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Top 20 US Beer Festivals for Beer Geeks

 

Festival of Dark Arts – This dark “carnival of stout” is a celebration of dark beers hosted by Fort George Brewery in Astoria, Oregon. The entire block that the brewery is located on is closed down in favor of a carnivalesque atmosphere with tattoo artists, belly dancers, tarot card readers, blacksmiths and glass blowers all showcasing their skills for curious festivalgoers.

Of course, there’s a rather stunning selection of beer as well. The only beer style present at this event is stout, mostly focused on thick Imperial Stouts with mammoth ABV bills and extremely powerful aromas and flavors, which will make any beer geek's tongue quiver with anticipation.

While host Fort George takes the day in terms of quantity (handling 16 stout options at the last festival), Imperial Stout rarities from Deschutes, Fremont, Gigantic, Ecliptic, Great Notion and AleSmith will also be available for sampling by lucky dark beer fans.

Photo Courtesy Fort George Brewery


Dark Lord Day – 3 Floyds Brewing Co. in Munster, Indiana hosts this immense celebration of one of its most highly sought-after brews, Dark Lord, every year. This year’s festivities will occur on May 19th, a week after the 2017 rendition of this event.

Featuring a rotating lineup of metal bands and extremely limited-release variants of the eponymous Dark Lord (a 15 percent ABV Imperial Stout brewed with Mexican coffee, Indian sugar and vanilla) on tap, this beer fest is one that has craft beer geeks salivating for months in advance.

Tickets sell out almost instantaneously, often causing the ticket-hosting site to crash due to traffic.


Juicy Brews – Juicy Brews is a relatively recently created event that celebrates flavor-packed hazy beers such as New England-style hazy IPAs and unfiltered sour beers – two favorites of stateside beer geeks.

While some might scoff at this event’s central focus, hazy IPAs are here to stay, and Juicy Brews features the finest hazy offerings around from Hoof HeartedMarz Community, Triple Crossing, Jackie O’s and more.

This event rotates locations and has been hosted in Pittsburgh and New York City with a Columbus, Ohio festival happening February 25th and a Tucson, Arizona Juicy Brews fest occurring in March.


Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival – A slightly more refined atmosphere greets any beer geeks who are able to attend this festival in Breckenridge, Colorado that occurs every January.

As the name entails, this intimate beer event highlights the incredible advancements craft breweries have made in the field of huge Belgian-style beers and hefty Barleywines.

The 2018 rendition of this event showcased 146 breweries from the most storied craft breweries to upstart craft innovators, all housed in the beautiful Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center replete with stunning vistas of neighboring ski slopes.


SAVOR: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience – One of the swankiest beer fests around, this Washington DC-based festival pairs delicious craft brews with transcendent cuisine to create an unforgettable culinary experience.

Housed in the stunning environs of DC’s National Building Museum, SAVOR’s fascinating menu has options “from sweet to savory, oysters to fine cheeses, offering attendees a wide variety of unique pairings,” according to its website.

The beers available aren’t half-bad either, with over 90 breweries – including beer geek favorites such as Lawson’s Finest LiquidsRhinegeist, Perennial Artisan AlesRAR Brewing and more – pouring over 180 beers at the event.

Photo Courtesy SAVOR


What the Funk!? Invitational – Another invitational beer fest, this tremendous event in Denver, Colorado is hosted by Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project and focuses on funky, wild and sour barrel-aged beers.

This stunning fest will be pouring selections from over 30 breweries, many of which are some of the most highly regarded in the world by beer geeks, such as The Rare Barrel, Jester King, Jolly Pumpkin, Side Project and American Solera.

According to this event’s site, the goal of this festival is to “provide a curated interactive setting where beer enthusiasts can mingle and meet the brewers and other alchemists who create sought after barrel-aged liquids.” Mission accomplished.


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Comments

Nealtryan's picture
A festival for your list is the Hoptober freshtival in Boise Idaho. 30+ breweries with fresh hopped beer.
Michael Rhyan's picture
How do you forget the Five Boro Craft Beer Fest? Might be the best of all of these in Brooklyn in May every year.
CajunBeer's picture
Check out the 7th Annual Bayou Beer Festival, November 9, 2019 on the grounds of Southdown Plantation in Houma, Louisiana. The event features a home brewers competition, live music, great food, craft booths, and the proceeds go to help local veterans assistance programs.

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Comments

Nealtryan's picture
A festival for your list is the Hoptober freshtival in Boise Idaho. 30+ breweries with fresh hopped beer.
Michael Rhyan's picture
How do you forget the Five Boro Craft Beer Fest? Might be the best of all of these in Brooklyn in May every year.
CajunBeer's picture
Check out the 7th Annual Bayou Beer Festival, November 9, 2019 on the grounds of Southdown Plantation in Houma, Louisiana. The event features a home brewers competition, live music, great food, craft booths, and the proceeds go to help local veterans assistance programs.

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