It’s a new year and time for a new beer. This time of the year, everyone is making resolutions and a few days later breaking them. SO, let’s skip the traditional resolutions column and switch it up with a calendar column of beer events you can plan to attend in this coming year. Keep in mind, some of these events are subject to change, so always check with the event producers to be sure you get the right dates, times and ticket information.
February –What started as a small beer festival under the Fuller Warren Bridge has turned into one of the premier beer events in Northeast Florida. Sponsored by the Riverside Rotary Club, The Riverside Craft Beer Festival, Saturday, held February 25 this year, is a charity event that benefits Community PedsCare ® a nationally recognized program of Community Hospice and Palliative Care. Expect to find fod trucks, live music and plenty of cold craft beer. More at riversidecraftbeerfestival.com.
March – Hunahpu’s Day began as a private tasting among friends and has now become an epic rare beer tasting and release party. This year the fest is upgrading to Raymond James Stadium as its venue and is being held on Saturday, March 10 this year, the festival attracts breweries from around the world including Omipollo, Sun King and even a brewery from Russia last year. See cigarcitybrewing.com/hunahpus-2018 for details.
April – Las Vegas has a reputation as a wild and loose city. With that in mind, the Great Vegas Festival of Beer is an event you do not want to miss. The fest sports a gastropub, demonstrations, presentations and lots of cold beer to sample. Plan your trip for April 6 and 7, we promise not to show anyone the pictures we take there. Plan your trip at greatvegasbeer.com.
May – Not so much a festival as it is a collection of beer events, Asheville, North Carolina Beer Week – May 25 through June 2 – promises to sate your thirst for great beer. Check www.exploreasheville.com for more details.
June – Vail, Colorado is a beautiful place to visit year-round, but when it is beer festival time, it is positively gorgeous. Set for June 14-17 this year, the event pairs beer with dozens of events including many outdoor adventures. Surf to vailcraftbeerclassic.com.
July – Michigan boasts one of the most vibrant brewing scenes in the entire country. That said, you really should try to get to the Michigan Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, Michigan this summer July 27 and 28. You’ll get to try beer from more than 100 breweries and that’s not nothing. Deets at: mibeer.com/summer-festival.
August – Germany is a dream destination for beer lovers the world over, and outside of Oktoberfest, one of the best beer fests to attend is the International Berlin Beer Festival. Expect to sample more than 2,400 beers along with 800,000 of your closest friends at this fest from August 7 through 9. Details at bierfestival-berlin.de/index%20eng.html.
September – If you have never been to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado, you have missed one of, well, the greatest beer events known to man. With more than 3,800 beers to sample it is a beer-lover Nirvana. This year it is being held September 20 through 22. Learn more at greatamericanbeerfestival.com.
October – One word; Oktoberfest. ‘Nuff said. Also, Jacksonville’s first craft beer brewery celebrates a milestone — 10 years of brewing bliss. Check back for details on Bold City Brewery’s 10th anniversary celebration. Keep an eye on www.boldcitybrewery.com.
Festivals tend to slow as winter holidays draw near, but the annual Orlando Beer Festival organized by Folio Weekly sister paper Orlando Weekly is a swilling good time. Hit orlandobeerfestival.com for details.
December – Santacon is more of a phenomenon than an event, but if bar-hopping and drinking while wearing a Santa suit are a thing for you, Santacon is your kind of event. Check their page (www.santacon.info) for details of one near you if you can’t make it to NYC for the largest collection of Santas you’ll ever see.