The Best Beer Festivals Coming Soon to a City Near You
The end of the summer is a sad time for some. The weather is getting cooler and if you’re a kid, it’s almost time to head back to school for another year filled with three-ring binders, highlighters and a massive amount of stress. For those of us whose lives don’t change dramatically (except for the addition of a sweater or light jacket), the end of summer means that it’s beer festival season. This magical time from August to October is when many of the country’s best beer festivals take place.
No matter where you live in the US, the odds are that there is a beer festival within driving distance of you during this time. Not all beer festivals are created equal though. There are a few that are worth a plane ride or long car ride to see the best beer cities.
These are the best upcoming beer festivals that you just can’t miss:
Belgium Comes to Cooperstown – August 7-8
Celebrated on the grounds of the beloved Ommegang Brewery, Belgium Comes to Cooperstown is expected to draw over 3,000 beer fans this year. Beer fans can sample the best Belgian and Belgian-Inspired beers from over 100 different breweries and Ommegang itself.
Ticket Prices: $110-$275
The Great Taste of the Midwest – August 8th
Madison, Wisconsin will be home to the Great Taste of the Midwest, a beer festival put on by the Madison Homebrewers and Tasters Guild. This is the 29th year the festival has been held and revelers will be treated to brews from over 150 of the best breweries the Midwest has to offer.
Ticket Prices: $60 (Sold Out)
Stone 19th Anniversary Celebration and Invitational Beer Festival – August 14-15
This is definitely a can’t miss beer festival for those who reside on the left coast. The 19th anniversary celebration at Stone will include pretty much every single beer they make, including those special brews that are only available at the brewery and those only made in limited quantities including the Stone 19th Anniversary IPA. Also at the celebration will be beers from over 100 of the best breweries in the country.
Ticket Prices: $80
Steel City Big Pour – September 12
If you live anywhere near Pittsburgh, you should make a trip to the city of Three Rivers to partake in the Steel City Big Pour, a festival highlighting the best local breweries as well as mouth watering food from some of the area’s best restaurants.
Ticket Prices: $125
San Diego Festival of Beer – September 18
If for some reason you missed the Stone 19th Anniversary Celebration (or you didn’t have enough beer), you should make plans to attend the San Diego Festival of Beer. The brews will be flowing in the hometown of Ron Burgundy when the festival takes over the Broadway Pier. 60 different breweries will be serving up over 120 delicious offerings of craft beers.
Ticket Prices: $40-$50
The Great American Beer Festival – September 24-26
The greatest and most respected beer festival in the US (and most likely the world) is the Great American Beer Festival. If you are a beer geek, this is definitely the one beer festival that you cannot miss. Founded in 1982, the festival is the largest beer festival in the world with hundreds of brewers being represented.
Ticket Prices: $65-$80
More Beer Festivals
Stowe Brewers Festival (Stowe, Vermont – August 14) – $45-$75
Columbus Summer Beer Fest (Columbus, Ohio – August 14) – $40-$60
Napa Blue, Brews and BBQ (Napa, California – August 22) – Free
Boulder Craft Beer Festival (Boulder, Colorado – August 22) – $35-$50
Lexington Fest of Ales (Lexington, Kentucky – September 4) – $30
Hudson River Craft Beer Festival (Beacon, NY – September 19) – $45-$75
Brewgrass Festival (Asheville, North Carolina – September 19) – $55-$150