Beer Fests of the Month

The 7 Best Craft Beer & Chili Festivals Across America

Published July 14th, 2015

It occurs to us here at that chili was created as a way for die-hard beer drinkers to get some much needed nutrition as they focused most of their attention on tipping their glasses and tapping new kegs.

But something unique happened along the way: chili got really good. These days, there are as many unique blends and styles of chili as there are craft beers. As a result, we’re seeing more and more beer and chili festivals pop up across the country. That makes us smile, because truth be told, few things are more satisfying in life than washing down a bowl of chili with a craft beer brewed by a master. That’s why we’re excited to bring to you the top 7 beer and chili festivals found across the United States. So mark your calendars and bring a large appetite. You’re about to get served.

  1. Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chili & Beer Fest – Crested Butte, CO. Autumn in Colorado means crisp air, bountiful harvests, and a mental preparation by the natives all anticipating the inevitable winter. As part of this anticipation, the Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce bring a little warmth to the land in the form of the annual Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chili & Beer Festival. The festival is a long-running and tried and true tradition in these parts. Enjoy beers from unique categories such as the Fruit/Vegetable/Spice Beer category while you take in the scenery. Learn more now.
  2. Powderkeg Beer and Chili Festival – Exeter, NH
    People from across the world come to New Hampshire each fall because of the Granite State’s panoramic leaf-popping views that have defined the essence and color of “autumn.” Now you have another reason to come to NH – the Annual Powderkeg Beer and Chili Festival, held in the quaint village of Exeter. The annual festival features chili competitions accompanied by local brewers such as Samuel Adams, Smuttynose, Allagash and more. The Colonials are known to have been masters of beer brewing. See how that culture still exists today in NH. Learn more now.
  3. Smoke in the Valley – Seymour, CT
    Seymour’s Smoke in the Valley craft beer festival isn’t just any old beer fest. It just happens to be CT’s largest craft beer festival, featuring 100+ breweries and live music on 2 stages. This has been the fall event of the year in CT and features something truly unique: the Food Truck Challenge. That’s right, America loves its food trucks, and now you get to see these mobile kitchens face off, all while you drink local craft beer and listen to some pretty amazing music (such as Max Creek, John Brown’s Body, Badfish and more). Learn more now.
  4. Bethel Woods Craft Beer Festival & Chili Cook Off – Bethel, NY
    Um, can you say Woodstock Revisited? The Annual Bethel Woods Craft Beer Festival and Chili Cook-Off features craft beers against a backdrop of live music at the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival. Can you possibly ever top that? Didn’t think so. And if music and beer at “Woodstock” wasn’t enough, you can also take part in the chili sampling and voting. You might not leave this festival covered in mud and missing your clothes, but you will leave fully satisfied with a story to tell for years to come. Learn more now.
  5. FirkFest Cask Beer Festival & Chili Cookoff – Anaheim, CA
    Looking for a bit more warmth in your beer festival adventuring? How about a trip to Anaheim, California, where the annual Firkfest Cask Beer Festival & Chili Cookoff almost always sells out? What’s special about Firkfest is that this is a true cask ale festival. That allows brewers to create one of a kind brew by adding fresh hops, coffees, teas, and other ingredients to their cask of beer. Couple that with West Coast style chili and you have the making of a good time. Learn more now.
  6. Sacramento Beer & Chili Festival – Sacramento, CA
    Not to be outdone by its Californian counterpart, the city of Sacramento celebrates the best of chili and craft beer with its annual Sacramento Beer & Chili Festival. As far as the food is concerned, the chili cook-off typically features three categories: individual, industry, and vegetarian, while you can enjoy local and regional beers including ales, lagers, IPAs and ciders. The proceeds from the festival help fund various art programs at local schools in the surrounding area. Learn more now.
  7. Knock Your Boots Off Beer Tasting & Chili Cook-Off – Golden, CO
    Anyone who knows beer knows that Golden, CO is a mecca of beer making. But don’t for one minute think that a festival held here would be all about the Coors. The annual Chili Cook-Off & Beer Tasting, held each fall, is the perfect opportunity for you folks from around the country to witness all that Golden has to offer beyond what you see on shelves from coast to coast. Learn more now.

Photo courtesy of: Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chili & Beer Fest

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