There’s no shortage of opportunities to sample local craft beer in the tri-state area this summer. From small, one-of-a-kind festivals to large, commercial events, there’s a beer festival for every type of drinker and palate. Whether you favour tasting dozens of different beers in a single day or narrowing your focus on finding winners at a more selective event.
Saratoga Brew Week
If you’re looking for a beer festival in the spring that caters to both beer enthusiasts and beginners, look no further than Saratoga Brew Week. The week-long event, which runs from March 28 through April 3, brings together nearly 200 brewers, wineries, and cideries for the first-ever collaborative beer festival in the country.
The event features interactive demonstrations, seminars, and tastings from more than 50 food, wine, and beer vendors. Plus, each day of the festival features a different theme, so there’s plenty to explore.
The event is completely free, and attendees can taste, try, and buy samples of nearly 1,000 different beers. In addition, Saratoga Brew Week features live music, a kids’ zone, and a dog-friendly zone. The event is a great way to spend a week in the spring exploring the best local restaurants and breweries.
St. Louis Beer Fest
St. Louis has become one of the country’s premier beer destinations thanks to its love for craft beer and commitment to serving up delicious local fare. The city’s St. Louis Beer Fest celebrates both of those things. The event, which takes place in mid-June, features more than 200 breweries from around the world and more than 50 local food vendors.
Attendees can sip on a variety of classic styles, try limited releases and specialities from the best local breweries, and enjoy live music from St. Louis’ best bands. The festival is family-friendly, affordable, and pet-friendly, so it’s a great event for beer lovers and foodies of all ages.
Summer Ale Festival
Summer ale festivals celebrate the transition of summer into autumn by highlighting the best ales in the region. Summer Ale Festivals feature local breweries and wineries, live entertainment, and food vendors. The event typically features more than 50 different regional ales, including a few rare and speciality beers.
Plus, the event typically includes a variety of educational seminars related to the brewing process. Summer Ale Festivals are typically smaller than other beer festivals and are great for those who want to sample different beers in a relaxed setting.
New York City Wine and Food Festival
NYC Wine and Food Festival is one of the city’s most popular events. The festival, which takes place in early September, highlights the best wines and foods from around the world and the state of New York.
The event, which is held at the New York City Center, features more than 300 different wines from more than 60 different vintners, as well as more than 300 different foods from more than 75 different local and international vendors.
NYC Wine & Food Festival is also one of the city’s most affordable beer festivals. The festival is organized by a non-profit organization and is held in a public park, so attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and low-rise chairs to make the most of the outdoor setting.
Autumn Brewfests showcase New York’s local breweries and wineries, while also highlighting the best beers in the region. The event takes place in October and is organized by the New York State Brewer’s Association and New York State Liquor Authority.
Autumn Brewfests feature more than 100 different beers and ciders from more than 50 different breweries and wineries. In addition to tasting the best beers and ciders, attendees can enjoy live music and food from local restaurants and vendors. Autumn Brewfests are great for beer and food lovers of all types and are held in a public setting, so it’s a low-cost way to enjoy the region’s fall colours.
Hopfest in Syracuse, NY
New York is known for many things, and one of those things is craft beer. Hopfest, which will be returning for its 10th year, is one of the state’s beer festivals that will help you explore the local beer scene in Syracuse. The festival, which is held at Skidmore College’s Saratoga Springs Campus, has now become known as the ‘must-visit’ beer festival in the region, and for good reason.
Hopfest draws in some of the most talented brewers from the region, and this year’s lineup is no different. You’ll get to sample beers from breweries like DryHop, Cazamations, Empire Brewing, and many more. If you’re visiting Syracuse in the summer, you’re in luck, as there are plenty of other great beer events in the area.
You can also head just outside of Syracuse to visit the Craft Brewers Conference, which is held in Saratoga Springs each year. The city is a great destination for beer lovers, and you’ll find plenty of things to do when you’re there, along with great beer events.
Cooperstown Beer Festival in Cooperstown, NY
There’s a reason that Cooperstown has been listed as one of The Great American Beer Towns, and that reason is the annual beer festival held in the Village of Cooperstown. The Cooperstown Beer Festival is one of the largest beer festivals in the country, with over 200 breweries and over 60 different styles of beer being served. The festival also has a strong focus on local beer and you’ll find beers from breweries like Otter Creek and other nearby towns.
There are also plenty of food trucks and local vendors at the festival, so you can pair your beer with something to eat. If you’re staying in the area, another great beer festival to attend is the Saratoga Brewfest. The two-day festival has over 50 breweries participating, while also featuring food trucks and local vendors to pair your beer with.
MKE Beerfest in Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee is quickly becoming a hotbed for craft beer and you can get your taste buds on everything local at the MKE Beerfest. The festival is held in a giant park in the city and features over 140 breweries from across the country.
You’ll get to sample nearly every style of beer you can think of while exploring the beer tents and booths that are set up in the park. If you’re interested in beer educational sessions and meeting the brewers, this is the perfect festival for you.
If you’re visiting the area in the summer, you don’t have to miss out on the other great beer festivals in the region. You can head to the Hoppy Brew Fest in Des Moines or the Central Illinois Craft Beer Festival. Both festivals are held in cities not too far from Milwaukee and feature many of the same breweries as the MKE Beerfest.
August Busking Brunch Series: Berlin Town Shakeup Edition
The Berlin Town Shakeup Edition of the August Busking Brunch Series has been made famous by their event in the German village of Berlin, Wisconsin. This edition features a new restaurant and bar in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is a great way to explore the city while enjoying great beer.
The new restaurant is called the Biergarten, and they specialize in German beer, as well as food bound to pair well with beer. You can expect a great crowd at the Biergarten, as they often reach capacity during peak times, so show up early if you want to get a table.
If you’d like even more variety for your brunch, stop at the Third Street Brewpub before you head to the Biergarten. They have a great brunch menu, and a wide variety of beers to choose from.
September Busking Brunch Series: German Foodie Weekend Edition
If you’d like to try some German food, but would prefer to visit a different city, the German Foodie Weekend Edition is for you. This edition features a new restaurant and bar in Chicago, Illinois, and is a good way to sample some great German food without spending a lot of time in the city.
The restaurant that is featured in this edition is called the Schuby, and they specialize in Bavarian food and beer. If you’re visiting Chicago during the week, you can also visit the Union Station, which has free admission and is a great place to explore the city.
With so many festivals to choose from, it’s hard to tell which ones are worth attending. To make things easier, we’ve outlined the best beer festivals in the tri-state area this spring and summer. From small, one-of-a-kind festivals to large, commercial events, there’s a beer festival for every type of drinker and palate.