When I spoke to Snallygaster founder Greg Engert for my story on fall beer festivals, he told me his three-year-old event was developing an app to help attendees navigate the 275 beers available at the festival grounds this weekend. Collaborating with the same Ashburn-based tech company that created a guide to May's Savor Craft Beer Festival, Pombe is a free download, and a godsend for anyone planning to hunt for rare beers near the Navy Yard on Saturday.
Pombe contains a map of the Snallygaster layout, with a list of beers and brewers available in each section. (These all have names like "Mothra" and "Nessie.") The key benefit here is the list of all beers at the festival, which you can browse by style, whether you're looking for a Berliner weisse or an imperial stout. You can scroll through pre-sorted topical lists, such as ciders, cask ales or pumpkin beers, and see how much a sample costs and how highly the beer is rated by RateBeer. Tap a beer to add it to your wishlist; after picking a few favorites, it's easy to check the map to see which other breweries are pouring at nearby tables.
I found Pombe's guide to Savor invaluable when I was trying to remember all the beers I wanted to try, and seeing if any were close to where I was standing, especially when I didn't feel like waiting in a long line.
Once you've downloaded Pombe – it's available for both Android and iPhone – go into the "Event List" and pick Snallygaster. From there, it's pretty intuitive.
One last piece of advice from Engert: Snallygaster ticket holders who want to avoid lines on Saturday can check in and pick up their wristbands and beer mugs at Bluejacket on Friday night from 4 to 8 p.m., and on Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m. If it's not inconvenient, I'd recommend it: The crowds and lines at Snallygaster at Yards Park two years ago were fairly long, and there will be more than twice as many beers this time around.