May 15-21st is designated American Craft Beer Week, the time we celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of small and independent craft brewers. With more than 5,000 breweries in the U.S., it’s never been easier to celebrate. Our editorial staff took a look at some of the top festivals in America and present our top 10, incorporating recommendations from hopculture and craftbeer.
Scroll to the bottom to see some of our fan favorite ‘beer’ themed recipes!
Savor: June 2-3rd – Washington D.C.
Photo Credit: savorcraftbeer.com
At Savor, it’s part food-pairing and part beer festival. More than 70 breweries offer tastings to accompany small plates from neighborhood food vendors. This festival allows you to be guided through the tastings by the experts who created them.
Burning CAN Beer Festival: June 3rd – Lyons, CO
Photo Credit: http://www.burningcan.com/
Oskar Blues Brewery loves to throw a good party and has recently entered the retail market in all 50 states. If you can make it, don’t miss this year’s Burning CAN Beer Festival! This event is for breweries that offer brews in cans, and features live music, food, and adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities. Bonus? Overnight camping is encouraged.
San Diego International Beer Festival: June 16-18th – San Diego, CA
Photo Credit: http://www.westcoastersd.com/
Presented as the largest beer fest on the West Coast, San Diego International Beer Festival features more than 200 Breweries from around the world. There will be something for every beer drinker, including rare beers, limited releases, and all of your favorite go-to craft brewers. All five sessions are in sunny Southern California, what more of a reason do you need?
North American Belgian Beer Festival: July 14-15th – Westland, MI
Photo Credit: http://www.logovaults.com
The North American Belgian Beer Fest is the nation’s “largest exclusively Belgian beer festival.” They hope to not only expose, but also inspire, current and future craft beer enthusiasts on the wonders of Belgian craft beer. Here, there is a strict policy on beer… If it’s not brewed in Belgium, it’s not featured.
Oregon Brewers Festival: July 26-30th – Portland, OR
Photo Credit: Oregon Brewers Fest by Brian Gurney
One of the longest-running craft beer festivals in America, Oregon Brewers Festival will celebrate 30 years in July. Set on the west bank of the Willamette River, with beautiful Mt. Hood as a backdrop, this is the ideal venue for craft beer lovers. This multi-day fest is FREE to the public, with beer tokens available for purchase on-site.
Southern Brewers Festival: August 26th – Chattanooga, TN
Photo Credit: http://www.southernbrewersfestival.com/
In its 23rd year, the Southern Brewers Festival is set alongside the beautiful Tennessee River, with many attendees arriving by boat. More than 30 southern breweries are represented at the festival, which includes popular live music.
Brewgrass Festival: September 16th – Asheville, NC
As the name implies, the Brewgrass Festival is a celebration of craft beer and bluegrass music, two things that go together perfectly. Brewgrass Fest will feature 100-plus breweries showcasing handcrafted brews.
The Great American Beer Festival: October 5-7th – Denver, CO
Photo Credit: http://www.focusonthebeer.com
Considered the ‘end-all-be-all’ of beer festivals, the Great American Beer Festival provides unlimited samples of 3,500 different beers! Patrons get a commemorative tasting cup and unlimited refills. Remember, at any event involving alcohol to drink and enjoy responsibly.
Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers: November 11-12th – Chicago, IL
Photo Credit: http://www.illinoisbeer.com
As the country’s largest celebration of wood and barrel-aged beers, this event includes more than 90 breweries and 300 barrel-aged brews. This Chicago festival is both fun and informative. On the event list is the Barricale, which features barrel-aged beers from 20-plus Illinois craft breweries, the National Wood-Aged Beer Competition, and three tasting sessions for the public.
Rochester on Tap: December 9th – Rochester, MN
Photo Credit: http://www.americaontap.com
Yeah, it’s December in Minnesota, so what? Warm up with some good craft beer. Hosted inside, the 4th annual Rochester on Tap festival allows patrons to sample 100-plus beers from a select few craft brewers. Food is available, as well as live entertainment.
Cue the continued excitement — Keep scrolling to find our favorite Food Channel beer-inspired recipes.
Classic Beer Can Chicken
Got a spare beer? This is the easiest way to prepare an impressive looking, and delicious tasting, bird on the grill! Click here for the Beer Can Chicken recipe.
Guinness Beer Cheese Fondue
Made with two kinds of cheese, Guinness beer, and a handful of delicious seasoning, you will never go back to boring cheese dip again. Click here for the Guinness Beer Cheese Fondue recipe.
Dark Extra Stout Beer Battered Onion Rings
Fresh cut slices of sweet Vidalia onions, dipped in a hearty buttermilk and Irish beer batter, fried to crispy golden perfection. Need we say more? Click here for the Beer Battered Onion Rings recipe.
Marinated and Grilled Mexican Chorizo
Marinating the chorizo in a dark Mexican beer (choose your favorite!) renders the meat more delicate and adds a great malty flavor. Click here for the Marinated and Grilled Chorizo recipe.
Irish Stout Marinated Tri-Tip Steak
Marinated in Guinness Extra Stout beer, citrus juices, fresh herbs, and spices this tri-tip recipe is flavorful, tender, and so easy! Click here for the Irish Marinated Tri-Tip Steak recipe.
Spicy Mexican Shrimp and Avocado Cocktail
A lighter take, this shrimp cocktail has a spicy Mexican twist that not only is made with beer… But also pairs perfectly with it. Click here for the Spicy Mexican Shrimp and Avocado Cocktail recipe.
Chicken With Amber Lager and Honey
This grilled chicken recipe features this delicious golden glaze, created with honey and Michelob Amber Bock. The relationship between beer and barbecue is a long and tasty tradition. Click here for the Chicken with Amber Lager and Honey recipe.
Mouthwatering Beer Battered Fish Tacos
This fish taco craze isn’t slowing down! This beer-battered version is a big hit with everyone. Click here for the Beer Battered Fish Taco recipe.
Seared Skirt Steak with Dark Beer Pan Sauce
Last, but not least, seared skirt steak. Pan sauces typically require wine, but that’s not what we’re here for. This pan sauce is made with a base of dark beer, Negra Modela, which works wonders with the flavor of skirt steak! Click here for the Seared Skirt Steak with Dark Beer Pan Sauce recipe.