Wow, what a cracking beer festival season it’s been! There’s been plenty of talent old and new and it’s been tough for us to decide which festivals are going to be in our top 10 for 2015 and to definitely visit. That said, we’ve whittled them down, so here goes!..
#1 Wild West Brewfest, Katy TX
Top spot goes to Wild West Brew Fest also known as Katy Brew Fest, which is held in Katy. This year, the festival was held on the 1st & 2nd of May with a whopping 115 different brewers and 315 different beers too! There was award winning entertainment, a turn out of over 6,037 attendees and an awesome brewing contest. The thing that struck us the most was discovering that all of the net proceeds from the festival went to charity, with no management fees and this year the event brought in an amazing $113,000, which was given to several charities not only within the local community but far beyond as well.
This, we felt was a great advert for how kind people in the brewing industry can be. So for all the effort that you guys put in this year just for good and enjoyment, we commend you Wild West Brew Fest and for everyone who supported!
#2 Charlotte Oktoberfest, NC
A more than worthy second place goes out to Charlotte Oktoberfest. The 17th Annual Charlotte Oktoberfest® kicked off on October 3rd at The NC Music Factory. 6000 craft beer lovers then partied for the whole day with live bands, food vendors, guided tours, activities, an interactive Instagram area and there was even a wall to sign! Most importantly… CRAFT BEER… and lots of it, with 95 regional, national and international breweries bringing over 350 beers!
#3 BEND BEER CHASE, OR
Third on our list is something a bit different!.. Bend Beer Chase which is the longest beer relay in the United States. The race took place on June 6th with teams of six runners, each runner ran approximately 9-11 miles, split between two legs. Throughout the event, participants sampled craft beer directly from the breweries along the course route… sounds fun, but you’ve got to be fit!
#4 Thirsty Orange Brew Extravaganza Tn
Fourth is Thirsty Orange – The 5th annual Thirsty Orange Brew Extravaganza rings in Tennessee Craft Beer Month and closes the Tri-Cities Craft Beer Week on April 9th, 2015. Thirsty Orange showcased over 200 rare, obscure and amazing craft beers and hosted the 2nd Annual Tennessee Championship of Beers, the state’s first and only pro-medal event for pro-brewers. From Mobile Infusers, Mixology Station, the Thirsty Orange Brew Off to Shandy Station, the Thirsty Orange Brew Extravaganza was an event not to be missed… but if you did you can join the other 3000 attendees next year to see what makes the Thirsty Orange a must see for craft beer lovers.
#5 the Great Arizona Beer Festival, AZ
Next up is Arizona Brewfest, a craft beer tasting extravaganza with more than 200 brews from breweries across Arizona, the Southwest, North America and around the globe – each providing samples of their proudest brewing achievement. As a locally-organized fund raising event, all proceeds helped Sun Sounds of Arizona, a non-profit radio-reading service helping people in Arizona with print disabilities.
#6 Albuquerque Hopfest Xtreme Beer Fest, NM
Next is New Mexico’s biggest beer festival which takes place at Isleta Resort & Casino. The 8th Annual Albuquerque Hopfest Xtreme Beer Fest, with 70 breweries, an Xtreme BMX Stage, Xtreme VIP Room, Xtra Hoppy Hour, acrobats, 3 music stages, 7 bands, vendors, games this was a beer festival with an adrenaline rush!
#7 Boulder County Brew BQ, CO
What’s summer without beer or barbecue? Boulder County BrewBQ Festival and Funraiser is next on our list. On June 20 there were plenty of beers and BQ to go around during the 4th Annual Boulder County BrewBQ Festival and Fundraiser. The event is held next at YMCA, 2800 Dagny Way, in Lafayette, Colorado. The BrewBQ is quickly becoming a regional favorite, offering up dozens of local and regional breweries as well as a bounty of smoky, juicy and meaty goodness. It’s a day dedicated to all things bubbly, brewed and barbecued!
#8 Surf ‘N’ Suds Beer Festival, CA
One of three events, Surf ’N’ Suds at in front of Carpinteria State Beach was definitely not one to miss on August 15th. Over 55 breweries, food trucks, surfboard shapers, live music from Cornerstone, Afishnsea the Moon and The Olés! The top craft breweries from all over California and some from out of state made Surf ‘n’ Suds Carpinteria. It’s “Beer Festival with a Surf Twist”!
#9 Bend Brewfest, OR
Bend Brewfest – A classic with three days of craft beer bliss on the beautiful grass of the Les Schwab Amphitheater, along the banks of the Deschutes River in the paradise that is Bend, Oregon. This fest attracted over 30,000 people over the course of the three day beer festival, with a chance to taste over 165 beers all in one glorious spot. As with many of these great festivals 1,000 volunteers donate their time to pour all of the beer and simultaneously support three local non-profits that are beneficiaries of the fest.
#10 PGA Craft Beer Bash, FL
And our final ‘Top 10’ goes to the PGA National Resort & Spa Craft Beer Bash! This festival is new to the scene and brought to us by the creators of the legendary Craft Beer Festival and Burger Bash. This fantastic indoor festival inside PGA National Resort & Spa took place on August 8, with unlimited sampling of over 120 craft brews and ciders, food stations, live music and shopping vendors. Bash-goers had their vote this year on the People’s Choice Awards for BEST CRAFT BREWERY, BEST CIDERY, BEST CRAFT BEER SINGLE OFFERING and BEST CIDER SINGLE OFFERING. Plus, there was a Home Brewers Contest judged by an expert panel. The vibes were great with a chance to relax and drink a cold one in this luxury resort!
So all in all it’s been a fantastic year for the festival season (as always) and these were the best of an amazing bunch of brew fest! Don’t forget to add these to your list of must see beer festivals for 2016 and we’ll see ya there!