#beerfestivals – PorchDrinking.com
Going to the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver, Colorado is an incredibly exciting experience. However, it can also be cruel and unrelenting if you are not prepared for it. The opportunity to sample rare and specialty beer from across the country is a dream for craft beer enthusiasts. But just like any good dream, it also has the ability to turn into a nightmare. Here is my survival guide to ensure you get the best experience out of your time next year. Trust me, I survived all four sessions from September 20 -22.
When the temperature is well over 100 degrees, there are two places most people want to be: the pool or in air conditioning. The Arizona Craft Brewer’s Guild wasn’t able to host a beer festival pool party, so they did the next best thing and will be hosting Arizona’s premier craft beer festival, Real Wild & Woody, on July 28, 2018 in the air conditioning at the Phoenix Convention Center. In addition to a varied selection of brews, they’re bringing the great outdoors inside with an outdoorsy, camping theme throughout and a bunch of interactive games for attendees to play.
As the brewing industry ebbs and flows through the many styles that interest consumers, beer festival organizers are finding ways to cater to tastes and stand out. Festivals such as Big Beers, Collaboration Fest, The Firestone Walker Invitational, and the recent inaugural WeldWerks Invitation go above and beyond the standard convention cup format by providing one-off offerings, sought after rarities, and highlighting the education and spirit of the brewing community. The 2nd annual Rapids & Grass Beer Festival in Buena Vista, CO this past weekend is another example of how organizers are upping the ante on beer festivals with more than copious amounts of unique brews—they are making it an experience. Rapids & Grass celebrated innovation and camaraderie in craft beer. Also, it offered attendees live bluegrass, camping, and whitewater rafting in the grandeur of the Collegiate Peaks alongside the roaring Arkansas River.
In Elevation Beer Company’s parking lot, there are often more mountain bikes than vehicles. Elevation is in Poncha Springs, Colorado, a tiny town just outside the small town of Salida in the heart of Colorado’s most mountainous region. From whitewater rafting to bagging 14ers to riding the endless trails at wrecking-ball speed, it’s all celebrated here with great craft beer. Naturally.
As you rub your eyes and nurse that pounding headache, it’s time to reflect on another year of FoBAB. The nation’s largest gathering of barrel-aged beers is always the marquee event to hit Chicago’s beer scene. Once again, FoBAB lived up to the hype by bringing together some of the country’s most sought after beers and putting them under one roof for thousands to enjoy.
The first time I heard about the Firestone Walker Invitational, I wasn’t quite sure I understood the gravity associated with it. It peaked my interest for sure—a festival with food and music, hosted by a brewery with the reputation like Firestone Walker. It’s exciting but really there are plenty of beer festivals happening all the time. Then I saw who was participating, and the weight of the event started to gain clarity.
What better way to get acquainted with Holiday beer than a December beer festival offering local, national and imported selections? For instance, BrewLights 2016 — a craft beer festival held amidst Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo’s animal family, adorned by a plethora of holiday lights and accompanied by plenty of holiday tunes. The scene at BrewLights made it tough not to get into the holiday spirit. Throw in a little nip in the air and the smell of Christmas beer, and it’s as if Santa himself has arranged the party. As you shop this year, it may be difficult to know what holiday-seasonal beers to purchase, so let’s go through the 12 beer samples of Christmas provided at BrewLights 2016.
The world’s largest barrel-aged beer competition, held at the Festival of Barrel Aged Beer (FoBAB) in Chicago, is underway. However, the FoBAB 2016 awards are now official, and our Chicago/Midwest editor, Mike Zoeller was there. Here are the results — congrats to all the winners!
Beers Made By Walking’s sixth go-around did not disappoint attendees at the Denver Nature and Science museum this past Tuesday, Oct. 4. Attendees rolled in at 5:30 p.m. sharp to fill their tasting glasses alongside earthly relics like a sparkling gemstone exhibit and a huge whale skeleton suspended from the rafters. The setting was certainly fitting for the nature theme of the festival, and breweries displayed whimsical adjuncts like pine cones and berries on their respective tables. I felt a buzz just thinking about how the event’s proceeds would be directly benefitting this museum we were standing in.
September is a tricky month for outdoor beer drinking in Virginia. You pray for a break in the heat, for those fall-like temperatures to appear and bring with them the perfect weather for enjoying a brew or two at your favorite festival. “No more warm beer!” you cry. “Bring me fall!” Sadly, more often than not, you have to get real, accept that for some reason it’s still 90 freaking degrees outside, slap on your sunscreen and roll with it. The second annual Old Bust Head Brewing Company Bleu and Brew Beer and Cheese Festival was held this month on, you guessed it, a steamy, sunny September day! Lucky for us we’ve been blessed with some of the best beer coming out of Virginia, making that late summer heat much more bearable when you have a variety of beer styles at your fingertips. And when you pair local cheeses with local beers? The only heat you end up feeling is from that Smoked Gouda Jalapeño cheese bite sizzling in your mouth!
We are well into the festival season and you’re out there floundering around like a fish at a beer festival. Don’t worry, I am here to help. Okay, well, I am sure you’ve got a better handle on this whole festival thing than that. You may actually be more like a wolf at a sheep sheering contest. That’s really not that much better though; really, just as bad but in the other direction. Wow, this digressed quickly… without further ado, we are leaving the beer behind in this week’s Ultimate 6er to give you six tips for your next festival!
For craft beer drinkers, the arrival of summer means one thing: beer festival season.
It seems no matter where you go across the country on any given weekend, in parks or parking lots, conference centers or outdoor concert venues, …
Northern Michigan practices a winter amnesia that convinces us November through March wasn’t all that bad. It’s moronic and ignorant and we buy it in bulk and then we stay here. By June or July, rarely any of us can remember what the official first day of spring would have been, whether it was mid-April or late-March, or that one person who reminds us February once hit 60. That person is an optimist and Machiavellian.
It’s Great American Beer Festival week! This is our favorite time of year. Clearly you can see why.
Since all of us get super excited in the presence of good beer, Tristan asked the staff who was attending this year and
Guest Post Written By: Daniel Workman
Overcast and rainy conditions failed to dampen (although they might have chilled) spirits amongst attendees at he fourth annual installment Snallygaster craft beer and food truck festival that took place September 12 just outside …
This piece was co-written by John Amantea and Kevin Risner.
August 28th & 29th: 6pm – 11pm
When you think about craft beer in Cleveland, one of the first breweries that pops into your head is Great Lakes Brewing Company. And for good reason. For over 25 years, GLBC has been brewing some awesome beer that has won many awards and has struck the fancy of people across the eastern US and beyond its distribution wingspan, which has been on the rise recently.
GLBC is not just known for its stellar selection of beers, the variety of which has expanded from its famed Christmas Ale to approachable IPAs like Chillwave, and unique surprises, such as one of its most recent session ales: Sharpshooter. They also have an excellent mission, centering on sustainability and eco-consciousness.
Ever since 2001, GLBC has put together a more unique beer festival that isn’t just about the beer, but a reflection upon the brewery’s legacy and its hope to protect its product, which is around 90% water. The Burning River Fest is named for an (in)famous event that occurred multiple times in the history of the city. Beginning in 1868, the Cuyahoga River has caught fire numerous times, the most noted of which occurring in 1969, as a result of heavy pollution and a dearth of industry regulation. From that point on, amidst a flurry of ridicule and scorn, Cleveland has shifted a greater focus to sustainability and cleaning up its waterways. The positive effort has led to this more mindful festival, focusing on these local issues.
I used to relish summers. As a child, we lived for those three fleeting months of freedom from homework, exams and responsibility. Summer was the stuff of legend, building towering forts in the woods, cannonballs, s’mores, catching fireflies, shagging fly balls and bolting recklessly into streets at the flat echoes of an ice cream truck jingle. Sure, things have changed a bit as an adult, but I haven’t entirely allowed myself to lose summer’s sense wonderment, instead trading t-ball for 14er hikes, neighborhood flashlight tag for booze-y sessions of jazz in the park and weekends getting burnt crisp at the pool for weekends getting burnt crisp a beer festivals.
As summer draws near that usually signals the beginning of festival season for the beer industry. Some beer fests are amazing, others can be a bit of a reach, and some are just unnecessary. What have been your favorite beer festivals to attend, and if you could create your own beer festival what would be the theme?