Craft Beer Festivals – Celebrating the Best Brews in Town

Alaska might be best known as a skiing and snowboarding destination, but it’s also home to great beer. The Great Alaska Craft Beer and Home Brew Festival features countless beers and fun events.

A beer festival isn’t really worth attending unless it offers something new. Gone are the days of convention center events serving plastic cups and pretzel necklaces.

Vail Brewing Festival

The original collaboration beer festival that highlights craft beer’s comradery, Collaboration Fest teams Colorado Brewers Guild members with breweries near and far to create one-of-a-kind beers. Guests can sample 2-ounce pours in a commemorative glass while enjoying June rays and gorgeous mountain views.

This unique combination of passionate organizers, star-studded lineup of breweries, elite level of beers, remote intimate setting and world class skiing has catapulted this event to one of the best in the country.

The proceeds from the Vail Craft Beer Classic benefit two community nonprofit partners. The Vail Valley Mountain Trails Association uses donated funds to support mountain biking and hiking trails throughout Eagle County, Colorado. This non-profit also provides technical assistance and training to volunteer trail crew leaders. It’s a win-win-win for everyone involved.

Common Grounds

The inaugural event was a whirlwind success. The beer lineup included some of the most exciting breweries in the country, including Pittsburgh favorites Dancing Gnome and Revolution. In addition to a slew of breweries, the festival featured local food trucks and performers.

In a world where it feels like every new beer festival is hosted by white guys surrounded by their bros, Common Grounds is a breath of fresh air. The Pittsburgh-based festival aims to make craft beer more accessible to minority communities. It’s not just about the beers, either: It also features workshops and speakers on a variety of topics.

The Portland area has long been on the cutting edge of craft beer, sometimes a decade ahead of the rest of the country. While some of the original pioneers have closed, many others are thriving.

Weldwerks Invitational

In the world of beer festivals, this one stands apart from the rest. Rather than focusing solely on beer with the occasional soft pretzel, this is a culinary festival with a focus on food and craft breweries.

The event is a destination beer festival that features more than 45 well-respected breweries from around the country. It also celebrates the local culture of Greeley, Colorado. Check for shop now.

Founded in 2015, WeldWerks is known for their impressive array of hazy IPAs. They have earned national acclaim for their Juicy Bits series and are a major player in the barrel-aged stout category with their Medianoche program. The brewery has also forged an innovative path in the industry by featuring many staff-designed beers.

Vermont Craft Beer Festival

The Green Mountain state is home to dozens of breweries and leads the nation in brewing per-capita. Its ski areas host plenty of brew fests, too, because skiing and beer go hand in hand.

The Vermont Craft Beer Festival was founded in 1995 to promote artisan beer in the state. It features a wide selection of local and national beers, and offers a variety of food and music. This 21+ event takes place in Burlington’s Waterfront Park, and attendees can purchase tickets for specific sessions over the course of the weekend.

Attendees can meet a number of the breweries that produce the beer they’re tasting, and many of them have products that benefit a charity or cause. Lawson’s Finest Liquids, for instance, donates a portion of proceeds from the sale of Early Dismissal, a passion fruit-infused IPA, to promote diversity in the craft beer industry.

Florida Brewers Conference

If you’re visiting Florida for the conference, be sure to stop by a few of the local breweries. Some have even earned national attention.

Despite the success, Florida breweries face many challenges. Lucas Frank, co-founder of Hiatus Brewing, says that he’s battling “antiquated laws on things like self-distribution” and that the state needs to address issues such as brewery licensing fees, franchise reform, and brand registration.

Hear from industry leaders at Brewbound’s first Brew Talks meetup of 2023 on Sunday at Nashville Underground. The event will feature networking and beers from 2-5pm. All attendees wearing their CBC tag will receive $1 off full pours and flights. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the local guild.