There are a million different factors that come together to make a great beer festival, so there is bound to be debate on which are the best. But here is a list of favorites that we have attended with a short explanation as to why we like them. Please leave a comment telling us about your favorite!
Borefts Beer Festival (Bodegraven, Netherlands) – Held in September each year in the town of Bodegraven (less than an hour from Amsterdam or half an hour from Rotterdam), Borefts Beer Festival is hosted by world-renowned Brouerij De Molen. De Molen invites only the best breweries from around the world to showcase their beer at the festival, so it draws the most beer passionate people from around the world to attend. It's a beer festival by beer geeks for beer geeks!
Modern Times Festival of Dankness (San Diego, California) – The Festival of Dankness has only been held twice, but it's already cemented a reputation for a great time. Outdoors in a park in San Diego in August, only the hoppiest of hoppy beers are served. Did we mention you're outdoors in San Diego? Check Modern Time's Events page for updates.
Great British Beer Festival (London, England) – Say what you will about Britain's Campaign for Real Ale, but they know cask-conditioned beer. As a result, all of the hundreds of cask-conditioned ales on offer during the festival in August are guaranteed to be served in peak form. Plus, British real ale is famously sessionable, so you can drink all day and feel fine the next day. (Photo credit: Great British Beer Festival)
Oregon Brewers Festival (Portland, Oregon) – We like outdoor festivals and the annual Oregon Brewers Festival is held in July in Portland's Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Dozens of American breweries bring one beer each to the festival. Admission to the festival is free. You must purchase the current year's mug to sample beer, but the free admission and non-alcoholic offerings makes this a family-friendly and driver friendly event.
Great American Beer Festival (Denver, Colorado) – You may have heard that all of the beer at the Brewers Association Great American Beer Festival (held in October) is served in one-ounce samples. We hate that because one ounce isn't really enough to truly appreciate a great beer. But breweries from across America are showcased at the festival, so it's your best chance to try beers from places you're not likely to visit. (Photo credit: Great American Beer Festival)
Mondial de la Biere (Montreal, Canada) – Each June, Montreal hosts a world class festival featuring beers from around the world. Admission is free, so you only have to pay for tokens to sample beer. It's a huge festival and organizers ship in world-class beers just for the festival, so you'll get to sample some incredible brews. (Photo credit: Olivier Bourget)