Beer Festivals of the U.S. and Canada | Beer Fests

Over the past five years there has been an explosion in the number of American Craft Beer Festivals in the U.S. and Canada. I have seen the growth first hand in the Midwest where many beer fest have exploded recently, so I am sure the numbers are even more impressive on the West and East coasts where many cities have more than one beer festival. I did some research trying to establish some official numbers but never came up with anything I could rely upon. I did find that some references to them as brew fest or brew festivals, but all in all if it highlights good beer does anyone care. . If you are aware of a site that tracks the number of beer fests in North America, please make a comment.

In the U.S. the number of Craft Breweries has grown from 1566 in 2000 to 2822 in 2013. That is a staggering growth of over 80% during those 13 years. Will this be the end of the rapid growth or will the number of festivals continue to grow? I would speculate that growth is assured based on the number of new brewery openings around the country. All of the festivals feature many of the top selling craft beers brewed in the local area.

On the home page I try and list upcoming dates and where beer fest tickets information of some of the more publicised brew festivals is available.

Many craft beer fest feature the top local brewers and their brewery beer. Most of which is hand crafted locally. A brew festival amy also include brewing exibitions and all the craft brew that the brewing company has available. Read below as one craft brew festival (Oregon Brewers Festival) even has it’s own tasting glass….Cool!!

Let’s take a look at some of the largest Beer Festivals as of 2015.

1. The Festival

The Festival is a “moving Beer fest” sponsored by Shelton Brothers — an East Coast alcohol-distribution company. Last year it was held at the port of Los Angeles entitles (The Festival at Crafted). The LA Weekly had a informative article on the gathering.

Last year The Festival was held in sunny Florida, at the The Coliseum in St. Petersburg, Florida on October 16-17, 2015. To give you an idea of what is on tap this year here is the craft beer list of participating beer, cider, and mead makers and what they poured last year: Shelton Brothers

For more information and ticket prices go here


2. Festival of Barrel Aged Beers

For a unique treat our next highlighted festival is the Festival of Barrel Aged Beers. Already 12 years old this years event will be two sessions for the first time, last year it was held on November 14 and 15, 2015. This years event features over 90 breweries and 300 individual beers that will be redy for consumption. The 23,000 square foot space will provide ample room to enjoy. The location is UIC Forum 725 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL.

The will also introduce a very rare project for the first time ever. A project at this level has never been revealed in any wooden or barrel-aged beer event. Barricale features barrel-aged beers from more than 20 Illinois craft breweries. Wild Turkey barrels are the variable this year, as brewers filled empties with their craft beer of choice. Some beers have been sitting for 12 months, 6 months and even at 3 months. Come visit the ImBIBE Pouring Station at FoBAB this year and taste the different nuances of each Illinois hand-crafted barrel-aged beer. Talk to each brewer and find out exactly why they chose to work with the beers they did. This project is sponsored by Goose Island Brewing Co.

For more information about the top selling craft beers brewed in the local area check out the additional information here

3. Great Taste of the Midwest

One of my favorite places to visit is Wisconsin. My first hands on experience with Wisconsin beer was at the then family owned Leinenkugel brewery in Chippewa Falls, WI. And so it goes!!!

Great Taste of the Midwest is held each year in Madison Wisconsin, last year on August 8, 2015

The Great Taste of the Midwest is one of the premier beer festivals in the United States. On the second Saturday in August, over one hundred brewpubs and micro breweries from the Midwest come to beautiful Olin-Turville Park overlooking lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin, to share beer and good times with other beer lovers.

The Great Taste of the Midwest features more than 150 breweries and brewpubs and nearly 1,000 different beers at a beautiful lakeside setting in Madison, Wisconsin. You can get more information at the website.

4. Great American Beer Festival 2016

Beer Festival, Denver Colorado

This is Denver’s contribution to another wonderful experience in the great American beer tasting experience. Each year, GABF represents the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served, in a public tasting event plus a private competition. GABF brings together the brewers and diverse beers that make the U.S. the world’s greatest brewing nation. According to the Guinness Book of World Records®, there is no other place on earth where a beer aficionado can find more beers on tap.

Last year the event was  on Thursday, September 24, 2015 – Saturday, September 26, 2015 The GABF has been around along time, since 1982. The location is Colorado Convention Center – 700 14th Street, Denver, CO. Info can be found here


The weekend also features an impressive line-up of American-made cheeses, a hop-friendly bookstore, a food pairing area, a Homebrew Marketplace, and a DD lounge.


5. Oregon Brewers Festival


Oregon Brewers Festival

Over 90 different craft beers from around the country – in addition there are beers from New Zealand and The Netherlands in the International Tent – the Oregon Brewers Festival is the one of the west coast most anticipated celebrations of craft beer! Situated on the banks of the Willamette River this beer festival ensures you will be enjoying the best of both worlds, great scenery and great beer.

In 2013, in an effort to improve the tasting experience for the guest and to be more environmentally responsible, the festival switched to a tasting glass instead of the traditional plastic mug. It was well received by the attendees; however, the Portland Police Bureau saw safety issues and as a result, required the festival to return to plastic in 2015. The festival switched to a high-quality, 14-ounce poly-carbonate glass made in Finland that still allows for the color and clarity of the beer to shine through. This is something that all festivals should think about offering.

For more information about top selling craft beers brewed in the local area that will be featured at this Festival go to Oregon Brewers Festival