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Top 6 Craft Beer Festivals in the United States

Some people drink beer after a hard day’s work in order to relax and unwind, some  are just weekend warriors  or every day “warriors” for that matter. For others, it’s an art. They worship its existence and treat it as the divine nectar that it is. They don’t drink it just to get a buzz, but enjoy its taste and scrutinize its qualities as much as others may do with fine wine.

For these people, beer festivals are no different than a religious pilgrimage. With so many beer festivals held throughout the country, here are a few to put on your list.

Vermont Brewers Festival
Vermont Brewers Festival is a dream come true for beer fans in the North East. With over 30 craft beer breweries in the state (the most in any state), visitors will get to enjoy an intense variety of local brews and get to meet the brewers. The beautiful location, the Burlington Waterfront Park located on the coast of Lake Champlain, gives the festival goers a unique experience. Visitors looking to be educated in the field of beer will be enthused to know that the festival holds various workshops on beer subjects. Earning an entrance to the event is incredibly competitive; in 2014, the entire festival (8,400 tickets) had sold out within 11 minutes, so consider yourself blessed if do get the chance of experiencing it.

It should be no surprise that one of the best craft beer festivals takes place in Cincinnati; historically, it was America’s most copious beer brewing cities in the 1800’s. More than just a beer festival, Bockfest is a 3 day celebration of the community.

Heading into its 23rd year, Bockfest begins with a parade that winds through the neighborhood and  ends at Bockfest Hall which is where all the fun begins. Unlike most craft beer festivals that are confined into one area, a good portion of the event actually takes place all over the downtown Cincinnati; this means, that most of city turns into a party (approximately 6,000 people attend the festival). Doing so allows local businesses a chance to participate, which caters to the Bockfest philosophy. The main fun however, is to be had at the Bockfest Hall; participants get to indulge in a wide array of local bock beer, food, and music throughout the 3 days. There is also a 5k, historical tours, exhibitions, and fun Bockfest traditions to partake in.

Whoever said beer is not classy has never heard of SAVOR. SAVOR puts an elegant spin on craft beer festivals; not only do visitors enjoy distinctive brews, but the brews are paired with gourmet foods to enhance the experience. The diverse amount of beer and food pairing is guaranteed to please the most discerning palate and is the underlined attribute of this event. Brewers from over 25 states covering all regions of the country bring their delicious beers for tasting; over 76 American craft breweries entered the event in 2014. Visitors here also get to interact and have one-on-ones with the brewers which is something not offered at most events like these. The 2015 SAVOR event will be taking place on June 5th and 6th in Washington D.C.

Oregon Brewers Festival (Oregon Brewfest)
Celebrating its 28th  year in 2015, the Oregon Brewfest is one of the biggest craft beer festivals on the west coast. The festival showcases over 80 craft beers coming from all over the country and another 100 in its specialty tent. The event is visited by over 85,000 beer-lovers over the span of 5 hot July days and features award winning craft beers and a great environment. Entrance to the event is free and the cost of beer is extremely affordable, just make sure you bring a designated driver!

Oktoberfest Zinzannati
It is every beer fanatic’s dream to experience the Oktoberfest. But, if going to Germany is not an option for you, then perhaps the one held annually in Cincinnati will suffice ( but by no means should it be considered a compromise). Hosted by Sam Adams, the Oktoberfest Zinzannati is the biggest Oktoberfest in America serving over 1.6 million ounces of beer in the three day span by over half a million drinkers. Although you are not going to be enchanted by a crazy variety of beers (because there really aren’t that many options), the atmosphere of the event will more than certainly make up. The event has the German feel the original Oktoberfest with the games, food, and music that is offered.

The Great American Beerfest
Started in 1982, the Great American Beerfest held annually in Denver, Colorado over the span of three days is the Mecca for all the beer fanatics. The event offers the widest amount of craft beers ever seen in public beer tasting events to its visitors; about 1600 different American beers are available to be sampled! More than the visitors, this is also a place for the brewers to get an official approval for their creation; a panel of professional beer tasting judges award gold, silver, and bronze to master brewers in different categories – although, the real winners are still the visitors. The festival holds a slew of workshops that beer-lovers are going to love.

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Travel Magazine: Top 6 Craft Beer Festivals in the United States
Top 6 Craft Beer Festivals in the United States
Travel Magazine
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