Editor’s Picks: Fave Fests

Festivals are back in full force, but who has time to hit them all? Here’s a rundown of our favorite, most interesting, and most compelling festivals—those that drive excitement about well-crafted beer and underscore the important place that beer holds in bringing us together.

Jamie Bogner , Joe Stange Jun 18, 2023 - 4 min read

Editor’s Picks: Fave Fests Primary Image

Photo: Joe Stange

Carnivale Brettanomyces

Amsterdam, June 15–18
Oh, the stories we’ve heard. It’s anything but your run-of-the-mill industry conclave, with a focus on the quirky, creative, experimental, and experiential. As funky beer steps back from the commercial limelight, it’s an important spark for the creative fire.

Homebrew Con Club Night

San Diego, June 23
Club night returns to Southern California, where homebrew clubs have been the proving grounds for dozens if not hundreds of the professional breweries we love. Enjoy beer for beer’s sake and the biggest collection of homebrew anywhere in the United States.


Forchheim, Germany, July 21–31
Explore the kellers at this Franconian classic on Forchheim’s famous wooded Kellerwald. Rustic beer gardens sit atop cool sandstone tunnels once used for lagering; today, the chestnut forest provides a picturesque canopy for 24 kellers, many of which open only for this event.

Barrel & Flow Fest

Pittsburgh, August 12
The nation’s most inclusive beer festival is philosophically driven in its focus on Black brewers and artists. It’s also one hell of a party. Good vibes abound as artists paint live, musicians perform on stage, and Black-owned and Black-operated breweries share their creations.


FemAle Brew Fest

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, September 9
A celebration of women brewers and beer experts, this South Florida fest brings together in-state and out-of-state brewers for a welcoming party and a warm vibe.

Great American Beer Festival

Denver, Sept. 21–23
If you haven’t experienced the AHA member session on Saturday afternoon, there’s nothing like it—brewers with medals around their necks, festival-goers clamoring for last pours of soon-to-kick winning beer—and we look forward to it every year.

Zwanze Day

Various, September (TBA)
We love the idea of a distributed festival, and Cantillon and friends package the vibes in a way that also highlights great pubs, taprooms, and beer bars. Incredible beer, in a wide variety of great places, all over the world.

Fresh Hop Festival

Yakima, Washington, Oct. 7
What better place to taste the widest assortment of fresh-hop beers ever assembled than in the valley that grows a huge percentage of those hops? Few festivals offer such focus and zeal combined with such scale, but this festival is as much a community celebration of the season’s harvest as it is a beer fest.

Festival of Barrel-Aged Beers

Chicago, November (TBA)
The preeminent fest focused on wood-aged beers is a great excuse for Chicago brewers and enthusiasts to party with friends from far and wide.

Jamie Bogner is the Cofounder and Editorial Director of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email him at [email protected].