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A Great Way to Find Beer Festivals Near You

This is how I always imagine these in my head…

With Spring finally starting to…uh…spring, it’s time to turn our attention to one of my favorite outdoor activities – going to beer festivals.  It used to be that there were a few key events and a few also-rans and that was it.  But as craft beer has gained in popularity, more and more festivals celebrating the world’s greatest beverage have popped up. 

To be honest, I find it kind of overwhelming trying to keep up with them all.  Sure there’s Philly Beer Week, GABF, and a few other biggies, but did you know that the Peabody Brew Fest is being held in Tampa today? It might not be a major event, but I’d be happy to know about it if I was in Tampa (there are free appetizers, after all!).

BeerFestivals.org is a website I’ve just discovered that lists over 1,200 beer festivals all across the country and around the world. The list seems pretty comprehensive, and the site has made me realize that there are even more festivals happening than I thought (like the one in Tampa).

..and this is how they usually turn out. Still a good time, but maybe we should start calling them sausage fests.

It’s a simple site to use, with the months of the year listed down the left side of the page.  Click a month and you’ll get a chronological list of beer festivals.  Click on a festival, and you’ll get an info blurb and a link to learn more about it.  The whole thing is easy peasy.  I wish there was the option to search by location, but that didn’t stop me from finding what’s happening in my neck of the woods.

The only real gripe I have with the site is that their mascot is a lion.  And we all know that bears (especially the kung-fu variety) are better than lions.

If you haven’t checked out the site yet, I urge you to do so – it’s definitely worth a click.  After all, there’s nothing better than having a good beer in hand, sun on your cheeks and fellow beer geeks to nerd out with (just beware of amateurs, which is usually anyone wearing a pretzel necklace).

UPDATE: If you decide to hit up a festival, please follow these 10 Commandments for Beer Festival Goers put together by the folks over at STL Hops – right on guys!  And tip of the hat to our pal Zac for sharing the link.

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Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Beer, Lifestyle

Author:Jim

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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34 Comments on “A Great Way to Find Beer Festivals Near You”

  1. April 20, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    A loooong time ago, back when Monica Lewinsky roamed the earth, I’d go to the Great Taste of the Midwest in Madison. I went a few years in a row and had a blast, some of the best days I’ve ever had. But then it got so insanely popular that it became harder and harder to get a ticket. And with good reason. What’s better than a nice, sunny, warm-but-not-hot Wisconsin summer day on the shores of Lake Monona… with a few friends and a fleet of craft beers?

    • April 20, 2011 at 10:25 am #

      Sounds like it was fun until it got popular, which is the case with many things.

      I checked on BeerFestivals.org and saw that Madison Craft Beer Week is next week: http://www.madbeerweek.com/

      I think I’d find the New Glarus line, get a beer, walk to the back of the line and sip my beer as I waited for another chance to get a New Glarus. Rinse and repeat, That would be my day.

  2. April 20, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    Nice idea, I agree that they need a search or sort by location (city, state, region, etc.). Maybe they are still getting up and running, but I noticed some omissions of admittedly smaller festivals here in Colorado. Rails & Ales, Blues & Brews, and the Denver Summer Brewfest are some of the smaller ones I enjoy (and will attend this year). For anyone interested, I’ve got posts on two of those mentioned on my blog Brew Trek.

    • April 20, 2011 at 10:27 am #

      I imagine it’s tough to get them all, especially the smaller ones. Nothing beats local blogs for that kind of stuff.

  3. April 20, 2011 at 10:27 am #

    Good find! I’ll have a look, but I’m thinking its going to be awhile before I get to another beerfest.

    Sausage, sausage, sausage.

    • Don
      April 20, 2011 at 10:47 am #

      Here is the thing Scott, go now while she is young! You definitely will not have that same opportunity next year. It’s now or 18 years from now. 😉 Saasage, sausage, sausage

      • April 20, 2011 at 10:52 am #

        Don’t talk about his newborn daughter and sausage in the same sentence, Don!

        Oops…I just did! 😦

      • Don
        April 20, 2011 at 11:01 am #

        They were different sentences…

    • April 20, 2011 at 10:47 am #

      Babies like beer, too, buddy!

  4. April 20, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Gonna make it down for some of the Philly Beer Week events? I’m planning on two days of well planned “research”. Just hope to get the same spectacular weather that we had last year instead of the slop we’ve been getting this week.

  5. April 20, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    I don’t think so. It’s like Mission Impossible getting out of my house on the weekends these days. I’m hoping to talk my wife into hitting TAP NY next weekend, but I think there pretty much no chance for that either.

    So basically, this site illustrates all the wonderful festivals I can’t attend!

    • April 20, 2011 at 10:53 am #

      Luckily my wife enjoys craft beer as much as I do; as long as there are a good selection of stouts she’s happy (especially if it’s nitro-infused!). She was the one who reminded me to go online and get tickets for Rails & Ales this year.

      • April 20, 2011 at 10:55 am #

        Sounds like a keeper. My wife is the same way, which is good, or else I’d be on a much tighter leash when it comes to spending money on beer.

    • Don
      April 20, 2011 at 11:06 am #

      Funny, you say it is your favorite activity, and then you say you never go to any. Just seems a little out of step there bro. Damn Little Kids!

      • April 20, 2011 at 11:08 am #

        It is one of my favorite activities AND one I never do.

        That’s kids for you. And an unwillingness to drive while intoxicated. The logistics are daunting!

  6. Jeff W
    April 20, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    I have no idea what this article is about…it’s difficult scrolling down to type this inane comment. Now that I’m done I’ll go look at the picture again.

    • April 20, 2011 at 11:28 am #

      So you’re just in it for the eye candy? Well then, I say image-well-picked by yours truly!

      • Jeff W
        April 20, 2011 at 11:38 am #

        Very grateful.
        🙂

        • April 20, 2011 at 11:41 am #

          Probably should’ve left out the sausage fest pic…hate to ruin the moment!

      • April 20, 2011 at 11:59 am #

        I’ll be totally honest here, I looked at that pic much longer than I would have just about any other pic. There’s also this image, which features a girl that’s come to be known in some circles simply as “Front Right Beer Girl”:

        • April 20, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

          Yes, I avoided FRBG because she’s become cliche. I believe you’ll be seeing a lot more of BGKF (Beer Girl Kissing Friend) around the interwebs after today. 😉

  7. JohnKing
    April 20, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    I went to a beer fest last year. I wanted to try everything. Then they tapped a keg of GI Bourbon County Stout. I just kept getting back in line until the guy was like, would you like me to just get you a bigger cup. Then I went and ate Mexican. Then I threw up everywhere. My fiance was pissed. The end.

    • April 20, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

      Ha – I did the same thing (minus the puking) at GABF last year. The guy pouring didn’t seem to mind, but I knew he was like, move on…

      That Bourbon County Stout is good stuff!

    • April 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

      Sounds like my experience at the Boulder Strong Ale Festival this year. Only I think the Firestone Walker 14th was to blame in this case.

      Yes, I am blaming the beer and not my failure to hydrate properly.

      • JohnKing
        April 20, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

        I just got work today I get to head to Denver and Boulder for work last week of Sept/beginning of October. Hopefully I can catch something there (I’ll stay in Louisville), well at least get some hookup at Avery.

        CO has bears!

        • Don
          April 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

          Prime GABF time! And there is a huge bear looking into the convention center…Very Scary!

      • JohnKing
        April 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

        I finally figured it out. Don, you’re not retired wrestler Bam Bam Bigelow are you?

        • Don
          April 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

          Back into Witness Protection I go! Thanks John…

        • April 20, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

          🙂

      • April 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

        John, you definitely have to make a trip to Avery. They have a very cool tap room and usually plenty of one-offs to sample. Louisville also has a great pizza restaurant called Lucky Pie with an awesome rotating tap list.

      • JohnKing
        April 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

        Ive been to Avery before…but my buddy is now friends with Larry Avery and another running friend knows a higher up so I can get some behind the scenese access…hence why I am pushing it for work.

        Here is some evidence on why Lions…may be cooler than Bears…notice the belt buckle: http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/592043/Tom+Jones.jpg

  8. April 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    As a supplement to your post, STL Hops posted a Ten Commandments for fest goers here

    • April 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

      Just added it to the post – thanks for the heads up.

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