Festivals, festivals, festivals, they are endlessly occurring throughout the year in our cities, we try to attend some, but there seems to be too many. Even worse, we attend those festivals where we only get served beer out of the bottle that we can pick up at our local grocer or bottle shop. However, there are also those festivals that blow us away with all of their unique, once in a lifetime offerings. So, we must beware: not all beer festivals are created equally. Whether they be the world’s largest, most unique, or most historical, here is a list of 30 festivals from around the world that are worth your time and attention:
The world’s largest beer festival: lagers, bratwurst, and men and women all adorned in their Trachten (traditional garb). 16 days and sixteen million people annually, this is a must go-to event for any devoted beer fan.
This festival will push through foot traffic that is upwards over 50,000 people. This festival is put on by Great Britain’s Campaign for Real Ale and features over 900 casks, plus cider and imported beer from around the world.
Featuring over 3,500 beers from over 700 breweries, if you are a beer aficionado, you must attend this festival. GABF is being held from October 6-8 this year and is the American beer festival destination for any craft beer lover.
Featuring hundreds of beers, Brewtopia is a two-day festival in New York, which will be visited by nearly 15,000 attendees.
Featuring the best of the best from Vermont, Vermont’s Brewers festival is located at the scenic Waterfront Park in Burlington. There will be 45+ breweries in attendance all bringing their best libations for you to sample.
Featuring many breweries from New Zealand, this festival takes place at the end of March and has nearly 100 beers on tap.
Featuring 200 breweries and close to 650 different beers, Mondial de le Biere is Canada’s largest beer festival.
Sometimes referred to as the Stuttgart Beer Festival, Constatter Volkfest is a three-week long beer festival and traveling fair. 7 giant beer tents, 73 fair stands, 95 food stands, 60 market stalls, and, of course, a boxing show, this festival attracted over 4 million people in 2006.
Featuring 300 Belgian beers, from Pilsners, to Lambics, to Abbey ales this takes over the Brussels Marketplace. During the first weekend of September, go celebrate the beers of Belgium!
Over 80,000 beer lovers flock to this Portland festival each year. Over 80 breweries from around the nation and over 30 different styles of beer make this festival a great late July trip.
Music, food and beer. Featuring over 50 boutique style beers, Bitter and Twisted is a guaranteed good time. Be sure to check out the Sunday Homebrew Session.
“Come for a beer, stay for a day.” Shanghai International Beer Festival attracts over 35,000 visitors and is a great place to connect with breweries, microbreweries and distributors—over 20 countries are represented by the 250+ breweries.
The Festival is presented by the Shelton Brothers. This festival changes location each year, but exemplifies some of the best artisanal breweries in the world. Featuring 80+ breweries, you will have a chance to sample Cantillon, Other Half, Tired Hands, Mikkeller and more.
Another wonderful event sponsored by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), Peterborough Beer Festival features over 150 breweries and 200+ draught beers (but don’t forget the bottles, ciders and wine bar!).
Celebrating their 43rd annual festival, Cambridge beer festival boasts as being one of the largest regional beer festivals in the UK. To be paired with the wide aray of ales and ciders is CAMRA’s cheese counter, which features many artisanal cheeses and locally produced foods.
Unlike many British beer festivals, Rotherham’s is not organized by CAMRA. This festival features 250+ beers and over 80 different types of Cider, Perry, Wine and Lager.
Over 460 Real Ales and more than 100 Ciders, York Beer & Cider Festival pulled in thousands of visitors. Hang out in the beer garden and drink a few pints—or 1/3 pints if you will.
This year will mark the 37th annual Warwick University Real Ale Festival. With over 120 British Ales and 50+ Ciders, you are sure to be entertained. Also, if you are a CAMRA member, then you are allowed free entry on Saturday.
Festival of Good beer is the largest beer festival in Poland and one of the largest in Europe. Not only will there be plenty of great beer from Poland and around the world to be sampled, the festival is packed with great seminars that explain beer history and even teach you how to brew beer yourself.
Grovetoberfest is Florida’s largest beer festival and attracts more than 6,500 people, however once the 6,500 limit is reached, then you must wait your turn to get in. Located on the waterfront in Coconut Grove, be sure to get your ticket quick and arrive on time so you can enjoy the 300+ beers that are made available to you.
The Brazilian Beer Festival is the largest beer fest in Brazil, sporting over 600 different beers for you to sample, this event will keep you entertained with music, live events and more.
Held every February, Bruges Beer Festival showcases 80+ Belgian breweries and over 300 libations. Located in the ‘Venice of the North,’ wander the beautiful streets of Bruges and sample Belgian Beers to your heart’s content.
Featuring over 250 beers and over 150 breweries, this summer festival will be sure to quench your thirst. Be sure to check out the 100+ beers that are unique to the festival.
Photo credit: u/randomst
This festival, put on by the legendary Mikeller, features world class breweries. From Hill Farmstead, The Rare Barrell, To Øl, to Oud Beersel, this is an event that you do not want to miss. It is even coming to Boston this fall.
This festival celebrating Plzen’s beer has been going on for 200 years. For two days you will find live music around every corner and clean, crisp Saaz-hopped Pilsner.
Feeling cold? Hop over to Manchester in late January and warm yourself up with a few pints of Real Ale.
This year’s Savor will feature 76 breweries (20% of who won awards at the World Beer Cup). You do not want to miss this event, perfectly paired food and beer. Come hungry—and thirsty!
Photo credit: u/rabblerouzr
Featuring close to 100 breweries and 300 barrel aged beers, Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer is the biggest festival that is solely dedicated to beer that has spent time in contact with wood. Love Sour Ales? Love Bourbon Stouts? Love boozy, oaked Barleywines? Then this is your festival.
Translated to Sun in a Glass, this International Plzen festival features over 150 beers. This fun loving arts festival features local bands and local artists. However, beware if you drink too much, there are volunteers who walk around with breathalyzers and if you read too high, then you will have a sticker placed on your forehead reading your blood alcohol content.