Top 10 Beer Festivals in the United States

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Beer festivals are very popular around the world. They are occasions of good cheer and opportunities for the community to gather and celebrate its passion for great beer. Of these beer festivals, the top ten are listed below.

10.  American Craft Beer Fest

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Bringing better beer to the population is the motto of the BeerAdvocate founders Jason and Todd Alström. The American Craft Beer Fest is held in June at Boston’s Seaport World Trade Center, featuring three sessions. This festival sees more than 15000 visitors who arrive to sample the more than 300 prime craft beers that are entered by over 75 breweries.

9.  Classic City Brewfest

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You’ll get to sample a huge variety of beers at this fest from all over the world. There is gourmet and strong beers to tempt the most discerning beer lover, along with an enjoyable festival where you can learn how these beers are made. Beer making lectures are given along with information on how to drink responsibly.

8.  Fresh Hop Ale Festival

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The fresh hop ale beer has to be produced with hops picked no longer than twenty-four hours ago. This makes this fresh hop ale festival unique. Every year, in September, Fresh Hop Ale is produced depending on the growth of the hop harvest. Freshly brewed ale is brought to the panel where judges pick the best three out of the lot.

7.  Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine Festival

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This festival brings together over 40 breweries, more than 150 beers and thousands of visitors to celebrate great winter beers in the middle of winter in Alaska. A nominal fee allows visitors and beer lovers alike to buy a glass of beer, beer tasting tickets and program guide.

6.  World Beer Festival

world beer festival

This festival is a charity benefit event and sees 300 Southeast specialty beers from 150 national and international breweries. Each year the charity fund is aimed towards developing some part of Raleigh, North Carolina, where the festival is held.

5.  Belgium Comes to Cooperstown

Belgium Comes to Cooperstown

The Belgium Comes to Cooperstown event occurs on a Saturday in July. Visitors can sample over 200 Belgian-style and true Belgian beers, eat, enjoy live music and dance around a bonfire. This is a true blue beer festival with the elements of a party thrown into it.

4.  Great Taste of the Midwest

Great Taste of the Midwest

One of the top beer festivals in the United States, the Great Taste of the Midwest sees over a hundred microbreweries and brewpubs from the Midwest every year, sharing beer and cheer. The festival is held in Olin-Turville Park, overlooking Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin.

3.  Vermont Brewers Festival

A New England tradition celebrating our Twentieth Anniversary
An Artisan Craft Beer Festival takes place the third weekend in July at Burlington Waterfront Park with scenic views of Lake Champlain framed by the Adirondack Mountain Range. Over  36 craft brewers from Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Mass, Maine, and Quebec. Local Vermont Food and specialty products. The1st Plastic Free Bottle even in Vermont. Site: http://vtbrewfest.com/

 

2.  Oregon Brewers Festival

Oregon Brewers Festival

This is one of America’s longest running and most popular craft beer festivals, ideal for lovers of craft beer. Held in Portland, Oregon, the Oregon Brewers Festival provides an opportunity for people to taste and familiarize themselves with regard to the kinds of craft beer styles from across America. Over eighty craft breweries participate in this four-day July festival, entering handcrafted brews for the judges to evaluate.

1.  Great American Beer Festival

Great American Beer Festival

This is a three-day annual festival, held either at the end of September or the beginning of October in Denver, Colorado. People from all over the world gather here every year to sample the 1600 kinds of American beers available at the festival. More than 100 beer judges from both the United States and other countries evaluate one or more types of beer. Among them, they judge 2,300 beers that are entered into the festival from 450 plus domestic breweries. The beers judged to be the best among the 69 beer-style categories are awarded gold, silver and bronze medals.

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24 Comments

  1. Those aren’t the top ten beer festivals. The list should really have been called ‘The top 10 Beer Festivals in the U.S.”. As a result of this oversight (thus ignoring the countless beer festivals in Belgium, Germany, the UK, Netherlands or Denmark which would knock the socks off the ones listed) I found this list incredibly irritating.

    • Hi Beteltooth,

      Have you been to the Great American Beer Festival or any of the others on the list? How many of the top European festivals have you attended? What’s your basis for comparison? According to the Guinness Book of World Records®, there is no other place on earth where a beer aficionado can find more beers on tap (2,200 in 2011). I’m no fan of our mass produced, mass marketed American beers but the craft/microbrew industry in the US has come a long way and offers some of the finest brews around. Colorado, in particular, is a hub of microbrewing in the US with well over 100 microbreweries in operation. Now I know that Belgium has close to 180 breweries but give us credit. They’ve been at it since the first millennium. We’ve only been working on ours since 1979.

      I can only speak from my experience with GABF and I think the title change clarifying these as US Festivals should quell some of the controversy but it also seems to me that there’s a difference between the kind of event an Oktoberfest represents vs. the beer festivals depicted here. The original Oktoberfest evolved from the festivities surrounding a royal wedding and only beers brewed within the city limits of Munich are allowed to be consumed. That’s 6 breweries. GABF is a different animal altogether and hosted over 450 breweries last year. The Canadian event is more similar to Germany’s than the beer festivals described here. The difference, I think, is that we’re talking about events that celebrate beer vs. celebrations where beer is consumed in copious amounts. Nothing wrong with either but I go to GABF to explore beer and Oktoberfest for the pageantry, costumes, wiener-schnitzel and, yes, I drink a few beers but the latter is not about the beer while the former is.

  2. Is this list a joke American beer is dishwater compared to European beer. How can you have a list about beer festivals without the most famous of them all, Octoberfest! It’s like a month long.

    • BeerLoverForEver on

      Whoa! No spitting on American beer. Americans love beer, period, and they love European beer no less than they love American beer. I guess the author should have put in the right title, but the article is not wrong in citing some of the best beer festivals in the world. Anyway, as Beteltooth says, from a world perspective, there are several beer festivals that are noteworthy. I’d love to see an article on those, preferably from the same author that wrote this article. Apart from enjoying reading about the beers and the festivals and the celebration of beer in general, a well written piece always gets my goat. So yes to more beer articles, please do cover world beer festivals, don’t leave out Octokerbest, and let’s have more beer talk and beer love on this forum.

  3. rename this list…did you intentionally omit oktoberfest? cuz its awesome…even the one held in kitchener-waterloo, canada is pretty great…

  4. The introduction said “top beer festivals of the world”, yet includes only festivals in the US.
    Whoever wrote this post needs to do some research, or at least realize that the US is far from the center of the beer world – Europe and Canada have huge festivals (Oktoberfest?) and endless microberweries to draw on.
    This list was a joke.

      • You’re right, you did say “beer festivals are very popular around the world”, but that was followed by “of these beer festivals, the top ten are listed below” – suggesting the top ten of the beer festivals which are popular around the world…

        Just a short drive from the US border is Montreal’s Festival Mondial de la Biere, which brings in about 80,000 people every year. Kitchener-Wateroo’s Oktoberfest is huge (last year they had about 700,000 attendees)

        Despite my frustration with this list, I appreciate you taking the time to address concerns, and I love the site, by the way.

  5. While I agree with the sentiments about the list before it was renamed it astounds me how much ignorance there is about American beer. If you base your opinion on bud light then yes it’s dishwater, same as European commercial beers.

  6. You should try the Brewgrass festival in Asheville, NC (voted Beer City of America two years running).
    Beer in America is the best in the world, not because of the major breweries but because of the
    craft brewers. In America you can get any style of beer made any where in the world. You are not limited to English ales, or Czech lagers, or even Belgian lambics. Here you can have it all, go around the world in 80 beers without leaving your favorite bar. Anyone saying all American beer is lousy hasn’t been paying attention to the American beer scene for the past 20 years.
    (Of course if you can get to Oktoberfest in Munich, GO!)

  7. BeerLoverForEver on

    I don’t know what you guys are cribbing about. I loved the article; it’s extremely well written and well researched. Just because the original title did not mention the United States’ name, does not mean that these beer festivals are not considered the top 10 in the world. I am not trying to be US-centric, my friends, but let’s face it. US beer festivals celebrate European beers in a big way too, and the article pays homage to that. I’d like to see more from this author. Perhaps what’s required is let the author know which beer regions should be included in the World’s Top 10. I’ve blogged and authored articles on many sites and I know it’s not easy to be 100% correct all the time, with the kind of research material that’s on the net now.

  8. BeerLoverForEver on

    I guess no one’s responded yet. What I’d like from the author is a nice, informative article about how beer originated, and what processes were used to get beer to what we know and love today. A little about about the different beer flavors will also be nice. I’d basically like to see tons of beer-oriented articles, being a beer lover and all. My wife and my sister both collect beer steins so a little about what kinds of beer steins were used historically and how to match beer steins with room themes would be nice. I’d also like to see articles on what kind of beer glass is used with what kind of beer. Maybe beer guzzling has become more of a randy pastime now, but to me, drinking beer the right way in the right glass with the right food is true and real appreciation of a fine ale. More articles, please, webmaster!

  9. Anyone knocking the great american craftbrewers should really do their research especially when comparing them to European beers. Yes the Germans have and probably will always have the market for best beer. That being said alot of craft brewers use this as their stepping stone when formulating their own nectars. And who the hell said Canada? have you tasted their moose piss?

  10. Maybe beer guzzling has become more of a randy pastime now, but to me, drinking beer the right way in the right glass with the right food is true and real appreciation of a fine ale. More articles, please, webmaster!

  11. The information you have posted about our Festival- The Vermont Brewers Festival is incorrect. We are open to the public and there is no judging. We are an Artisan Craft Beer tasting Festival now in our twentieth year with over 10,000 attendees annually- produced by the Vermont Brewers Association.

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