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5 Best Beer Festivals Around the World

5 Best Beer Festivals Around the World

Beer is one of the most popular drinks known to mankind and is the third most-drank beverage on the planet, behind water and tea.

The Golden Nectar has come a long way since it was first imbibed as a ritual drink by the Natufians over 13,000 years ago.

Nowadays, beer rivals wine in terms of variety and complexity, and is celebrated by millions of beer lovers all over the world at home, in local bars and at popular beer festivals. If you want to join in the celebrations and pay homage to the famous drink, read on to find out all about the best beer festivals in the world.


Oktoberfest

Munich, Germany

Every September

The biggest and best beer festival on the planet takes place in Munich, Germany every September.

Oktoberfest has been running annually in Munich since 1810 and is traditionally held over a 16-day period to welcome in the month of October.

As a host city, Munich is perhaps the best place in the world to worship modern-day beer. pilsner – which was first brewed in the Czech Republic – is a Bavarian speciality, as is weissbier.

But it is not just local specialities that are drunk by visitors to Oktoberfest. The world’s best-known craft brewers regularly battle it out for a spot at the festival to make their beers part of the 6.6 trillion litres drunk by festivalgoers.

Oktoberfest is so renowned as the most popular beer festival in the world that it has been portrayed across entertainment media. Jay Chandrasekhar’s hit 2006 film Beerfest, for example, follows the story of two brothers travelling to Germany to be a part of the annual knees-up celebration. The festival is so iconic it has even become a notable theme across popular virtual games, including an Oktoberfest game within 888 Casino’s huge array of online slots.

Oktoberfest’s popularity has spread as far as virtual online games.


Great British Beer Festival

London, England

Every September

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) held their first-ever beer festival in Covent Garden in 1975 where the best British Ales were enjoyed by 40,000 festivalgoers. Since then, the festival has become an annual event that markets itself as ‘Britain’s Biggest Pub’.

The event is now held at the Olympia and, while it does feature some great independent lagers, the focus is most definitely on real ales.

England is the spiritual home of world beer, a fact that has been forgotten by many over the past 50 years as big breweries have diluted the heritage of the English market. However, CAMRA is dedicated to celebrating the history of English brewing and pay particular attention to celebrating native ales.

If you want to enjoy beer as it was meant to be enjoyed before big brewers like Carling, Carlsberg and Fosters introduced blends to the market, the Great British Beer Festival is the place for you.


Great American Beer Festival

Colorado, USA

Every Fall

 

 

How Samuel Adams played a pivotal role in the vital Craft Beer Revolution in the United States.

In 1984, The Boston Beer Co. was established in Boston, Massachusetts with the aim of saving American beer. Just like in England, the American beer market had been saturated with Budweiser and Coors.

Samuel Adams – which was named after one of the founding fathers – resurrected a centuries-old lager recipe that wowed beer lovers. In addition to that, the success of Samuel Adams Boston Lager kickstarted the craft beer revolution in the United States.

The Great American Beer Festival, which was started two years prior to the founding of Samuel Adams Boston Lager, was one of the great beneficiaries of the craft beer revolution.

Held every fall in Colorado, the festival is a celebration of the vibrant and exciting brewing environment in the United States. If you want to try the hottest beers at the forefront of the industry, this is the festival for you.


Czech Beer Festival

Prague, Czech Republic

Every May

While the Czech Beer Festival is not the largest or even one of the best-known festivals in the world, it would be remiss not to mention a country that has played such a pivotal role in the development of world beer.

In the 1830s, the small Bohemian town of Plzen was undergoing an identity crisis when it came to its local beer. At the time, every citizen in the town was permitted to brew their own beer and sell it to the local ale houses.

This resulted in a lot of below-par beer making its way to the pubs and bars and the locals became restless over the quality of their beer. The decision was taken to centralize brewing and a delegation of the town’s best brewers were sent to East Anglia in England to learn everything they could about hops and brewing.

The result was Pilsner Urquell, the world’s first and best Pilsner beer. Within a few decades of the first brew, the news of Pilsner had spread all around the world with American, British and German brewers getting in on the act.

If you want to pay homage to Pilsner and try the very best of its kind in unpasteurized form, you simply must visit the Czech Beer Festival for some frothy, golden goodness.


Qingdao International Beer Festival

Qingdao, China

Every July

 

 

Asia’s answer to Oktoberfest is a must-visit even if you aren’t the biggest fan of Asian beers.

Asian beer is often overlooked by western drinkers, but to write them off is a massive mistake. Some of the crispest, most thirst-quenching beers ever made have originated in China, Japan and South Korea.

The Qingdao International Beer Festival is a celebration of everything Asian and shows off not only the biggest names in the Asian brewing industry, but also some of the more interesting, smaller brewers.

The 24-day festival is Asia’s answer to Oktoberfest and excels not only in beer but in entertainment as well. Every July Qingdao becomes a melting pot of Western and Eastern culture, making it a must-visit for not only beer lovers but fans of international travel too.

It’s clear the see from so many of the most popular beer festivals around the world that beer drinking has become a fun and historic part of several cultures. From iconic brews taking entire countries by storm and the festivals becoming household names and the inspiration behind games, merchandise and entertainment, a refreshing tipple can bring people together.