Five Beer Festivals You Can’t Miss

beer festivals

Cracking open a cold one, enjoying the wheat flavors during your favorite team’s game, or cooling off with a refreshing brew after lunch. No matter the reason, everyone loves coming together over a nice cold beer. What better way to mix this with the latest, most unique craft beers, than heading to a beer festival? A festival brings you the best brewers have to offer, alongside great food and activities. Beers and the holiday season go together hand-in-hand, making Portland’s Holiday Ale Fest a definite must-attend. However, there are many other unique, fun beer festivals happening in the new year. Check out our list of can’t-miss beer festivals throughout the year, starting with the Holiday Ale Fest Nov. 29 – Dec. 3. 

Holiday Ale Fest

beer festival Oregon
Photo by Holiday Ale Festival

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the Holiday Ale Fest in Portland, Oregon. The festival takes place at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland and is a major hit for the 21+ crowd. The festival is home to hundreds of beer selections from local breweries, often bringing something special for the event. The beers combine the best ales with all your favorite flavors of the holiday season. This year’s selection includes a s’more flavored stout by Base Camp Brewing Co., peppermint and white chocolate flavored beer by Three Mugs Brewing Co., a cranberry sauce inspired brew by Portland Cider Co., and more. Plus with beers with names like ‘Olive the Other Reindeer’, from Bear Republic Brewing Co., ‘Yule Only Live Once’, from Hopworks Urban Brewery, or ‘Gnome for the Holidays’, from Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, you are sure to get into the holiday spirit.

Stick around after the festival ends for the annual Sunday Beer Brunch, happening on Dec. 4. Enjoy craft beers by Brasserie Dupont, including the Avec Les Bons Voeux brew, perfectly complementing your European style brunch. Enjoy the Belgian waffles, quiche, macarons, cheeses, meats, and chocolates too. All the beers featured will be unique to the brunch, so be sure not to miss out!

Nothing says holiday spirit better than the spirit of giving. The Holiday Ale Fest 2017 is partnering with the Children’s Cancer Association, a Portland-based organization working to fight childhood cancer. All of the proceeds from the coat check and the raffle, as well as tips given to root beer vendors, will go toward their cause.

Extreme Beer Fest

beer festival boston
Photo by Pixabay

This festival is for the adventurous beer drinker. Hosted by Beer Advocate, a magazine dedicated to beers, the 15th annual Extreme Beer Fest will take place Feb. 2-3, 2018, at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA. The festival features crazy beers from breweries all across the globe, broken up into three sessions over the two-day span. Past years have featured Dogfish Head’s ‘Beer for Breakfast’, with scrapple and maple flavors, Trophy Brewing’s ‘The King’, with peanut and peanut butter flavors, and Otter Creek’s ‘Rainbow Licker’, a beer aged in starburst candies.

Bacon and Beer Classic

beer festival california
Photo by Bacon and Beer Classic

If this event’s name is any indication of how this event will go, you know it’ll be good. The Bacon and Beer Classic will happen in Santa Clara, CA on Feb. 24, 2018, at Levi’s Stadium. The festival has unlimited food and drinks, with beers from over 100 local breweries and dozens of bacon-based dishes, plus games, an eating contest, and other fun in the stadium. Some of last year’s dishes include bacon banh mi, bacon rice Krispies, bacon caramel and bacon toffee, and even a whiskey-glazed bacon on bacon chip with bacon beer cheese. Bacon and Beer Classic hosts multiple events across multiple cities, so if you can’t make it to Santa Clara, check out some of the other sites later in the year.

NYC Beer Week

beer festival New York
Photo by Pixabay

New York City Beer Week is a week-long fair of craft beers and ales happening at the end of February 2018. The week’s events take place across the city, highlighting the best brews from the five boroughs. Events in past years have included the all-out Opening Bash, with over 50 beer vendors, the NYC Fermentation Festival, which is an entire family-friendly day surrounding fermentation processes and all things fermented, and the Brewer’s Choice night, a chance to be served specially made beers by the brewers themselves.

Chicago Craft Beer Week

beer festival chicago
Photo by Chicago Craft Beer Week

The windy city’s premier beer event, the Chicago Craft Beer Week will happen in May 2018 in Chicago, IL. The week kicks off with the annual Beer Under Glass event at the beautiful Garfield Park Conservatory. Local brewers come bearing their best and most unique crafts, making this event a must-attend for those looking a fresh new taste. The week of festivities only gets more exciting, with an event celebrating female brewers, a unique event pairing homebrewers with artists of all forms to represent the brew through their art, beer pong contests, and more.


Whichever event you attend, remember to pace yourself and drink responsibly. To find accommodations at any of these events, let AllTheRooms help you with everything you need.  

Rebecca is a recent DC college grad who left the city of eternal brunch for the city of eternal spring to become a content writer at AllTheRooms in Medellin, Colombia. Likes include puppies, hiking, books, and fighting injustice. Dislikes include spiders.

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