Our TOP 20 Craft Beer Festival Picks for 2015
For many parts of the United States and Canada, Winter of 2014/15 might go down as one of the cruelest in recent memory. It was bitter cold. The East especially was battered with snow storms, one after another. Some of us thought it would just never end. However, that is all now behind us. Thankfully! Time to celebrate the warmer seasons with our annual Craft Beer Festival hit list! With the thought of spring and summer months, sunny patios, backyard bbq's, picnics and beaches come the delicious craving for a COLD one! What better way to discover the exciting world of craft than through a good beer fest?
As the love affair with craft brews continues to intensify, events and festivals are the single best way to sample many unique and flavorful thirst quenching libations. A good festival is one of the few opportunities crafters get to interact directly with their beer drinking fans. You'll find most of the beer festivals we have selected also feature live entertainment and food in all their abundance and glory.
Active travellers seeking to explore the best that craft beer has to offer should hit up the Google in search of this ancient liquid gold. Small or large, there is most likely a beer fest popping up this year near 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 amazing beer festivals to even begin naming them all, however we wanted to highlight those beer festivals that really stood out as being most worthy of mention for 2015.
The following 2015 beer festival destinations are not limited only to the U.S., we included a couple of Canadian beer festivals that are most certainly worthy of a road trip. So get your maps out and plot your destinations.
Our list is in order by dates. Here we go...
The following content can be found on each of the festivals corresponding websites.
For more detailed information, please visit their respective web pages directly.
Beer Camp Across America (various locations and dates)
Chico, Calif., San Diego, Calif., Denver, Colo., Chicago, Ill., Portland, Maine, Philadelphia, Penn., Mills River, N.C.: This unique festival travels all over the United States featuring regional breweries. Choose the camp closest to you, or daringly follow the caravan across the nation and try beers from every region.
Big Texas Beer Fest 2015 Dallas April 11 2015
The Big Texas Beer Fest is Dallas’ original beer festival. The 2015 event is the fourth-annual and happens April 11 at the Fair Park Automobile Building. Last year’s festival featured 106 breweries and over 400 beers. We only expect that number to grow with this year’s event. BTBF is well-known as the festival to go to for exclusive and rare beers, one-offs and special firkins.
The Reading Craft Beer Festival April 18 2015
Held at the Santander Arena The Reading Craft Beer Festival is a 4 hour fantastic beer tasting event offering you a sampling cup and unlimited 2 oz. pours of over 100 beers included in your admission price. Here is something interesting, buy 4 or more VIP tickets and receive a free designated driver ticket. VIP tickets include early admission to the event allowing for 5 hours of beer sampling, a commemorative sampling glass, exclusive access to the Xfinity lounge, special features including hors d'oeuvres paired with VIP only beer selections, access to a full bar (pay as you go) available in the Xfinity lounge, and access to everything in general admission.
Asheville Beer Week May 22 – May 30 2015
Come see why 26 breweries were started here and still call Western North Carolina home. And, find out what drew Sierra Nevada, Oskar Blues and New Belgium to build second homes here. Asheville Beer Week will feature an amazing line-up of tastings, dinners, beer education and other beer-related fun (and nonsense). Asheville Beer Week culminates with Asheville’s sixth annual Beer City Festival on May 30, where dozens of breweries and plenty of live music culminate.
Philly Beer Week May 29 – June 7 2015
Established in 2008, it’s the largest beer celebration of its kind in America, featuring hundreds of festivals, dinners, tours, pub crawls, tastings and meet-the-brewer nights to area bars, restaurants and other locations throughout Greater Philadelphia.
Omaha Beer Fest Jun 5 – 6 2015
It’s the 5th Annual OMAHA BEER FEST! Hundreds of American Craft Beers, 50 breweries, hourly Beer Academy sessions, live music, a Homebrewer Expo, VIP Lounge, food vendors and more!
Chicago Ale Fest June 19 – 20 2015
The Chicago Ale Fest is a celebration of American Craft Beer in the heart of Chicago, Illinois. The two-day fest will take place on Friday, June 19th and Saturday, June 20th. Located at Buckingham Fountain in historic Grant Park, bordered by the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan, the fest will feature more then 200 beers from over 100 American craft breweries. The fest will also feature live music and food from some of Chicago’s favorite restaurants. Join us on Chicago’s front lawn for one of the most anticipated new craft beer events of the year.
10th Annual Washington Brewers Festival June 19 – 21 2015
The Washington Brewer’s Festival located in Redmond is a unique all-ages beer festival where thousands of beer aficionados can sample more than 350 beers from 100 Washington breweries. In addition, the festival offers wine and cider tastings, great food, live music and all-ages activities.
San Diego International Beer Festival June 19 – 21 2015
This is one of the largest festivals on the West coast. With nearly 200 breweries represented from around the world, beer aficionados will enjoy hard-to-find specialty craft brews alongside favorites from the local brewing scene. Each year, the SDIBF represents an international collection of more than 400 beers from more than 15 countries, in the format of a public tasting event and private competition. Your ticket to the San Diego International Beer Festival also includes admission to the world-renowned San Diego County Fair, the 4th largest fair in the nation! Festival attendees are encouraged to enjoy the rides, exhibits, games, animals and entertainment of the Fair before, during and after the Festival.
Portland International Beer Festival June 26 – June 28 2015
PIB is a high-end 3-day beer festival specializing in rare, hard-to-find, exotic beers. Over 200 world-class beers from 16 countries will be on hand, hailing from all over the planet, many from right here in the Pacific NW. Stroll around the beautiful park with a cold one as you listen to music play all weekend.
Because Beer Craft Brew Festival July 10 – 11 2015
Because Beer Craft Brew Festival is located 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.
Seattle International Beer Festival July 10 – 12 2015
SIB is a high end 3-day festival specializing in rare, hard-to-find, exotic beers. Each year our goal is to showcase over 220 of the very best we can find, no matter what the cost or where they're from. Stroll around our beautiful grounds with a cold one as you listen to great bands play all weekend.
Seven Sisters Craft Beer and Music Festival San Luis Obispo, California July 11 – 13 2015
An epic outdoor festival experience on California’s Central Coast, held atEl Chorro Regional Park & Campground on Highway 1, halfway between Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo
Over 40 of the country’s best craft breweries & wineries. 3 days of nonstop music. It’s a heady mix of creative performers from across the country serving up blues, bluegrass, jazz, soul, funk, rock, Americana and everything in between. On-site festival camping includes full weekend passes. Local food and unique vendors.
The 14th Annual Music City Brewer’s Fest Nashville, Tenn July 19 2015
This is one of the biggest and best beer festivals in the U.S.. It is an opportunity to sample some of the most respected brews from over 40 local, regional, national, and imported breweries! You can try beer here that is not normally available in Nashville. This is an outdoor festival that takes place at Walk of Fame Park with Live music entertainment all day.
Toronto Festival of Beer July 24 – 26 2015
The 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.
28th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival July 22 – 26 2015
Pouring 90 different craft beers from around the country – plus beers from New Zealand in the International Tent – the Oregon Brewers Festival is the quintessential celebration of craft beer! On a sun soaked July afternoon, there's no better place to sip suds with friends along the banks of the Willamette River, with the Portland skyline as a backdrop to the west and Mt. Hood towering in the east. Whether you prefer Belgians or Blondes, Pales or Pilsners, Saisons or Wits - come to the Oregon Brewers Festival, and see for yourself why we're one of the world's best loved craft beer festivals.
Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Beer Festival 2015 July 24 – July 25 2015
The 18th Annual Summer Beer Festival will feature over 800 different beers from more than 80 Michigan craft breweries. Food will be available for purchase inside the festival, and guests will enjoy live music from a variety of Michigan bands. The oldest of the Michigan Brewers Guild's four annual festivals, the Summer Beer Festival takes place rain or shine in the lovely outdoor setting of Ypsilanti's Riverside Park in historic Depot Town.
6th Annual Milwaukee Brewfest July 25 2015
Milwaukee Brewfest will be held at the Old Coast Guard Pavilion Park on Milwaukee’s lakefront. This prime location offers a beautiful view of Lake Michigan and McKinley Marina. In addition to unlimited sampling of hundreds of craft beers, micro brews, and ciders from around the world, there will also be musical performances, silent auction and games to benefit charities, a variety of food for purchase from local restaurants and vendors.
Whistler Village Beer Festival September 16 – 20 2015
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.
Great American Beer Festival September 24 – 26 2015
The Great American Beer Festival is the premier U.S. beer festival and competition located in Denver Colorado. Each year, GABF represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served, in the format of a public tasting event plus a private competition. GABF brings together the brewers and beers that make the U.S. the world’s greatest brewing nation. This event showcases the diverse beers that make craft brewing one of the fastest-growing segments of the beer, wine and spirits industry. GABF was founded in 1982, and has been growing and evolving along with the American craft brewing industry ever since. The Great American Beer Festival is listed as one of the top 1,000 places in the U.S. to visit before you die.
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blog post by Alex Zafer