A Year in Beer - 14 Awesome World Beer Festivals
What? What's that you say? Something about the year of light and light technologies? No, you must be mistaken. This year, it's all about beer.
If you share our enthusiasm for the amber brew, you'd be remiss not to check out our year-long guide to the best beer festivals of the world. (Brace yourselves for May and October – things could get messy.)
Great Alaskan Beer and Barley Wine Festival, Anchorage, Alaska, USA
We're easing into the year of beer with a small regional festival - the 21st Annual Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine festival. Because Alaska is beautiful. And you get your own commemorative glass to keep. Straight to the mantelpiece.
BAB Bruges Bierfestival, Belgium
Bruges takes its beer seriously. This year they are installing an underground beer pipeline to transport beer through the medieval city. A beer pipeline – now, that's real commitment. Get amongst this beer filled tour with all the best amber brew Bruges has to offer.
Great Kiwi Beer Festival, Christchurch, NZ
A day-long outdoor beer party in Christchurch's Hagley Park. This year Pseudo Echo are playing. Funky Town. Nuff said.
Festiwal Dobrego Piwa, Wroclaw, Poland
You might have noticed that we skipped April. Even the hardiest beer drinker needs some time off to prepare for May. Combine the Polish 'Festival of Good Beer' with the Cesky Pivni Festival and have a bumper beer month. The Good Beer festival is massive – with 80,000 people attending last year, it's the third biggest beer festival in Europe.
Český Pivní Festival, Prague, Czech Republic
It's a beer festival. It's 17 days long. It's in Prague. What's not to love.
Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Oregon, USA
'America's only annual fruit beer fest' features beer made from passionfruit, cherries, pears, rhubarb and more. Many of the beers are made especially for the festival. Which kind of begs the question – aren't they good enough to make at other times? (The answer is yes: they are weirdly delicious.)
Seven Sisters Craft Beer and Music Fest, California's central coast, USA
A three-day camping, music and beer festival on California's coast. Fill your glass with a designer brew, sit back in your camp chair and chill out, California-style. For three days.
Great British Beer Festival, London, UK
Head to Olympia Exhibition Centre in West Kensington for the UK's largest beer festival. 450 British beers, 200 foreign beers and traditional British cider and perry. While in West Kensington, you can also drop by Queen's old share flat (that's the band, not the majesty).
Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany
The mother of all beer festivals, Germany's Oktoberfest is actually a traditional folk festival. But when 6.7 million litres of beer are served, we think you can safely call it a beer festival. For those interested in this years festivities, we can get you there with the help of our mates at Topdeck. Check out the 4 day Festmeister tour or for those who can withstand 7 days of drinking, look no further than the Grossmeister tour!
Oktoberfest of Blumenau, Brazil
Modelled on the Munich festival, this one is Latin America's biggest. It features the handsomely named 'National Competition of Chopp in Meter Drinkers'. The first person to drink one metre of beer (that's 600ml in a metre long glass) without pausing or drooling wins. We approve of any competition where drooling is not allowed.
BierFest, South Africa
A travelling beer festival, visiting Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, BierFest has a proudly German heritage, complete with frauleins, Bavarian food and an Oompah band. Wunderbar, ja!
Kerstbierfestival, Essen, Belgium
This Christmas beer festival is a staunchly Belgian affair, with a serious showcase of over 200 Belgian beers - served with beef stew, sausage, cheese and soup. One of the few festivals with no entry fee, this event is getting bigger each year. It's an event for the earnestly-nerdy Belgian beer enthusiast (and anyone still standing in December).
So there you have it – a year of beer. Enough to keep you busy. When you are planning your next trip, try to squeeze in a beer festival. Or two. There's no need to go thirsty.
Talk to us for more travelling and beer advice and inspiration.