We're not trying to cause a brew-haha, but your summer plans should include attending at least one beer festival.
We picked six across the country (including one with seven stops, NBD) for you to get sudsy at. Just try to take it two ounces at a time.
North Fork Craft Beer, BBQ, and Wine Festival
Why limit yourself to beer? Your ticket to this fest, taking place on August 9 on Long Island, New York, gets you a barbecue sandwich and side dish to pair with pours from more than 50 craft breweries and tastes of award-winning local wines. Participants include Blue Point Brewing Company, Long Ireland Brewing Company, Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard and more. $60 for general admission.
Beer Camp Across America Festival
Why not take the show on the road? Starting in Chico, California, this tour--which invited every craft brewer in America to participate--makes stops in San Diego; Denver; Chicago; Philadelphia; Portland, Maine; and Mills River, North Carolina. Buy a pass for all seven cities or get a single ticket to any of the festivals. Check out the individual festival pages to see who's pouring what, and start planning your road trip (remember to have a designated driver!). $65 for one stop, $400 for the whole tour.
St. Paul Summer Beer Fest
Is the Midwest best? This outdoor fest in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 7 has samplings from more than 100 brewers, two stages with live music (bluegrass, brass, country), seminars for beer snobs and a special commemorative glass you'll probably drunkenly leave there. Let's be honest. $40 for general admission.
Portland Brew Festival
End your summer in Maine with brews and buds over Labor Day. The fourth annual festival promises more than 40 breweries with 110-plus varietals. The list is evolving, but we're looking forward to Rising Tide Brewery: Its Maine Island Trail Ale is great for day drinking (4.3%) and will be available in 16-ounce cans in Maine all summer long. There are four sessions (Friday and Saturday, day or night), but we suggest attending the Saturday day session in order to happily buzz around the city afterward. $37 for general admission.
Oregon Brewers Fest
There's no time like July 23 through 27 to celebrate the 27th annual gathering of this festival in Portland, Oregon, where you can sample more than 80 craft brews with the Portland skyline as your backdrop. More than 80,000 happy drinkers typically roll through this event, and you'll also find live music, home brewing demos and a number of local food vendors. $7 for general admission plus $1 for every token to taste.
Great American Beer Festival
Don't stop now. Keep it going into fall with this fest, happening October 2-4 in Denver, which pits brewers against each other in a blind taste competition to win a coveted GABF medal. Attendees can sip the entries during tasting sessions. The festival is organized into regions and will be the largest collection of domestic beer ever served, so make sure to get a good base going beforehand. $80 for general admission.
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