best-beer-festivals

When you envision a beer event, what do you see? You likely imagine a tented area with various beer brands and lines of people holding sample glasses. This claustrophobic, crowded atmosphere is what most beer festivals consists of. Don’t get us wrong, you’ll probably get to try some pretty amazing beer. But what, other than the beer, is the real draw? Well, if you’re really lucky, you’ll find yourself at one of these bananas, over-the-top, ridiculous beer events with plenty of other entertainment:


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Portland Beer-Infused Cupcake Competition

Portland, Oregon

If you like beer and you like cupcakes, the Portland Beer-Infused Cupcake Competition is for you. In a city known for its eclectic style and culture as well as their high-quality beer, this is a perfect event. It takes place on July 9th. The cupcakes are made by Portland Brewing, Fat Cupcake, Piece of Cake and Bella Cupcake. On top of beer pairings with the cupcakes, there is also music and other shenanigans. Link



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Weird Beer on the River Festival

Washougal, Washington

Washougal, Washington, is home to the Weird Beer on the River Festival on July 8th. Over 1,000 people are expected to come out and sample the strangest offerings from more than twenty-five breweries and cider makers. Many of the “Weird Beers” are made specifically for the festival and won’t be available anywhere else. Link



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Sly Fox Bock Fest and Goat Races

Pottstown, Pennsylvania

You heard that right: goat races. In Pottstown, Pennsylvania, on the first Sunday in May, Sly Fox holds its Bock Fest and Goat Races. If you think a goat race is an odd choice, you should know that “bock” means “goat” in German. It’s the largest bock beer festival in the US and the only one (that we know of) that has an annual goat race. Beginning at 2pm, different races begin. The numbers dwindle down until a champion is crowned. This bearded beauty is bestowed the honor of having Sly Fox’s Maibock named after them. Link



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Bearded Brewfest

Portland, Maine

Beard culture and alcohol culture have meshed into one into some kind of lumberjack chic. The Bearded Brewfest celebrates this unique phenomenon with a conventional brewfest (consisting of over thirty breweries) as well as the CanAm Beard and Mustache Competition. The festival is also home to many beer-related and beard-related vendors to appeal to beard and beer fans alike. Link



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All Ale to the Queen

Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte’s All Ale to the Queen festival is unique because on top of the usual beer festival, it’s also a strange beer-fueled circus with a DJ, aerial acrobatics, hoola hoopers, jugglers and even beer carnival king and queen crowning. It’s like the best version of your prom if there were belly dancers and beer. Link



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Oskar Blues Burning Can

Lyons, Colorado

USA Today says, “Burning Can is the greatest beer festival in all the land.” Named after Burning Man (so you know it must be crazy), the festival has three different locations: Austin, Texas (April), Lyons, Colorado (June), and Brevard, North Carolina (July). Like the brewery itself, the festival is all about promoting great beer and an outdoor, adventurous life. At any of the three events, you can sample over 200 beers from over fifty craft breweries. The events are also full of live music, myriad outdoor games as well as the infamous beer relay. A combination trail run and beer drinking race, the beer relay consists of a 5K loop. You and your friends take turns running the loop. Before each lap, you have the option of guzzling an Oskar Blues beer to chip two minutes off your lap. The team with the most laps completed in four hours is the winner. Link



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Beer & Bacon Fest

Cary, North Carolina

This event, which takes place in April, is a celebration of two of the greatest things in the world: beer and bacon. The festival consists of over seventy-five craft beers as well as fifteen restaurants and more bacon than your cardiologist would ever want you to eat in one sitting. Last year, over two tons of bacon was made during the festival. That’s a lot of indigestion. Link



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Brew-Ski Festival

Harbor Springs, Michigan

The name alone is enough to get us to attend this beer and skiing extravaganza that is held in mid-March. Enjoy the slopes and then enjoy the suds with over sixty-five breweries and nearly three-hundred beers available for revelers to sample. There’s also music and tons of great food. There’s nothing better than a burger and a beer to warm you up on a snowy night. Link

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