The Top Beer Festivals in the Country
The weather is starting to warm up, and craft beer lovers are uniting all over the country for some of the best beer festivals the states has to offer. Every year, another great event seems to be added to the American roster.
As a bar owner, attending festivals is a great way to sample new flavors and styles; while mingling and meeting industry contacts. Whether you are newer to the craft or a seasoned vet, there is something for everyone this year!
The term “Bock” means “Goat” in certain German dialects and that’s exactly where bock beer and the festival, get their name. Goats play a prominent role in this beerfest, and it is held each year to celebrate the coming of spring.
Besides attending a parade led by a keg-pulling goat, you can sample dozens of different types of bock beer, take a historical brewery tour in Over-the-Rhine, and help crown the sausage queen. With tons of activity, this is a great excuse to bring your friends and mix business, with pleasure.
Celebrating their 21st year, this festival is one of the southeast’s longest running craft beer festivals. It culminates at the end of Athens Craft Beer Week, and features tours, tappings, and tastings of several local breweries.
The event promises live music, an enormous beer patio, and the popular Cask Ale Pavilion. The pavilion is filled with rare, unfiltered beer styles. They are naturally carbonated by residual yeast, in 10.8 gallon casks.
You couldn’t miss a beer fest in Wisconsin! With over 100 brew pubs and microbreweries, The Great Taste of the Midwest attracts over 5,000 patrons a year. It’s held overlooking the scenic lake Monona, in Olin-Turville Park.
The Great Taste of the Midwest even has it’s own iPhone and Android apps where you can look up maps, the most up-to-date program, and the ever-flowing lists of craft beer.
Going into it’s 14th year, the Fresh Hop Ale Festival is welcoming over 40 breweries, with a hundred different styles of craft beer this year. The event even features a traveling beer bike, cruising around the grounds, handing out rare treats!
Voted as one of the top 10 beer festivals in the nation, there is a popular “homebrew” competition, where brewers can place in categories like: Pale Ale, IPA, and Imperial IPA. The beer must be produced with hops that were picked no more than 24 hours prior to brewing.
The crowd of the festival gives out the final award of the evening, known as “The Most Pours Award,” to the popular brew of the night. This is truly the event to attend if you’re interested in stocking your bar with some crafty IPA’s.
Perhaps the largest festival in the country, GABF is a three-day event hosted by the Brewer’s Association. With 1,600 different types of craft beer to sample, the festival draws in thousands from around the world, each year.
Over 100 beer judges attend to award gold, silver, and bronze medals, in 69 beer-style categories. With over 450 domestic breweries entering each year, you’re sure to find new and exciting flavor profiles, with plenty of samples to go around!
No matter what festivals you attend, make sure you properly announce any new craft beer you intend to try in your bar. Going out, sampling, and stocking is half the battle. Marketing the new craft beer, and getting people in the door to sample it, is essential to it’s success.
TapHunter is a unique bar management program that lets you display your new selections on vibrant digital drink menus, and even blast your social media; all from one simple dashboard. It frees up your time to have some fun at festivals, and helps you manage as many new styles as you want to take on.