Beer connoisseurs often flock around the world for festivals, weather it’s to try a new ale or drink a familiar lager freshly brewed from it’s home country. Rightfully so, there seems to be no better place to drink beer than to be surrounded by hundreds of other people that share your passion. Skim through our list below for some beer festival options that will peak your interest more likely than not.
1. Oktoberfest — Munich, Germany
Even if you don’t drink beer chances are you’ve heard of the greatest drinking festival of all time, Oktoberfest, lasting just over two weeks at the end of September into October. The first celebration was held in 1810 to commemorate the royal wedding of King Ludwig to Princess Therese. By 1819 it was decided to become an annual event, and while there were more than a handful of cancellations throughout the years Oktoberfest has survived and stands as a party dedicated to honoring traditional German culture.
2. Great American Beer Festival — Denver, Colorado
The Great American Beer Festival is considered among many to be the best beer festival in the country, and while not as grand as Oktoberfest it is easy to have just a good a time. Held in Colorado and started in 1982, attendance has skyrocketed with now hundreds of breweries featuring more than 3,500 beers to sample. Even with that much beer, running out of the most popular beer isn’t unheard of. Beers compete in over 90 unique competitions and judges from around the world help attendees decide their beer choices for the following year. Tickets run around $80 for members, and for as big a celebration it is that price isn’t that bad.
3. Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival — Atlantic City, New Jersey
Beer and music go together like PB&J, seeing a live show just seems better after a few cold ones. The festival brings together 1000 beers from over 150-different breweries, where the goal is to introduce attendees to craft beers from around the country. If that wasn’t enough local chefs bring incredible culinary works, interesting events such as toilet bowl races, and food eating competitions together in a city where you could also fulfill your gambling needs almost anywhere.
4. Great British Beer Festival — London, England
Organized annually by the Campaign for Real Ale the Great British Beef Festival features over 900 ales, ciders, perrys and more, with food and pub games throughout the event lives up to its moniker “The Biggest Pub in the World”. Held in mid August it is the perfect time to take a short vacation at the end of the summer, relax and take in not only the festival but everything else London has to offer.
5. Festival of Barrel Aged Beers — Chicago, Illinois
An interesting event at the end of November, the beer flowing here has all been aged in, or in contact with wood, making for dynamic flavors that may not be found anywhere else. 90 breweries and 300-barrel-aged beers some of which aged for as long as 12 months if you are looking for something unique this is the place. Friday and Saturday the weekend before thanksgiving could be cutting it close to the holiday, but for a beer connoisseur worthy of the name couldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience the taste of wood aged beer.
6. Canberra Craft Beer & Cider Festival — Canberra, Australia
Held in the Capital of Australia, the Canberra Craft Beer & Cider Festival brings you into the heart of the city. The venue is the 4 star Mercure Canberra hotel, a true mix of historical charm and modern decore if you plan on taking a trip to Australia this just might be the what pushes you toward one of the most interesting journeys. Beer and food matching, live entertainment, meeting with the brewers and multiple giveaways are just the tip of the iceberg. Next March will be the 10th anniversary of the festival, which just so happens to fall on the day after St. Patrick’s day, we more than encourage you to take that trip and enjoy a three day beer weekend.
7. Tailspin Ale Fest — Louisville, Kentucky
A revived World War II-era airplane hanger isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think beer festival, or for that matter any festival about food or drink. Yet the people in Louisville, Kentucky have found something truly special. Hopping on the american craft brews craze that seems to be going around, with live music, local food trucks and great souvenirs it all is something to behold. Late February isn’t ideal for a beer festival, that said the Tailspin Ale Fest is has enough going for it that you may want to reconsider simply for the story of having gone.
8. Oktoberfest Blumeanu — Blumeanu, Brazil
Brazil, a gorgeous country, known for its breathtaking beaches, fantastic parties, colorful culture and beer? Blumeanu beer festival, Oktoberfest Brazil, Oktoberfest Blumeanu, however you want to call it the festival prides itself on being the largest oktoberfest celebration of the Americas. While Oktoberfest, Munich, originated from a wedding celebration, Oktoberfest Blumeanu came to be due to a flood. The festival was organized in order to lift the moods and boost the economy of the city and it’s inhabitants. Now, it’s a mixture of German and Brazilian tradition starting in the first week of October the festival lasts for 18-days currently, and with attendance growing each year there is no end in sight for this cultural marvel.
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9. Qingdao International Beer Festival — Qingado, China
Asia’s largest beer festival, featuring beers from all around the globe, is held in early August. The best of China’s beer drinking culture can be found at this festival. Opening ceremonies introduce you to the Chinese world of drinking, where you will find carnival events, drinking contests, Chinese zodiac mascots, food from both Asian and western cultures, with a closing ceremony to finish off this spectacular where westerners are more than welcomed to attend and encouraged to drink well past their fill. With two venues, both within an hour away from the beaches, the Qingdao International Beer Festival can be an exciting introduction to Chinese culture.
10. Belgian Beer Weekend — Brussels, Belgium
There’s nothing like a good Belgium white. It’s Smooth, refreshing, with just the right amount of spices to give it that little extra kick. So, naturally we had to include a Belgian festival. Held in the Grand Place, the central square of Brussels, Belgian Beer Weekend features historical beer wagons and carts, even including a parade, taking place in the first weekend of September the festival is looking to be a pretty tempting vacation.