The World’s Best Beer Festivals

Great beer festivals

Going to a beer festival is a wonderful way to combine an entertainment-filled vacation with some serious sampling of beers from a range of brewers.  Beer festivals are held in a number of different European countries, in Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Latin America.  There are some interesting new festivals on the horizon just begging to be explored this year.


Photo by Natasha Cloutier


The largest beer festival in the world is the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, which dates back to 1810.  It normally runs for 16 days, from late September through to the first weekend in October and attracts 6.2 million people from across the globe.  Oktoberfest beers are those brewed within the Munich city limits and have a minimum alcohol content of six percent.  The Club of Munich Brewers licenses beers from six local breweries; outside of Germany, the best known of these breweries is Löwenbräu.


Great British Beer Festival

Held in London every August, the largest of the UK beer festivals focuses on real ales served directly from the cask as well as bottled beers and ciders.  It is normally held in Kensington Olympia, a large indoor venue, and the entertainment includes pub quizzes, music and the British version of a raffle, known as “tombola.”  With the aid of cheap flight tickets, visitors can also hop on a plane and visit one of the Irish beer festivals – in Dublin at the end of September or in Cork on the Easter holiday weekend.


The Great World Beer Fest 

Originally known as Brewtopia, the Great World Beer Fest is the largest and longest running beer festival in New York City.  It features craft beers – small, independent and traditional beers – from brewers around the world and runs during the last weekend of October.


The Great Canadian Beer Festival

Focused on cask ales from the Pacific Northwest, the Great Canadian Beer Festival takes place on the first weekend following Labour Day at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria, British Columbia.  More than 7,000 visitors flock here every year, and about 40 different brewers participate.


Qingdao International Beer Festival

Qingdao is the beer capital of China and the home of Tsingtao beer.  Every year, the city hosts the largest beer festival in Asia.  A summer event held along the coast of the Yellow Sea, this is a beachside celebration during the last two weeks of August.  The inimitable Chinese drinking culture features karaoke, elegant dancers and world music.  The big beer names representing countries from around the world include Corona, Bud and Asahi.


California Beer Festival at Sea

A newcomer on the beer festival scene, the upcoming Beer Festival at Sea promises a delightful mix of craft beer tasting, live music, seminars and guided tours aboard Celebrity Solstice, one of the newest ships owned by the cruise line Celebrity Cruises.  Wine events will also be featured, and there are ten impressive gourmet restaurants on board.  The ship will depart from Ensenada, Mexico on May 6.  The ports of call, where tours of local breweries are an optional extra, include San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, before the ship finally docks in Seattle, Washington on May 15.


About the author:

Dave Stephenson is a dedicated travel blogger that loves to share his extensive travel experience with other travel addicts. Dave loves to offer hints and tips such as; where to find cheap flights, destinations to avoid, and important cultural values to remember.


About Kevin Revolinski

Kevin Revolinski is a beer-friendly travel writer and author of a number of travel books including a couple of brewery road-trip guidebooks. While traveling the world, he makes a point to seek out the local brewers and best beer bars. He has had a beer in at least 60 different countries. His home website is Google Plus