No matter if you’re taking a road trip or just seeking some great beer, the US has plenty of festivals to suit your needs. From stouts to IPAs, these celebrations give you the opportunity to discover America’s breweries and sample their offerings.
Craft beer has seen a meteoric rise across America, creating an appetite for something other than your typical pilsner or IPA. Festivals bring the craft beer community together for an experience that celebrates both its beers and its people.
1. Great American Beer Festival (GABF)
The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is one of the nation’s premier craft beer events, usually taking place in late September or early October. Here, participants can sample thousands of beers from hundreds of breweries across America.
GABF tickets tend to sell out quickly, so it’s wise to purchase them in advance. Guests have the option of purchasing general admission, member-only, PAIRED, or Designated Driver tickets.
At this event, attendees can sample more than 2,000 beers from nearly 500 breweries around America and listen to industry leaders share their insights during educational sessions.
For beer connoisseurs or those just wanting to sample something new, Denver’s GABF is the ideal time to visit. Make sure you pack your pretzel necklace for on-the-go snacking between sampling beers!
2. Great Lakes Brewfest
The Great Lakes Brewfest is a beer festival that showcases Michigan’s finest micro beers in one large venue. This event provides beer connoisseurs with the ideal chance to sample some of Michigan’s best offerings.
The festival, organized by MI Brew Trail and the Great Lakes Loons, was a huge success and attracted an estimated 1,500 attendees. Seven or eight breweries, two cideries, and some meaderies were on hand for guests’ enjoyment. What truly struck me as remarkable about the event was how many people showed up and stayed for an afternoon of activities.
The beer festival not only provided a thrilling experience for beer connoisseurs, but it was also an opportunity to promote some local breweries. Kevin McKinney from Barrel + Beam told me the festival marked an important milestone in their business; they specialize in farmhouse and sour ales. Of course, the largest beer was named “Beer Millennium.” Other highlights included corn hole tournaments, food samples from around the world and an expansive beer garden.
3. New England Beer Festival
For craft beer lovers, head to one of New England’s many beer festivals this fall. These events provide an opportunity to discover local breweries, sample delicious food, and take in some outdoor fun.
The Vermont Brewers Festival, a Lake Champlain-side event that’s become one of the country’s most beloved beer festivals, returns this summer with five tasting sessions and several welcome changes. Each session will showcase different breweries to reflect Vermont’s growing craft beer scene, plus there are more seating areas so you can spread out and take in more of your favorite beers.
Hibrewnation is an uncompromising celebration of beer that boasts over 100 hand-picked craft and local options – including some rare, hard to find beers that can only be found here! Additionally, you’ll have the chance to sample specialty foods, plus there will be music, vendors, and plenty of entertainment throughout the day.
4. Weldwerks Beer Festival
The Weldwerks Beer Festival is an annual event that showcases craft beers from around the globe. Hosted in Greeley, Colorado, tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite.
Established in 2015 by Neil Fisher and Colin Jones, Weldwerks has earned a reputation for producing innovative and quality beers that have won multiple medals at festivals around the country. Most notably, it was named USA Today’s Best New Brewery in a 2016 10 Best Reader’s Poll.
WeldWerks has a passion for listening to their customers and engaging with the Greeley community. Drawing inspiration from the worlds of brewing, culinary arts, distillation, mixology and hospitality, WeldWerks strives to continually improve its craft beers and customer experiences. Furthermore, WeldWerks takes great joy in giving back to its hometown through events like The WeldWerks Invitational; a 501c3 which supports local nonprofits.