14 Craft Beer And Distilling Festivals Around The United States

We've already let you know where to find the 15 coolest food festivals of the year. But what is good food without a cold brew or stiff pour of fine single malt whisky to accompany it? In honor of Craft Beer & Spirits Week here at Food Republic, we've searched high and low to bring you a list of the most promising upcoming beer and spirit festivals from around the country. We're talking about hundreds of the country's best breweries and distilleries coming together for you to sample selections of their finest beers and bourbons. Yes, we really are that good to you.

NYC Beer Week

February 22 – March 3

New York, NY

We can only hope that 10 days is enough time to devote entirely to celebrating beer in the Big Apple. Hundreds of events throughout the city include beer walks and dinners – over 100 bars, restaurants and retailers are on board with the festivities. We're especially psyched for the aPORKalypse Now gathering, which combines two of our biggest loves, meat and beer. For a complete schedule of events, visit newyorkcitybrewersguild.com

Philly Craft Beer Festival

March 2

Philadelphia, PA

The Philly Craft Beer Festival is back for its seventh year, showcasing over 100 beers from more than 50 brewers. In addition to pours from local breweries like Yards and Victory, there will be top-tier selections from around the country. The festival supports the Committee To Benefit Children, which provides resources for treatment and care of area children with cancer, leukemia and serious blood disorders. phillycraftbeerfest.com

The Great Arizona Beer Festival

March 2

Tempe, AZ

Those looking for a little lot more sunshine in early March should head down to the 25th annual Great Arizona Beer Festival. The event is locally organized and raises funds for Sun Sounds of Arizona, which provides access to information for the blind and visually impaired. More than 50 breweries — largely local as well as from the Midwest — will allow visitors to sample from a selection of over 200 beers. azbeer.com

Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America

March 26 – 29

Washington, D.C.

Over 6,000 beer industry professionals will gather in Washington, D.C. to lead seminars covering everything from technical brewing information to tax code compliance. With over 400 vendors in one location, BrewExpo America is the largest brewing conference and trade show in the U.S. craftbrewersconference.com

NYC Craft Beer Festival: Spring Seasonals

March 30

New York, NY

Help ring in spring with a celebration of over 150 seasonal beers from around the world. The day is split up into two sessions, each offering two-and-a-half hours of unlimited tastings (if you're feeling especially ambitious, a Connoisseur ticket will grant you an extra hour at the Lexington Avenue Armory, as well as complimentary finger food from places such as Tavern 29 and Cooper's Craft & Kitchen). nyccraftbeerfest.com

Big Texas Beer Fest

April 6

Dallas, TX

It appears that everything really is bigger in Texas. Even though the event is only in its second year, between 100 and 120 breweries are expected to appear, bringing with them over 400 beers. Free cheese and locally roasted coffee will accompany several food trucks and local artisanal products, and music will be performed by local act Fish Fry Bingo, known as the official band of Texas craft beer (no joke). bigtexasbeerfest.com

WhiskyFest Chicago

April 26

Chicago, IL

The longest-running and highest-attended whisky festival in the U.S. offers the opportunity to taste from a selection of more than 300 global whiskies. Buying a ticket also gets you a gourmet buffet, gift bag and access to seminars from some of the world's leading whisky experts — from company founders to master blenders and distillers. Additionally, WhiskyFest is coming to San Francisco and New York this fall. whiskyadvocate.com

San Francisco International Beer Festival

April 27

San Francisco, CA

A ticket earns you a bottomless mug of hundreds of craft beers, as well as food from casual spots like Tommy's Joynt, Liverpool Lil's and Hi Dive. Proceeds benefit the teaching program at a nursery school for an entire year. Be sure to mark your calendars and set your alarms for tickets going on sale on March 15th at 10 a.m. – they sold out last year in under 30 minutes! sfbeerfest.com

Omaha Beer Fest

June 7 – 8

Omaha, NE

A festival that cites the immortal Homer Simpson on its website ("Mmmm. Beer.")? Count us in. Roughly 50 breweries will showcase over 150 beers, with a strong emphasis on Nebraskan vendors. Tickets include unlimited two-ounce tastings and VIP passes provide entry to a lounge with pub food and specialty craft beers, as well as access to Beer Academy classes scheduled throughout the weekend. For the second year, individuals from regional homebrew clubs will show off their craft during a Homebrewing Expo. omahabeerfest.com

Vermont Brewers Festival

July 19 – 20

Burlington, VT

We bet you didn't know that Vermont has the most breweries per capita of any state in the country. Here, 30 brewers — all local — will be offering over 150 diverse beers. The festivities are divided into three different sessions and there is a focus on pairing beers with cheese and chocolate. vtbrewfest.com

Oregon Brewers Festival

July 24 – 28

Portland, OR

Enjoy a couple of cold ones in the state home to the nation's fourth most breweries. During the five-day event, 80 craft brewers from around the U.S. will be on hand to offer more than 20 styles of beer to 80,000 enthusiasts. Situated on the Willamette River, with towering Mount Hood as a backdrop, the event is one of the nation's longest-running beer festivals, celebrating its 26th year. Wander around homebrewing demonstrations and beer memorabilia displays, and engage in discussions with beer writers and publishers. There's not even a need to leave your children at home – there will be complimentary handcrafted root beer for minors. oregonbrewfest.com

Milwaukee Brewfest

July 27

Milwaukee, WI

Imagine a Saturday spent sipping craft brews to benefit charity on the lakefront in the beer capital of the world (as some would argue). Entering its fourth year of existence, Milwaukee Brewfest hosted 77 breweries at last year's festivities. There will be musical performances and food sampling from local vendors, as well as the annual crowning of a Brewfest Queen. Intrigued by that last part? So are we. milwaukeebrewfest.com

San Diego Spirits Festival

August 24 – 25

San Diego, CA

Everyone knows that cocktails and live music are a winning combination. Hit up the San Diego Bay for this year's fifth annual weekend festival to sample from a wide array of vodka, gin, rum, bourbon, tequila and whiskey — past years have featured over 60 global brands and 40 music artists. Need another reason to make the trip? The one and only Ron Jeremy has been known to frequent the event to promote his namesake rum. sandiegospiritsfestival.com

Kentucky Bourbon Festival

September 17 – 22

Bardstown, KY

Where better to enjoy a dram or two than in the Bourbon Capital of the World? Various events running over the course of the six-day event, celebrated annually since 1992, will highlight all aspects of the bourbon-making process. Eleven of the better-known Kentucky brands of bourbon — including Maker's Mark, Jim Beam and Four Roses — will be on hand, and awards will be given out in various categories. kybourbonfestival.com

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