The Top 10 Beer Festivals

No matter where in the world you are, fall seems to be beer season. To celebrate, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite beer festivals around the world. (Just remember to drink responsibly!)

1. Oktoberfest

Munich, Germany

Flickr: trentstrohm / Creative CommonsFlickr: trentstrohm / Creative Commons

Of course we have to kick it off with the mother of all beer festivals: Oktoberfest. This gigantic festival (it received around 6 million visitors last year) has been running since 1810 and commemorates the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen (try saying “Saxony-Hildburghausen” after a day at the festival!) Did you know that all beer served at Oktoberfest is required to have been brewed within the city of Munich?


2. Belgian Beer Weekend

Brussels, Belgium

BelgiumFlickr: mcsdwarken / Creative Commons

During the first weekend of each September, the Grand-Place turns into a showcase of Belgian beers. The festival features more than 350 from small and large Belgian breweries alike.


3. Great American Beer Festival

Denver, CO, USA

AmericanFlickr: maryatuab / Creative Commons

This annual “Mile-High” event has grown from 40 beers at its inauguration in 1982 to a whopping 3,100 beers last year in 2013. Highlights include a farm-to-table pavillion and bookstore where you can find all kinds of brew-related publications.


4. Great British Beer Festival

London, UK

BritianFlickr: scubagirl66 / Creative Commons

Every August, more than 50,000 people gather for the largest beer festival in the UK. The festival focuses on real ales served directly from the cask, along with bottled ales, ciders and other beers from around the world.


5. Mondial de la Bière

Montreal, QC, Canada

MontrealFlickr: pah57 / Creative Commons

Canada’s largest beer festival features over 600 beers from around 200 breweries all over the world. You’ll also find beer workshops and seminars offered by teachers from a local beer school. Sign us up!


6. Pilsner Fest

Pilsen, Czech Republic

PilsnerFlickr: picthugues / Creative Commons

Every year, locals and visitors gather to celebrate the creation of Pilsner which was, of course, invented in the town of Pilsen. The festival is held in October, around the anniversary of the very first Pilsner brew. Visitors can try their hand at traditional brewing crafts, even donning period costumes if they choose. It’s a beer festival and history lesson in one!


7. New Zealand Beer Festival

Auckland, New Zealand

New ZealandFlickr: pelegrino / Creative Commons

The New Zealand Beer Festival is a relative newcomer to the scene, having only started up in 2006. The festival predominantly features beers from Kiwi breweries, with some notable international exceptions. In addition to brews, you’ll find food pairings, stand up comedy, and concerts.


8. Stockholm Beer & Whiskey Festival

Stockholm, Sweden

StockholmFlickr: cmbellman / Creative Commons

Scandinavia’s top beer, cider, and whiskey festival hosts hundreds of beers from all around the world. There are classes to attend and awards up for grabs, including best Swedish beer, best fresh beer, and more.


9. Bandol Wine Festival

Provence, France

Bandol Flickr: sarahrzepecki / Creative Commons

Ok, this one isn’t a beer festival, but we had to sneak something in for the wine lovers. This festival is all about the art of winemaking. In fact, growers don’t bring the year’s finished wines but instead let you try the works in progress straight from the barrel, allowing tasters to appreciate the tendencies of the year’s vintage. Fancy!


10. Cape Town Festival of Beer

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town Flickr: blyzz / Creative Commons

Every November, Cape Town holds a celebration of all things beer. This year’s festival will house more than 200 different beers from 60 breweries, including some specials brewed just for the festival. Of course, there will be tours, blind tastings, raffles… and the world’s biggest game of beer pong.

Have you been to any of these festivals? Tell us about it in the comments!

2 Comments on “The Top 10 Beer Festivals

  1. Attended Pilsner Fest in Pilzen with my daughter on October 4 who is teaching english in Prague-what a great time. Loved the row after row of wooden vats fermenting beer in the old cellar. Tasting beer from the fermentation vats was a real treat.

    Music, food, beer pouring contest and plenty of pilsner to celebrate Pilsner Urquell birthday. What’s not to like. Thanks Eva, our tour guide.

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