Summer is for beer drinking, pool sitting and overall relaxing. Attending a beer festival knocks out two of the aforementioned activities. You don’t have to be a craft beer connoisseur to enjoy beer festivals, either. Any event involving drinking beer, eating pretzels from a necklace and listening to music with friends is bound to be a good time. If you’re still planning a summer vacation, consider visiting these 8 cities with beer festivals.
Beer Camp Across America, Chico, Calif., San Diego, Calif., Denver, Colo., Chicago, Ill., Portland, Maine, Philadelphia, Penn., Mills River, N.C.: This unique festival travels all over the United States featuring regional breweries. Choose the camp closest to you, or daringly follow the caravan across the nation and try beers from every region. Check the website for ticket information.
Key West Brewfest, Key West, Fla.: Beach, beer and brunch make for a pretty good setup. This festival is easy to incorporate into summer plans since it takes place in Key West, Fla. on Labor Day weekend, lasting an activity-packed four days. With fresh fish and an ocean view, not much could go wrong here. Tickets go on sale July 1, so mark your calendars! Ticket information available here.
Oregon Brewers Festival, Portland, Ore.: Take a trip to the cooler part of the country — the Pacific Northwest — for another waterfront beer festival. This year marks the 27th annual Oregon Brewers Festival and, get this, admission is FREE! The festivities begin on July 23 and end July 27. Surely, that’s enough time to sample a beer or two from over 80 craft breweries, right? Get admission details here.
Seven Sisters Craft Beer and Music Festival, San Luis Obispo, Calif.: Since you’ll already be out West, how about taking a little trip down to California? Seven Sisters is a 3-day (July 11-13) beer and music extravaganza. Luckily, for those of you who just can’t fathom leaving the grounds for even a day, camping is available on-site. The festival also offers outdoor activities like yoga, hiking, mountain biking and golf. Get ticket information here.
Great Taste of the Midwest, Madison, Wis.: For the 28th year in a row, this popular beer festival offers over 150 craft breweries, live music and local food vendors. Attendees are welcome to bring chairs and blankets to set up on the park lawn. Tickets are unfortunately sold out, but start planning for next year!
Summer Brew Fest, Denver, Colo.: What began as a small craft beer gathering is now an annual tradition in Denver. The Summer Brew Fest hosts 76 craft brewers from all over the U.S. and benefits Swallow Hill Music, which offers instruction and performance of musical arts. Oh, there are also a photo booth, turkey legs and pretzels galore. Get ticket information here.
American Beer Classic, Washington, D.C.: The aptly named American Beer Classic takes place in the nation’s capital on July 12 at RFK Stadium. Like the other festivals, food and entertainment are available, but, in true American democratic style, there is a people’s choice competition to vote for your favorite beer. The winner earns MVB (Most Valuable Brew). This beer festival only lasts for a day, leaving time to explore the rest of the history-rich city. Ticket information available here.
Music City Brewer’s Festival, Nashville, Tenn.: If your vacation destination is down south, check out Nashville’s beer festival. With a healthy lineup of breweries and prime location in the heart of downtown, this one is sure to keep you entertained. Nashville’s emerging food scene means plenty of late-night snacking options. Get tickets here before the festival begins on July 19.