Beer Fests of the Month

Ten Summer Beer Fests You Can’t Afford to Miss

Published May 27th, 2014

While there’s no denying that there never is a bad time to enjoy an ice cold beer, there’s something about the summertime that makes beer drinking and celebrating even more spectacular. When the mercury inches up the thermometer, we all start to get that all-too-familiar itch, an itch that can only be scratched by the richness and depth of the best beers in the country and beyond.

Beer is no longer just something you wash down pretzels with. There’s an art and science to beer making (and drinking). In recent years, some new and exciting beers and breweries have popped up all across America, pushing the boundaries of what we know of as good beer, without ever comprising the true nature of our beloved beverage. And while it’s nearly impossible to sample every type of beer that exists out there, it sure is fun to try. Here are ten summer beer fests to add to your agenda to make sure you don’t miss out on the best that beer has to offer.

  1. Vermont Brewer's Festival (Burlington VT) -  Vermont’s home to some of the most iconic craft products in the country, from Cabot cheese to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. The Green Mountain state knows quality when it sees it, and Vermonters sure know how to celebrate the good things in life. This year’s Vermont Brewer’s Festival - which celebrates artisan craft beers and the brewers who brew them - is held on July 18 and 19, at the gorgeous Burlington Waterfront Park along Lake Champlain. By the way: this beer fest sold out within 11 minutes of going on sale. If you have a ticket, treat it like the gold it is.
  2. Oregon Brewers Festival (Portland OR) - Few states have the type of reputation for craft beer that Oregon does. Home to one of the largest congregations of microbrews in the country, Portland is opening up its doors to 80 different craft beers from across the country on July 23 - July 27. Held along the banks of the Willamette River, the 27th running of the Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the world’s most beloved craft beer festivals.
  3. San Diego International Beer Festival (San Diego, CA) - Most of us who think of summer picture that perfect 85 degree, sunny day, where heat, humidity and bugs give way to sunshine, ocean breezes and perfection. In San Diego, that perfect summer day happens just about every day. However, this year’s San Diego International Beer Festival - held on June 20 - June 22 - isn’t just an opportunity to spend a few days in the closest thing to heaven that the continental US has (although that’s a nice perk). It’s also a chance to sample beer from nearly 200 breweries representing all corners of the world.
  4. Beer Camp Across America (Mutiple Locations) - On July 19, Ken Grossman, the founder and CEO of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. will hop on the bus for one epic road trip. The goal: to see every brewery in the nation. Sierra Nevada has invited every craft brewer in the U.S. to one of seven regional beer festivals hosted this summer. The locations: Chico and San Diego, California, Denver; Chicago; Portland; Maine; Philadelphia; and finally Mills River, North Carolina. You're all invited to what they're calling the Largest Craft Beer Celebration in history.
  5. Atlanta Summer Beer Fest (Atlanta, GA) - Hot-lanta knows how to celebrate summer. The annual Atlanta Summer Beer Fest - held on Saturday, June 21 - not only features 150 beers from across the country, but also live music and food, served up southern style. This is your chance to check out some of Atlanta’s most revered breweries, including SweetWater and Red Hare.
  6. Michigan Summer Beer Festival (Ypsilanti, MI) - You might have a nearly impossible time pronouncing the name of the town (even before you drink your first beer), but you won’t have a hard time finding high-quality Michigan-born craft beers at the 17th annual Summer Beer Festival held on July 25 and July 26. With more than 80 different Michigan beers, from 600+ brewers, accompanied by a wide range of Michigan-based bands, this is your chance to discover everything that’s awesome about the great state of Michigan.]
  7. Great Taste of the Midwest (Madison, WI) - The Great Taste of the Midwest is considered the second longest running craft beer festival in North America. What better location to hold such an event than Madison, which is not only considered the beer capital of the Midwest, but is known throughout the country as Beer-land. This year’s event takes place on August 9, at Olin Park, and will feature more than (count them) 1,000 beers!
  8. American Craft Beer Fest (Boston, MA) - Boston’s known as one of the birthplaces of America. But the country’s founding fathers did more than lay the groundwork of democracy along these narrow and cobbled streets. They also brewed and drank beer with gusto, which is why it makes perfect sense that the American Craft Beer Fest is held here. This year’s event takes place May 30 and May 31, and will feature more than 600 beers from the country’s finest 100+ brewers.
  9. Snowmass Mammoth Fest (Snowmass, CO) - Here’s a simple math problem: What do you get when you combine music, beer and chili? Perfection. That’s exactly why the annual Snowmass Mammoth Fest, held in the mountains of Snowmass, CO on June 13 - 15, is so popular (or maybe it’s because the high elevation adds to the debauchery?). The Mammoth Fest is the ideal setting for a weekend getaway to sample the finest beer, along with witnessing/tasting an internationally sanctioned chili competition, all while not just listening to any ol’ live music, but music by legends such as the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Leftover Salmon, and Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang.
  10. High Country Beer Fest (Boone, NC) - The High Country Beer Fest is typically held on the the last weekend in August, and brings out some of the finest brews and beer drinkers that the fabled Appalachian Mountains have to offer. Breweries like the Appalachian Mountain Brewery and Buchi Kombucha (Asheville) help to put on display the uniqueness that is the mountain-land of North Carolina.

What is your favorite summer beer fest? Please let us know in the comments below!

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