Beer festivals have become a hot trend throughout the United States as it each state celebrates the boom of craft beer. Beer fests give you an easy way to try new beers from breweries you may otherwise not get a chance to visit, taste beers that are only made or brought out during festival times and to meet the brewers in person.
I highly suggest going out to a beer festival to anyone who loves beer, but especially those who are curious about beer. It is one of the best ways to get out and try many different styles of craft beer all at once, without buying multiple bottles and trying lots and lots of beers that you may not like.
Many beer festivals are typically a few hours long, offering attendees a 3-4oz sampling glass and unlimited pours from brewers so that craft beer newbies can try new beer and craft beer devotees can revisit old loves and find new ones as well.
Although summer is the biggest time of year for craft beer festivals, fall still has plenty of festivals throughout the country. Five of the top beer festivals all happen on September 28th, the first Saturday of fall.
Let’s start with the biggest state of them all and the Texas Craft Brewers Festival. This year is the festival’s 10-year anniversary, featuring the 39 craft breweries located around the great big state.
This festival promises to bring in over 6,000 attendees to try new beers and become fans of beer found deep in the heart of Texas. More information can be found at Texas Craft Brewers Festival or by following the festival on Twitter at @TxBrewersFest.
About 60 miles away from Portland, Ore., near Hood River you’ll find “hop heads” waiting for the Hood River Hops Fest. From 20 Northwest craft breweries, beer will be flowing, but this event is more than just a festival for those who enjoy hoppy beers. There is all day entertainment and local culinary treats to sample with your brew.
For those who enjoy IPA’s or Pales Ales, this festival is for you. Their hoppy website can be found at Hood River Hops Fest.
All the way to the other coast, located in Bridgeport, Conn., the Harbor Brew Fest, gives New Englanders the chance to sample from 39 breweries, not only local breweries, but domestic and international breweries as well.
This festival gives attendees one of the widest arrays of beers to sample with the opportunity to sample breweries from outside of the United States. If you want to travel or are in the area, you can buy tickets for the Harbor Brew Fest at Harbor Brew Fest.
Back in the Midwest, where the BBQ is amazing and the beers are too, the Kansas City Beer Festival has been the most recognized craft beer fest in the Midwest for the past five years. Unlike the other beer festivals that had locals only or mixed local craft beer with other breweries, the Kansas City Beer Fest features over 60 handpicked craft beers from around the world.
The top of the top beer connoisseurs come from all over to Kansas City for the festival, and like Harbor Brew Fest, it gives those who can’t go out of the country or even the state to try rare beer and plenty of it. For more information, please follow the festival on twitter at @KCBeerfest.
Another fall beer fest in the Heartland, the Valpo Brewfest, is the largest Northwest Indiana beer festival. With over 150 different styles of beer for sampling, mostly Indiana craft brewers, this event gives attendees the opportunity not only to try new beer, but to vote on the best brewer for the Hoosier Brewer award.
Sadly, it’s hard to be at every beer festival at once on September 28th! But no worries, soon it’ll be time for Oktoberfest!
Kathleen Slauzis is a craft beer enthusiast from Indianapolis, IN. She has been learning the ins and outs of the beer and the brewing business for the past four years. You can also find her work on http://IndianaBeer.com/ where she focuses on local craft breweries and follow her on Twitter as @KJLSlauzis.
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