[OSBURN ON TAP] Beer Festivals

So you’re not much of a beer drinker, eh? Is it because all you know about the frothy stuff is fizzy, yellow, mass produced water beer full of corn and rice?  Don’t you worry, there’s still hope for you to join the ranks of the beer drinkers and possibly even the beer enthusiasts. But how can you do this without buying dozens of pricey six-packs of craft brews in an attempt to find your favorite? The easiest way is to try a lot of different brews from as many breweries as possible in a short period of time. Where would one accomplish such a Herculean task? At a beer festival, that’s where.

Beer festivals are not just for the beer snobs anymore (although you’ll have to keep your eye out for them and do your best to avoid engaging them for fear of being bored to death). Beer festivals are a great way to get out and try samples of many different beers and find the one(s) that you like the best. I found one of my favorite beers, Southern Tier’s Phin and Matt’s Extraordinary Ale, at a beer festival a few years ago. The same goes for Stone’s Arrogant Bastard Ale. Beer festivals are extremely popular this time of year, and chances are there is a festival within driving distance or even possibly in your own city.

To help you out, here’s a national (and UK, Canada, and Australia) list, thanks to the folks at Beeradvocate.com, of some of the upcoming beer festivals. Check it out and see if any are coming to your area:

August 28th

-Fifth Annual Hop Fest (Seattle, WA)

-Eat Real Festival (Oakland, CA)

-Whitstock Beer and Music Festival (Hampshire, England)

August 29th

-11th annual Alefest Dayton (Dayton, OH)

-1st annual Oregon Indie Beer Festival (Portland, OR)

-2009 Spring Foam Festival (Colorado Springs, CO)

-Dauphin Street Beer Festival (Mobile, AL)

-Drake’s Folly Beer Festival (Titusville, PA)

-Foamfest 2009 (Pueblo, CO)

-Golden Tap Awards (Toronto, ON, CA)

-Hops in Humboldt (Fortuna, CA)

-Muskoka Beer Festival (Bracebridge, ON, CA)

-Platte River Parkway Fall Festival (Casper, WY)

August 30th

-11th annual San Juan Brew Fest (Durango, CO)

-Orange County Beer Festival (Silverado, CA)

September 4th

-7th annual Great World Beer Festival (New York, NY)

-Lexington Fest-Of-Ales (Lexington, KY)

-Otter Creek Harvest Festival (Middlebury, VT)

-Party of a Century and a Half (Philadelphia, PA)

September 5th

-Ithaca Brew Fest (Ithaca, NY)

-Brews and Bites 2009 (San Luis Obispo, CA)

-Cannstatter Volkfest (Philadelphia, PA)

-High Country Beer Fest (Boone, NC)

-Savannah Craft Brew Fest (Savannah, GA)

-Mount Snow Brewers’ Fest (West Dover, VT)

September 10th

-2nd Hinckley CAMRA Beer Festival (Hinkley, EN, UK)

-Emerald Coast Beer Festival (Pensacola, FL)

-Oktoberfest Brisbane (Brisbane, AU)

September 11th

-Great Canadian Beer Festival (Victoria, BC, CA)

-Hop Harvest Festival (North Ridgeville, OH)

September 12th

-2nd annual Real Ale Festival (Bel Air, MD)

-7th annual Thirsty Troll Brew Fest ((Mount Horeb, WI)

-Brass City Brew Fest (Waterbury, CT)

-Cask Ale Festival (New York, NY)

-Clearwater Beer Festival (Altoona, WI)

-GonzoFest (Frederick, MD)

-Little Woody Barrel Aged Brew Festival (Bend, OR)

-Steel City Big Pour (Pittsburgh, PA)

-Wicked Wine and Beer Fest (Litchfield, NH)

Check out http://beeradvocate.com/events/calendar for a more thorough list and search for festivals and events in your area in the upcoming months.

If you find one near you, I strongly suggest checking it out. Most are only $20-30 and come with a complimentary sample glass. Most have food available to purchase since it’s best to line your belly before (and during) your beer sampling journey. Also, as always, it’s best to have a designated driver. I am always in favor of not letting your imbibing get out of hand, but after a few hours of sampling, no one should risk the safety of themselves or anyone else.

If you do attend any festivals in the coming weeks and months, please throw me an email cosburn@thefatherlife.com and tell me about your experience. Until next time, happy sampling!

Image credit: Steve Woods

4 thoughts on “[OSBURN ON TAP] Beer Festivals

  1. Chris – what does the $20-$30 get you besides a glass? I assume there must be a cap on the # of times you can refill the glass. Or do you pay per sample and the entrance fee is the $20?

  2. I’ve never been beer festival (That wasn’t just one brewery) where they HAD a cap on the amount of samples you can get. It’s pretty much all you can drink. The glass is fairly small, like the size of maybe three shot glasses.

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