Summer is right around the corner and you know what that means: road trip time. But, where to go? You could always just hop in your car and start driving without a destination in mind. But if you do that, you might end up in the middle of a corn field in Iowa looking for the baseball diamond from ‘Field of Dreams’ or the World’s largest ball of twine.
Why not take a road trip to a beer festival instead? The summer is littered with beer-centric festivals from coast to coast (as well as some in other countries). Just pick one, pack an overnight bag, grab some tickets, book a hotel room, put the top down, and start driving. Or, you could just drink a beer made from recycled festival urine. Totally your call.
Beer City Festival– May 27th – Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is one of the most popular beer destinations on the east coast. The city made headlines recently when one of the its most beloved breweries (Wicked Weed) was sold to AB InBev. Luckily, there are still quite a few great breweries in the area and this festival was set up to showcase them. Unlike most beer festivals, this one caters to fans of Asheville-area beer specifically. Visitors will be able to sample beer from more than thirty breweries in the Asheville Brewers Alliance.
Savor: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience– June 2nd and 3rd – Washington, D.C.
Savor, D.C.’s premiere beer festival, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Visitors can sample beer from 86 small and independent breweries from all over the country. In total, 172 beers will be on display. Other beer festivals have burgers, hot dogs, and various food trucks on hand to pair with the brews. This festival is unique because all of the beers are paired with a small plate to compliment the flavors (all 172).
These small plates include cheeses, oysters, cakes, and various other sweet and savory dishes. Sounds like a win, right?
Burning CAN Beer Festival At Lyons Outdoor Games– June 3rd – Lyons, Colorado
You probably don’t want to make the mistake of confusing Burning CAN with Burning Man. Craft beer fans might not understand why you’re wearing giant angel wings and covered in gold paint and glitter. This outdoorsy, mountain festival is the perfect event for beer fans and extreme athletes alike. On top of almost 50 breweries on hand, visitors will also enjoy live music, food, and outdoor activities.
San Diego International Beer Festival– June 16-18 – San Diego, California
San Diego is one the most popular craft beer destinations in America. If you’re already planning a trip to the Southern California city, why not visit during the San Diego International Beer Festival? With more almost 200 breweries represented, along with tons of delicious food, this is definitely a can’t miss event for craft beer aficionados. Plus, your ticket to the festival gets you one free day at the San Diego County Fair, the biggest county fair in the US.
Oregon Brewers Festival– July 26-30 – Portland, Oregon
The home of Portlandia will be hosting the Oregon Brewers Festival in late July. This is one of the biggest craft beer festivals in the country with 80,000 beer drinkers expected to attend. Over 90 independent craft breweries will be sampling beer at the city’s Waterfront Park, on the edge of the Willamette River.
Toronto’s Festival of Beer– July 28-30 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Use Toronto’s Festival of Beer as a reason to visit our friendly neighbors to the north this summer. With almost 100 breweries in attendance from around the world, sampling over 300 beers, this is the largest beer festival in Canada. On top of beer, visitors can also sample cider and a wide variety of food from burgers to poutine. French fries with cheese curds and gravy should be reason enough to take the trip.
Belgium Comes to Cooperstown– August 4-5 – Cooperstown, NY
Take a road trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame and historic Cooperstown, New York. After meandering through the small town (and checking out Curt Schilling’s bloody sock), drive to nearby Brewery Ommegang as it celebrates Belgium Comes to Cooperstown.
If you enjoy Belgian (and Belgian-inspired) beer, this is definitely the festival for you. Held since 1999, visitors can sample beer from more than 100 breweries from all over the world.
Great British Beer Festival – August 8-12 – London, England
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Obviously, a trip to England is more than just a day trip. But, if you do find yourself visiting “Foggy London Town” this August, be sure to get tickets to the Great British Beer Festival. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the festival is the best place to try real ales, real cides, and other styles of craft beer from all over the world. On top of that, visitors can also samples various wines, spirits, and myriad street foods.
Stone 21st Anniversary Celebration– August 19th – San Marcos, California
Beer fans know that Stone can throw a party. To celebrate its 21st anniversary, the famous brewery is planning a giant bash in late August. Visitors will get a commemorative 21st anniversary glass and get to sample over 100 beers from more than 50 breweries. Plus, you can feel good because 100% of the profits are being donated to charity.