’Tis the season for enjoying craft beers in their best light: with good company, at a barbecue, on an outdoor terrace, or at a festival. Summer is upon us, and though great beer can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere, there’s nothing like coming full-circle of appreciation for beer artisans quite like a craft brew celebration.
To celebrate these community (and, of course, beer) focused events, Foodable WebTV host Kerry Finsand of our new, soon-to-launch craft beer show, “Beer Artisan,” has prepared for us five upcoming beer events to put on your calendar.
Meet the Host
Founder of Taplister, Finsand now works as a consultant for the company and stays active in the brew community through regular radio appearances, speaking engagements, creation of beer events (disclaimer: he is on the Portland Beer Week Board), and, of course, by sampling some of the best beers in the world. Fun Fact: He was also one of five people named by Mix Magazine for “Reinventing the Joy of Drinking Beer.” Yup, we’ll cheers to that.
5 Upcoming Beer Events Not to Miss
In order of occurrence, here are Finsand’s suggestions for 5 upcoming beer events you shouldn’t miss:
Portland (PDX) Beer Week, June 11th-21st
As mentioned above, Finsand is a Board Member for Portland Beer Week. However, in our opinion, you really can’t go wrong with a beer festival of any kind in Portland. After all, in 2014, oregoncraftbeer.org reported there are 179 breweries in Oregon, a state leading the U.S. in percentage of dollars spent on craft beer. Portland Beer Week is a grassroots organization with an event that doesn’t actually last for a week, but 11 days! Better work up your appetite. Events taking place over #PDXBeerWeek include (but are not limited to): tap takeovers, beer pairings, blind tastings, showcases and mini-festivals. Get more info here.
Vermont Brewers Festival, July 17th-18th
Vermont Brewers Festival, a 20+-year-old, two-day event with a lake view at Burlington Waterfront Park, is a celebration of roughly 50 different brewers, including Magic Hat, Allagash, Stone Brewing Co., and Frost Beer Works. As its website states, the event’s purpose is to celebrate artisan craft beers & the brewers who brew them. “Burlington’s got a group of people here that are really interested in high-quality products and really care about where the ingredients and where the materials are coming from,” says Eric Lampman, R&D Manager at Lake Champlain Chocolates. “And that craftsmanship is really important to people because it represents Vermont.” If you’re heading to the Vermont Brewers Festival, make sure to check out the “Meet the Brewer” tent. Get more info on the festival here.
Oregon Brewers Festival, July 22nd-26th
Going on its 28th year, the annual Oregon Brewers Festival features 90 different craft beers from all around the U.S. Looking for something more international? There’s a tent for that. Located at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, this event rests alongside the banks of the Willamette River with great PDX views that are perfect to pair with a good pour. Oregon Brewers Festival, which always falls on the last full weekend of July, pretty much caters to all beer lovers — from those easing into craft beer looking to explore some new varieties (or stick to what they like) to the more adventurous, educated palate. In addition to sampling, the festival features live music, home brewing demos, a variety of food vendors, and more. Get more info here.
Summer Brew Fest, July 24th-25th
Located in Denver at the Mile High Station, Summer Brew Fest features nearly 100 brewers from Colorado and all across the nation, including Twisted Pine Brewing Co., Elevation Beer Co., Jagged Mountain, Alpine Dog, Lagunitas, and Sam Adams. Now an annual event, Summer Brew Fest was started up by a group of friends who became inspired after working a beer tent at Bonnaroo in 2004 (they go by RightOn Productions, LLC). The Brew Fest, which also features a winter festival (Winter Brew Fest, naturally), will soon expand its celebrations to San Diego. This year’s Summer Brew Fest will feature, in addition to a ton of brewers, live music and food, and proceeds benefit Swallow Hill Music. Get more info here.
Great Taste of the Midwest, August 8th
Held at Olin Park in Madison, Wisconsin, overlooking Lake Monona, Great Taste of the Midwest is officially sold out this year, but it’s worth noting. An annual event that has been around for 29 years now by the Madison Home Brewers and Tasters Guild, Great Taste of the Midwest spotlights more than 150 Midwest craft brewers. It is the second longest-running craft beer festival in North America. With more than 1,000 beers this year alone, in addition to local food vendors and acoustic music sets, it’s no wonder this event has become such a popular one, especially with the locals. Get more info here.
Which beer festivals & events are you most looking forward to this year?