapping takes place (if you're interested, text Strongbeer to 555888). But who wants to scramble around like that? The chaos of Strong Beer calls for some strategic planning ahead, and lucky for you, we've already got your whole day planned. Just follow the itinerary below and you'll be guaranteed not to miss out on any of the good stuff. This schedule assumes that you splurged and purchased the $70 VIP ticket, which gets you into the festival an hour before the mouth-breathers, plus 20 tasting tickets instead of the standard 15. If you're stuck among the huddled masses, start your day at 1 p.m.

Ready, set, beer!