Home > The Top Ten Beer Festivals in the United States
The Top Ten Beer Festivals in the United States
Great American Beer Festival, Denver Colorado
The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is a three-day annual event hosted by the Brewers Association held at the end of September or the beginning of October in Denver, Colorado. The GABF brings visitors from around the world to sample more than 1,600 different American beers. Over 100 beer judges from the United States and abroad participate in the evaluations of one or more beer styles, ultimately judging 2,300 beers entered by more than 450 domestic breweries. Gold, silver and bronze medals in 69 beer-style categories are awarded, though not every medal is awarded in each category.
Oregon Brewers Festival, Portland, Ore.
The OBF served 73 different craft beers from 18 states across the country. The top selling product for the third year running was Cascade Brewing's Razberry Wheat out of Southwest Portland. Another light, refreshing fruit beer to sell out early was Hell or High Watermelon by San Francisco's 21st Amendment Brewery. Portland's Widmer Brothers Brewing sold a large quantity of its Full Nelson, an Imperial IPA brewed specifically for the OBF.
Vermont Brewers Festival, Burlington, Vt.
The Vermont Brewers Festival is the longest running outdoor brewers festival in the East, and it's no wonder since Vermont is home to more breweries per capita than any other state. Brewers' participating in this event do so by invitation only, based on brewery capacity, distinctiveness, and quality of their products. Enjoy a wide range of offerings, including traditional lagers, ales, and unique products such as fruit beers, barleywines, and Belgian-style white beers.
Bock Fest, New Ulm, MN
February 28th, 1987
marked the first Bock Fest held at Schell’s. 120 family and friends of the
brewery made their way onto the brewery grounds, finding refuge in the
warmth of the old tap room. Inside the bottlehouse, a small stage located
next to the drop packer hosted Smiley Wilcheck and his mother as they
serenaded the crowd with polka music. Festers were welcome to cook their own
brat at the grill and a roaster filled with sauerkraut provided the small
group of people nourishment as they drank Bock beer to celebrate the end of
winter. A hefty 7- ½ barrels were consumed at the first Bock Fest. Schell’s
brewery has since grown larger and so has the festival. Swarms of adoring
fans of the brewery make the annual pilgrimage to Schell’s to brave the
winter weather. The festival has since moved outdoors as the sizeable crowd
now reaches 6,000 people. But while the size of the crowd has changed, some
things have not.
Great Taste of the Midwest, Madison, Wis.
The Great Taste of the Midwest is one of the premier beer festivals in the United States. Over one hundred brewpubs and microbreweries from the Midwest attend each year to share beer and good times with five thousand patrons overlooking beautiful lake Monona in Olin-Turville Park in Madison, Wisconsin.
Belgium Comes to Cooperstown, Cooperstown, N.Y.
Each summer, the brewery hosts a large beer-tasting event, known as Belgium Comes to Cooperstown. The event, which occurs on a Saturday in July, includes four hours of unlimited beer sampling of over 200 Belgian and Belgian-style beers, followed by food, live music, and a bonfire.
World Beer Festival, Raleigh and Durham, N.C.
The World Beer Festival is the largest celebration of national and international specialty beers in the Southeast. 300 beers from 150 breweries, and is a benefit for charity. This year's festival will benefit the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. The funds raised will go toward revitalizing Downtown Raleigh.
American Craft Beer Fest, Boston, Mass.
In keeping with their self-elected duty to bring better beer to the masses, BeerAdvocate founders and brothers Jason and Todd Alström are crafting something big. Held in June at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, the first annual "American Craft Beer Fest" (ACBF) will feature 3-sessions, invite upwards of 75 breweries, and serve at least 300 craft beers with an expected attendance of 15,000 appreciators of beer.
Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine Festival, Anchorage, Alaska
Great Alaska Beer & Barley Wine Festival brings together 40+ breweries, 150+ beers and over 4000 folks to celebrate big winter beers in the midst of a dark, dreary near-Arctic winter. A $30 entry fee buys you a commemorative glass, beer tasting tickets and a very detailed program guide to all beers at the event.
Fresh Hop Ale Festival, Yakima, Washington
For a brew to be considered a “fresh hop ale” for the festival competition, it must be produced with hops that were picked no more than 24 hours prior to brewing (talk about overnight shipping!). Fresh Hop Ale is produced throughout the month of September, timing dependent on the growth of each year’s hop harvest. Brewers then bring their freshly brewed kegs of beer to the fest, where a panel of judges selects first, second and third place Fresh Hop Ales. Festival-goers vote with their taste buds— a “Most Pours Award” crowns the crowd favorite.
Classic City Brewfest, Athens, GA
The Classic City Brew-Fest offers a huge variety of beers to sample from all over the world including world-class, gourmet, strong beers! This year's festival will be an enjoyable, intimate and comfortable way to taste and learn about these exciting beers. Details on beer brewing and styles are stressed at the event -- along with information on responsible drinking. Attendees can also enjoy live music, non-alcohol drinks, and purchase delicious food items from the Athens Steam Company Pub booth.
Philly Craft Beer Festival, Philadelphia, Pa.
Come experience the flavors of award-winning breweries from across the country – from highly-acclaimed local beers by Yards, Victory, Nodding Head and Dogfish Head to great brews from special guests like Rogue, Stone, Ommegang, Southampton, and He’Brew. 50 Breweries and over 120 beers.