In Search of Those Lazy Hazy Craft Beer Festival Days of Summer

Our TOP 20 Festival Picks for 2014

Hopping around some of the best summer beer festival destinations

Summer in North America is beer festival season, and as the love affair with craft brews intensifies, events and festivals are the single best way to sample beers and are one of the few opportunities crafters get to interact directly with beer drinkers. You'll find most of the festivals also feature live entertainment and food (foodtrucks especially) in all their abundance and glory. 

Active travellers seeking to explore the best that craft beer has to offer should hit the Google in search of this ancient liquid gold. Small or large, there is most likely a beer fest popping up this summer in your hometown or city. If not, we bet there is one close to you that you may not yet even know about it. 

Let's start by saying the obvious, this is by no means a complete list. There are just far too many to even begin cataloging, however we wanted to highlight those beer festivals that really stood out as being most worthy of mention.

The following summer festival destinations are not limited only to the U.S., we also included a few Canadian beer festivals that are most certainly worthy of a road trip. So get your maps out and plot your destinations.

  • June 11th-15th  Montreal’s annual beer party called the Mondial de la Bière, in its 21st year, will take place at the Palais des congrès. Tastings of more than 500 beers, free classes by local chefs on how to cook with beer, and beer-flavoured dishes served at 15 festival kiosks and at nine restaurants in Old Montreal.
  • June 13th-15th Snowmass Mammoth Fest – Camp out in Snowmmass, Colorado under the stunning mountain backdrop and enjoy live music, chili tastings and craft beer from over 25 breweries.
  • June 26th-29th 10th Annual North American Organic Brewers Festival in Portland, Oregon was created to raise awareness about organic beer and sustainable living. The NAOBF serves up more than 60 organic beers and ciders from around the nation. There’s also live music, organic food, sustainability-oriented vendors and non-profits.
  • July 11th-12th Because Beer Craft Brew Festival in Hamilton, Ontario Canada close to Niagara Falls area. This two day event will feature beer from more than 20 craft breweries, many of them from Ontario. There will also be a homebrew competition, music stage and lots of food.
  • July 18th-20th Burlington Beer Festival at Spencer Smith Park in Burlington Ontario Canada. This 3-day event located in the Niagara Region at the head of Lake Ontario is just a 30 min drive from Toronto. The festival will feature a wide selection of beers from throughout North America, with brewery reps in attendance. There will be food and live music featured throughout the weekend. 
  • July 18th-19th Pittsburgh Beerfest is a two-evening event will feature more than 250 craft beers from over 80 breweries with food and live music.
  • July 18th-19th Vermont Brewers Festival is now entering its 22nd year. This two-day event which will feature over 200 beers from over 40 invited breweries, most of them from Vermont, the North East and Canada. Live entertainment, educational and meet the brewer programs.
  • July 23rd-27th The Oregon Brewers Guild and the Oregon brew Crew present the 27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival featuring more than 80 breweries. Live music, exhibits, parades in downtown Portland.
  • July 25th-26th The 7th annual Summer Brew Fest in Denver Colorado featuring more than 125 beers from over 45 breweries. Live music, food and vendors throughout the weekend.
  • July 25th-27th Toronto Festival of Beer is considered to be one of Canada’s leading beer fests held at the CNE grounds. This event features over 200 beers, Southern-style barbecue, live entertainment and appearances by TV personalities. There will be a number of beer related events taking place throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
  • July 26th is the 5th Annual Milwaukee Brewfest features a chance to sample hundreds of craft beers, micro brews and ciders from around the world. There will also be musical performances, games, auctions and a variety of local food from vendors and restaurants overlooking the beautiful views of Lake Michigan.
  • August 8th-10th Portland International Beer Festival is a three day event featuring over 200 beers from 16 countries, including rare hard to find and locally-brewed beers. Live music, food, games and entertainment.
  • August 22nd-24th Seattle International Beer Festival features over 200 beers from 16 countries, including rare, exotic, hard-to-find, and locally-brewed beers. BYOB – Bring Your Own Blanket there will be lots of entertainment and food.
  • August 29th The Massachusetts Brewers Guild enters its 5th year in Boston and will feature more than 100 beers from around 50 breweries. The festival also features food and live entertainment.
  • September 11th-14th is the Whistler Village Beer Festival Whistler. British Columbia Canada has long hosted an assortment of exciting festivals and now the fastest growing fest is the Whistler Village Beer Festival. There will be over 50 breweries in attendance.

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