5 Best International Beer Festivals (A Beer-lover’s Bucket List)

Beer may have been accused way more than necessary for giving men all around the world, bellies the size of a football stadium. And who can forget the endless struggle of the girlfriend or the wife to compete with that fizzy drink for their better half’s attention? However, all of the bickering is rendered insignificant.

Give a mouse a cookie, he will eat it, give two men some beer, and there the seeds of new friendship and good times are sown. Add to that, a few amazing beer festivals all over the world and a few hundred thousand people, you can almost feel your heart beat faster with anticipation. But hold on; before you fist pump through the wall in excitement and rush off to call your travel agent and beer buddies, you might want to take a look at the “Where?” and “When?” of some of our favorite beer fests from around the world.

1: Oktoberfest: Munich, October

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In many ways Munich is absolutely synonymous with the Oktoberfest. Sure, there are certainly a lot of great things you can do in Munich, including fun day trips, but most people only know this festival.

And who can blame them? This is the Optimus Prime of beer fests, the Disneyland for beer lovers and is almost interchangeable with the term “beer-fest”. I’ve lost count of the number of bucket lists I’ve seen this fest feature on. Oktoberfest can be easily considered as the biggest platform for the “Brotherhood of the Beer-men” to unite over traditional Bavarian music and dance, sinfully delicious food like sausages, roast chicken or pork with dumplings, the classic giant pretzel, and of course some more-than-million liters of beer. So vast is the fandom of Oktoberfest that many countries like Hong Kong, Brazil, India etc. have their own versions of the 16-day festival.

2: Great British Beer Festival: August

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Hosting Olympics is not the only “Great Sporting” Great Britain became famous for. For the beer loyalists, it hosts something of far greater significance- The Great British Beer Festival. If not for drinking the beer, you should visit this fest to simply revel in how it is styled in (and prided as) “The Biggest Pub in The World”. The festival offers more than 400 British beers (including the traditional Cider and Perry) and around 200 beers from countries like Germany, USA, etc.

3: PINT Bokbierfestival: Amsterdam, October

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PINT is considered as the biggest beer festival in Netherlands. What started off as an initiative to promote information about the traditional bock beers, now has gained a following of more than 70,000 beer loyalists. The festival offers more than 50 varieties of bockbiers, including those by beer heavyweights like Heineken, Grolsch etc. And of course, there’s non-stop live music to add to the fun. Beware though; Bock isn’t every beer guzzler’s poison.

4: Bitter and Twisted International Boutique Beer Festival: Maitland, November:

This festival gets extra brownie points just for that amusing name and an even amusing venue. There’s a good reason this beer-fest is considered probably “THE best” beer-fest by many. The International Boutique Beer Festival takes place in an ex-maximum security prison and promises over 50 craft beers from all over, some amazing entertainment and well, probably the best prison food you’ll ever lay hands on. We just found our idea of the perfect detention we wouldn’t think twice before whiling away our weekend at! If being a beer-lover is a crime, you know exactly where you should be heading.

5: NYC American Craft Beer Festival: March

Port Brewing Older Viscosity
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While age-wise this fest may seem like the dwarf among all other goliaths, in no way should you undermine its ability to entertain. If you’re someone with a belly for microbrews, Lexington Avenue Armory, Manhattan is where you should be heading. The festival is pre-dominantly ruled by American Independents and microbreweries. Visitors are handed a small mug and an endless supply of the frothy elixir, all for a one-price ticket. In addition, there’s the Connoisseur pass that allows you access to not only the universal favorites, but also the rare crafts.

Beer is good; beers are better; but beer-fests are certainly the best. Cheers!

Jeff Miller is a travel blogger with Optima Villas Lanzarote. 

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