The Biggest Beer Festivals In The United States This Summer (And Why You Should Visit Each)

The classic road trip is as American as apple pie, the designated hitter, spray cheese, and treating pets like they’re children. Road trip season means school is over (even if you technically graduated years ago) and there’s nothing on the horizon to worry about except where the next rest area is located so you can stock up on beef jerky, energy drinks, and Flaming Hot Cheetos.

If you’re road-tripping this summer, where better to end up than one of America’s many beer festivals? Trips that end with a frosty IPA, lager, or pilsner are pretty damn tough to beat. Below, we’ve uncovered, the greatest, beer-filled festivals from Washington to Littlerock, California, and everywhere in between running from late June to the end of August.

SAVOR Craft Beer Festival (Washington DC): June 24

SAVOR
SAVOR

If you happen to live in Washington, DC or you’re willing to travel there via car or plane, you should take time to attend the SAVOR Craft Beer Festival on June 24th. The event features a combination of brewing and culinary experiences featuring more than 100 different craft breweries from all over the US.

Here you can sample over 200 different beers. The best part? They’re all paired with small plates of delicious food.

Why you should go:

While many beer festivals are centered solely on the beer with potentially a soft pretzel or hot dog to wash it down. This festival is both a beer fest and a culinary festival.

For more information, visit the official site here.

WeldWerks Invitational (Greeley, Colorado): June 25

WeldWerks
WeldWerks

Weldwerks is a big name in the craft beer world dropping notable beers like its iconic Juicy Bits. It’s no surprise that the Colorado-based brewery would throw an annual beer festival. June 25th is the 3rd iteration of the event. For $110 you get a commemorative tasting glass to hide in your cupboard, forget about, and never use again. But before that, you get to sample more than 120 beers from 47 different breweries.

There will be food trucks on the scene and 100% of the proceeds go to charity. So that’s pretty dang cool.

Why you should go:

Many beer fans take a trip to Colorado just to visit breweries. Greeley, Colorado’s Weldwerks is one of the best. Taste them alongside scores of others at this festival.

For more information, visit the official site here.

Smuttynose Beach and Brew Fest (Hampton Beach, New Hampshire): June 26

Smuttynose
Smuttynose

There are few places more worthy of a road trip than coastal New England in the summer. If the beaches, quaint towns, and scenic views weren’t enough, Smuttynose is sponsoring a beer festival in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire on June 26th. The event, sponsored by the iconic brewery and the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce features more than fifteen breweries, various food trucks, and live music.

That’s the kind of beach party worth road-tripping to if you ask us.

Why you should go:

As if you needed a reason to visit coastal New England in the summer. A trip to this beer festival will be a welcome respite from roadside pie stands, quirky antique stores, and stuffing your face with lobster rolls.

For more information, visit the official site here.

Michigan Brewers Guild Summer Festival (Ypsilanti, Michigan): July 22 – July 23

Michigan Brewers Guild
Michigan Brewers Guild

If your summer road trip takes you anywhere near Michigan, it would behoove you to set aside some time to attend the Michigan Brewer’s Guild Summer Festival in Ypsilanti. Celebrating its 23rd year, this riverside festival features hundreds of beers, lots of different foods, and live music from a slew of Michigan-based bands. It’s a two-day event so if you want you can stop by for one day or just make a whole weekend out of it and sip the frosty brews and listen to the tasty beats for two straight days.

Why you should go:

Michigan is a beer-lover’s paradise. It’s also one of the greatest summer destinations on the Great Lakes. Enjoy the beauty of a Michigan summer while you sample some of the best beers the state (and other states) have to offer.

For more information, visit the official site here.

Great Arkansas Beer Festival (Little Rock, Arkansas): July 23

beer cups
istock

Arkansas might not be the first state you envision when you think of craft beer, but the Great Arkansas Beer Festival in Little Rock is trying to change that view. This event consists of a mix of Arkansas-based breweries as well as breweries from other southern states. Meet the brewers trying to put Arkansas on the brewing map for only $30 in advance and $40 the day of. In case you have a taste for something a little boozier, there’s also a Margarita Festival (also at the Statehouse Convention Center) on the same day.

Why you should go:

Arkansas isn’t currently a beer destination, but the southern state is a great stop on your summer road trip. Plus, what could be better than a dual festival of beers and margaritas?

For more information, visit the official site here.

Oregon Brewers Festival (Portland, Oregon): July 28 – July 30

Oregon Brewers Festival
Oregon Brewers Festival

While Arkansas isn’t known for its brewing prowess, Oregon absolutely is. That’s why, if you’re anywhere near Portland at the end of July, you should stop by the Oregon Brewers Festival. Returning after being on hiatus for the last two years, this three-day event features more than forty breweries as well as some hard cideries and various food vendors. While it’s free to enter the event, you need to purchase mugs and tickets to sample the beer.

Why you should go:

Oregon is a great state for beer so you know the Oregon Brewers Guild knows how to throw a soiree. It’s worth the trip just to enjoy Portland, one of the best food cities in America. As a bonus, the festival is taking place along the Willamette River and features scenic views of the city.

For more information, visit the official site here.

Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza (Mammoth Lakes, California) August 4-7

Mammoth Festival
Mammoth Festival

By early August, the summer festival scene is starting to wind down. Luckily, the summer itself isn’t. What could be better than a beer and music festival in a mountain resort town in the middle of summer? We can’t think of anything. The Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza features beer from more than 80 different California-based breweries as well as music from Trombone Shorty, Taj Mahal, and others.

Why you should go:

Blues music (and other music) and beer are enough for us to want to get tickets to this California beer festival. On top of that, its setting is the beautiful resort town of Mammoth Lakes.

For more information, visit the official site here.

Barrel & Flow Fest (Pittsburgh): August 13

Barrel & Flow Fest
Barrel & Flow Fest

If you find yourself in or near Pittsburgh on August 13th, we suggest you buy tickets to Barrel & Flow. Barrel & Flow isn’t just a beer festival though. While there will be a lot of beer from amazing, talented brewers, it’s a way to connect the world of craft brewing while being an inclusive showcase of Black breweries (as well as many other breweries), businesses, and artists. So, instead of simply sipping some delicious, frothy beer from well over a hundred well-known breweries, you’ll also get to be immersed in a world of music, art, food, and culture.

Why you should go:

Many beer festivals don’t have much substance besides serving delicious brews and giving patrons a nice buzz. Barrel & Flow Fest is different. It’s a showcase of Black breweries, music, art, culture, and non-profit organizations in an industry that is taking important steps toward diversity.

For more information, visit the official site here.

Extreme Beer Fest (Richmond, California): August 26-August 27

brew fest
istock

Why not end the summer on an extreme note, right? Who says summer needs to fade away. We prefer to end with a bang. A bang of over-the-top beers. This two-day festival thrown by BeerAdvocate and Dogfish Head Brewery features boundary-pushing, extreme, and unique beers.

We’re talking 150 or more beers from 50 plus breweries from all over the country. So, if you’re into that sort of thing and you live around the Bay Area or want to drive there, this is the festival for you.

Why you should go:

With a name like Extreme Beer Fest you must know this isn’t the usual, fun-of-the-mill beer festival. This is a showcase of wacky, mad-scientist brewers who are pushing the limits of what beer should taste like. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?

For more information, visit the official site here.

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