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World's Top 20 Beer Festivals

Whether you’re looking for a reason to travel or you just want to add another fantastic beer event to your itinerary, here’s a sampler of the top 20 beer festivals from around the world.

Photo Credit: Great British Beer Festival


January


Great Alaska Beer and Barleywine Festival – What better way to make Alaskan winters a little more warm and inviting than with immense imperial IPAs and beastly barleywines? This Anchorage event is the jewel of Alaska Beer Week and features some of the heftiest regional brews available in a brewpub-filled city with easily navigable streets.


February


Bruges Beer Festival – Dubbed “the Mecca for everything worthwhile in the Belgian beer world” on its website, this early-year event features every imaginable Belgian style with ABVs ranging from the pedestrian (1.8 percent for a tiny brown ale) to the gargantuan (16.5 percent for an oak-aged barleywine). A beautiful beer-centric city and one of the largest exhibition halls in Belgium make this festival a must-visit.


April


Dark Lord Day – Bacchanalian revelry, metal music and a deep appreciation for craft beer are the orders of the day at this event on Chicago’s northern border. Hosted by Three Floyds Brewery – creators of the event’s namesake, the inimitable Dark Lord Imperial Stout – this carnivalesque celebration is the only day of the year Dark Lord is released to the public.


May


Photo Credit: Brewers Association

Savor: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience – Leave the partisanship behind when you visit this stylish Washington D.C. event at the National Building Museum. The Brewers Association provides a glorious cornucopia of beer and food pairings intended to bring craft beer into the limelight as the premier partner to elegant cuisine.

Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular – Australia is known for its plethora of summer beer festivals, and this large-scale event might be the best of the bunch. With over 250 beers (120 of which are unique to this event) from 150 breweries around the globe, Australian craft beer lovers flock to this cleverly named two-day brew party in Sydney.

Keyaki Hiroba Spring Beer Festival – While the various versions of the Great Japan Beer Festival grab headlines for their size and scale, this under-the-radar festival in Saitama features some of the finest Japanese microbrews as well as mainstream Japanese juggernauts like Kirin Ichiban and Sapporo.


June


Photo Credit: Tifou Caribou

Mondial de la Bière – Canada’s biggest beer festival features over 600 beers housed in the largest auditorium in Montreal. Engaging people, a beautiful city and over 100,000 beer lovers make this festival a terrific reason for American craft beer connoisseurs to traverse the northern border.    

Where The Wild Beers Are – An unusual event whereself-professed “fans of the funk” get together and share their favorite sour and wild ales with other like-minded lambic-heads. Did I mention that no beer is provided on tap? That’s right, this event is strictly B.Y.O.B., but that doesn’t stop hundreds of devotees from attending two separate events (June and October) in New York and Minneapolis.

Photo Credit: Great Taste of the Midwest

Great Taste of the Midwest – The idyllic Wisconsin locales next to Madison’s Lake Monona imbue this event with a carefree, summery vibe. Special releases of highly sought-after brews occur throughout the day and usually generate a big buzz. Madison features one of the best farmers’ markets in the country, which is stocked with artisanal cheeses perfect for beer pairing.    

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