What comes to your mind when you hear ‘beer festival’? Germany, or the famous Oktoberfest, right? Well, it’s a fact that Oktoberfest isn’t the only beer festival out there, and we want you to know that. That’s why we put together a list of top 12 beer festivals around the world.
Beer is probably one of the most famous drinks that exist and it’s present in probably all of the cultures. There are many kinds of it and even if you’re not a huge fan, you probably tried it at least once in your life. It’s the perfect drink for when you want to lay back and relax with friends, or when you want some cold refreshment in the hot summer days. We also want to point out that these festivals aren’t only about getting drunk. Sure, it’s pretty awesome to have a drink or two and forget about your worries, but these places also offer great fun, you can enjoy some rides, win some prizes and the most important part is that you can spend some amazing time with your friends and/or family. If you’d like to have a great time, visit one, or maybe even all of these places, relax and enjoy your stay!
1. Germany – Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest is one of the best-known beer festivals, ever. It’s held in Munich, Germany and it’s probably the most-visited festival of this kind in the whole world. If you decide to visit this event, you’ll be able to visit all kinds of booths where you’ll play games, win prizes, eat and drink delicious things and you’ll also see people in their traditional clothing. Dirndl and Lederhosen are the local people’s go-to clothing items. A month before the start of this event you can buy a bit cheaper, more tourist-oriented versions of these pieces, so if you visit a bit earlier, you can buy it and you’ll surely fit in with the locals. All in all, this place is amazing. It offers something for everyone, it even offers Family days when the carousel rides and food offers are cheaper than usual.
2. Great Britain – The Great British Beer Festival
Another interesting and completely awesome event in the World of Beer is this one in Great Britain. They offer you hundreds of different kinds of beers, ales, and ciders. There are also beer tastings going on, so if you like these beverages, this will be a dream come true for you! Firstly, you’ll learn something about them and secondly, you’ll get to taste them all! There’s also a championship, the CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) Champion Beer of Britain. There’s no dress code for this one, so we can’t recommend any clothing items for it. If you get hungry, you’ll be able to grab some street food and snacks and then after that maybe enjoy some traditional pub games.
3. Italy – Arrogant Sour Festival
The name of the event is already pretty promising, isn’t it? Sure, you have to be a fan of sour beer to be able to appreciate this festival. It’s held in Italy, in the small town of Reggio Emilia. It’s a really friendly place, so we’re sure you’ll enjoy your stay! If you love historical buildings, you’re in luck because the festival is located in one. The building itself is an old monastery from the 18th century and it’s truly beautiful. The festival is 3 days long and the entry fee is only 7 euros for all three days. You also get a glass. This place is truly magical, it’s not in the middle of a tourist zone so it will be nice and probably less crowded than it would be in a place where tourists walk around all throughout the year. You can make many friends here, so don’t hesitate. If you’re a sour beer lover, you should check it out!
4. U.S.A. – Great American Beer Festival
If we’re talking about beer festivals around the world, we have to mention the Great American Beer Festival as well. If, by any chance, you’re from America, and you can’t make it to Germany for the Oktoberfest, no worries! This one is also held in October, but it’s a bit shorter than the one in Germany. It lasts 3 days, but oh boy, those 3 days are truly amazing. You can download their app as well, it’s called GABF app, and it was made to help out people who would like to visit this event. There’s always more than 100 beer brands present, so you can pick your favorite and enjoy sipping on it. There’s also a beer competition where breweries enter their finest and after the Professional Judge Panel looked them all over, they pick the best one.
5. U.S.A. – Oktoberfest Zinzinnati
This specific event was first held in 1976 and the sole purpose of it is to cherish and honor the German heritage of Southwest Ohio. There’s plenty of tasty food and drinks here, and everything is inspired by the original Oktoberfest which is held in Germany. Their prices are affordable, and if you decide to wear Dirndl or Lederhosen here as well, trust us, no one will judge you. Many bands appear on the stage, so if you want some awesome live music while you’re sipping on your beer, you’ll love this. Also! Do you know the chicken dance? Who are we kidding, everyone knows the chicken dance. Well, this is the place where the world’s largest chicken dance is usually held, so get your dancing shoes on and have a great time! There’s also the Running of the Wieners, where you can dress up your dachshund in a hot dog bun costume and then the dogs have to run 75 feet with their owners. As long as the animals aren’t hurt, it’s all good! Also, you’ll have to pay a 35$ entering fee, but you’ll get the dog costume as well as a shirt for yourself.
6. Belgium – Belgian Beer Weekend
Everyone’s tried at least one Belgian beer in their life, even if you didn’t realize it was Belgian. This county has many different brands of beers, and thanks to that it also has a beer festival. Not just one, it has many smaller ones, but we’re going to write about their biggest beer festival. This grand event is organized by the Knighthood of the Brewers’ Paddle and the Belgian Brewers and it’s held each year in Brussels. It lasts only a weekend (in September) but trust us, it’s amazing! You shouldn’t miss it for anything! There are usually more than 40 Belgian brewers attending with their delicious beverages and guess what! Entrance is free! All you have to do is buy tokens for the beer, that’s all! We don’t know about you, but to us, this sounds amazing!
7. France – Mondial de la Biere
This one is also a 3-day event, and naturally, it’s all about beers. This year it was held in May. Pay close attention to their website because it seems that they change the date each year. Also, when you visit their website, don’t panic. It’s in French, but you can switch into English with one swift click in the upper right corner. There are usually more than a hundred breweries attending this event, you will surely find at least a couple brands of your liking. They offer beer tastings as well as masterclasses, and for all of you foodies, there are many kinds of french street food which you can try. This is for both professional beer tasters and the ones who don’t know much about the brewing, but they like the taste of it. This event takes place in Paris, and the admission fee is 12€ (it includes a glass and entry to the demonstrations). If you want to join a tasting session, you’ll have to pay at least 10€ (depending on the brewery). All in all, this is an amazing event and if you’re in Paris on the weekend it’s happening, you should visit it!
8. China – Qingdao Beer Festival
This specific beer festival is also known as the Asian Oktoberfest (青岛国际啤酒节), which says a lot about its magnitude. In the beginning, it lasted only two weeks, but today it’s an event which lasts a whole month. The organizers describe it as a festival which honors beer, the nectar of the gods. Honestly, this is the most beautiful description of beer we’ve ever seen! Here you’ll find different kinds of beers from around the world, and there are many stages, all occupied by various amazing musicians and performers.
There’s also different kinds of amazing food, so if you’re a foodie as well, you’ll love this place! This event is simply amazing and so entertaining, it pays off to visit it!
9. Argentina – Villa General Belgrano Beer Festival
It’s interesting how many of these beer festivals look up to the German one. Many of them even have it in their name, so does this one. It’s also called the Argentinian Oktoberfest and, of course, it starts on the 1st of October. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s exactly like its German ancestor. This one lasts only a week. The village itself was founded in the 30s by two Germans so that explains the German style of it as well as sticking to a different nation’s roots in the heart of Argentina. This event is a really important one to the people of Villa General Belgrano, everyone loves it and enjoys it and it’s one of their major events. They also have an Alpine Chocolate Festival, a Christmas Fair and many other interesting events, check it out on their website!
10. Serbia – Belgrade Beer Fest
Belgrade Beer Fest is one of the major events in the whole country. It’s big, it’s famous, it’s well-visited and it’s simply awesome. Many famous bands (from the Balkan region) show up on their stage and the concerts are always incredible. The whole vibe is truly energetic and lively, so if you like to have a good time, this is the best place for you! On their beer list, you’ll find both domestic and foreign beers, so you’ll be able to pick your favorite kind and sip on it while dancing to the sick beats. This festival made its way to “The Independent” magazine’s list of the most attractive events on the planet. That should mean something, shouldn’t it? If you’re after a good time and some great beer, look no further! This is the best place/event for you!
11. Croatia – Karlovac Beer Days
Since Karlovac has its beer (Karlovačko pivo), it’s natural that they are also going to have a beer fest. It’s not the only one in the country, but it’s said that it’s the biggest one. This year they held the 33rd Karlovac Beer Days, and of course, it was amazing. This one also doubles as a music festival, so just like in Belgrade, you can enjoy some nice rock, trap, hip hop, and pop beats while sipping on your tasty beverage. The beers are domestic as well as foreign, so pick one (or more) and drink as much as you want! As long as you’re not driving, of course.
12. India – Great Indian Beer Festival
This beer festival is held at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Delhi (India). If you’re a fan of great music and really good beer, you should check out this event! They have international DJ’s, great bands, you can try your luck in some traditional beer games. You can also try some amazing food and snacks along the way. As for their options of beers, they have everything from real ales, craft beer to ciders. Pick your favorite from the hundreds of great options, relax and have a great time while dancing along to some amazing music!
Updated: September 12, 2019