12 Months of CRAFT Festivals

It’s a New Year and high time for a new beer. While everyone else makes resolutions, and a few days later breaks them, let’s switch it up with a calendar of beer events to go to in 2018. Keep in mind, events are subject to change, so always check to be sure you get the right dates, times, location and ticket information.

Funky Buddha, South Florida makers of favorites like Last Snow and Last Buffalo in the Park, puts on a great party at the brewery to celebrate the release of its much-loved Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. This year it’s on Jan. 13. Learn more here.

What started as a small beer festival under the Fuller Warren Bridge has become one of the premier beer events in Northeast Florida. The fifth annual Riverside Craft Beer Festival, benefiting nationally recognized Community PedsCare, a program of Community Hospice & Palliative Care, is Feb. 24. More at riversidecraftbeerfestival.com.

Hunahpu’s Day, begun as a private tasting among friends, has now become an epic rare beer tasting and release party by Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing. On March 10, breweries from around the world gather to imbibe and share. See cigarcitybrewing.com/hunahpus-2018 for details.

Given Las Vegas’ reputation as a wild, loose city, the Great Vegas Festival of Beer by Motley Brews is an event you do not want to miss. There’s a gastropub, demonstrations, presentations and lots of cold beer samples. Plan your trip for April 6 & 7; we promise to not show anyone your souvenir pictures. Learn more at greatvegasbeer.com.

Not so much a festival as a collection of beer events, Asheville Beer Week, May 25-June 2, will slake your thirst for great beer. Check avlbeerweek.com for details.

Vail, Colorado is beautiful year-round, but it’s positively gorgeous during the Vail Craft Beer Classic. Set for June 14-17 this year, the event features beers at dozens of events, including outdoor adventures. See vailcraftbeerclassic.com.

Michigan boasts one of the most vibrant brewing scenes in the nation. I recommend the 21st annual Michigan Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, July 27 & 28. You get to try about 1,000 craft beers from more than 100 breweries and that’s not nothing. More at mibeer.com/summer-festival.

Germany is a dream destination for beer lovers; other than Oktoberfest, one of the best beer fests in the world is the International Berlin Beer Festival, Aug. 3-5. Sample more than 2,400 beers at the world’s longest beer garden along with 800,000 of your closest friends. Details at bierfestival-berlin.de/index%20eng.html.

Denver’s Great American Beer Festival is among the greatest beer events known to man. With more than 3,800 varieties, it’s a beer-lover’s nirvana, held Sept. 20-22. Learn more at greatamericanbeerfestival.com.

One word: Oktoberfest. ’Nuff said. Check back for details on Bold City Brewery’s 10th anniversary celebration.

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.

If barhopping and drinking while wearing a Santa suit sounds good, Santacon is your event. If you can’t make it to NYC for the largest collection of Clauses you’ll ever see, check santacon.info to find one near you.