The Great American Beer Festival, the granddaddy of American beer festivals, enters its fourth decade when the doors to Denver’s Colorado Convention Center on Oct. 11.
The three-day event, which this year is expected to draw almost 50,000 attendees, brings together brewers and enthusiasts. Hundreds of brewers will be serving up samples of some 2,400 different beers from across the country. It’s a must visit for any beer enthusiast.
The big show, presented by the Brewers Association, the industry’s trade group, also includes the nation’s top beer competition, where gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded in 84 beer style categories. The awards are among the most coveted in the industry.
Tickets go on sale for members of the Brewers Association and American Homebrewers Association on July 31, while the general public can obtain tickets beginning Aug. 2. Tickets are available online.
The GABF isn’t the only beer fest on the calendar. Various festivals are planned in the near future for New York City and Long Island.
Edible Manhattan magazine is sponsoring Good Beer, on July 31, 6-9 pm. at 82 Mercer St., an event space. Pours from 30 breweries and eats from 30 top New York City restaurants will be available. Tickets are $55 for everything.
And on Long Island, the North Fork Craft Beer, BBQ & Wine Festival returns to Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead on Aug. 11. The North Fork event, which takes place under a tent close to the vines, showcases the brews of more than 50 craft brewers, wines from Long Island wineries and barbecue and serves as a fundraiser for the Beer For Brains Foundation and the Kent Animal Shelter.
The North Fork fest, produced by Starfish Junction, which also produces a beer expo at the Nassau Coliseum, runs from 2-6 p.m. for the general public. Tickets are $55 plus tax per person in advance ($70 at the gate). VIP tickets, which include an extra hour of sampling, are sold out. Designated driver tickets are available for $15 plus tax.
Also on Long Island, is Beerfields, a beer and music festival on Sept. 8, 2-5 pm., at the Brookhaven Amphitheater in Farmingville. So far, 30 breweries have signed on and another 10 are expected to join in. Tickets, which start at $55, are available through Ticketmaster. For information call (631) 648-2500.
On the other side of the Hudson, Rock Hops, a beer and music festival celebrating grass roots Americana, music and craft beer, takes place Aug. 1 at 1:30 p.m. in Mercer County Park in West Windsor, N.J. About 30 craft breweries are participating with brews selected by my beer-writing colleague, John Holl, and John Kleinchester, founder of Beertography.com. An all-day pass is $35, but does not include beer, which must be purchased separately. A connoisseur VIP package that includes both beer and music from 3:30-6 p.m. is available for $65. Tickets are available at Ticketfly.
Hope you can make one — or all.