- Beer festival
A Beer Festival is an organised event during which a variety of beers (and often other alcoholic drinks) are available for tasting and purchase. Beer festivals are held in a number of countries. A Beer Exhibition is usually synonymous with a Beer Festival but, whilst a beer festival may involve a limited range of beer styles or manufacturers, with an emphasis on entertainment, use of the term "beer exhibition" places emphasis on sampling or tasting a wide range of beers, usually craft-brewed in a variety of different styles by various brewers. There may be a theme; for instance beers from a particular area, or a particular brewing style such as winter ales. Beerex is a commonly used portmanteau word coined in 1977 as an abbreviated form of Beer Exhibition.
- 1 German beer festivals
- 2 British beer festivals
- 3 Belgian beer festivals
- 4 US beer festivals
- 5 Canadian beer festivals
- 6 Czech beer festivals
- 7 Festivals in other countries
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
German beer festivals
The largest beer festival in the world is Oktoberfest in Germany. Several other smaller beer festivals are held all over Germany all over the year. The 2nd largest beer festival in Germany and probably in Europe, is the Cannstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart. Its popularity increases and more and more people come from around the world to visit the festival every year. Many other places have beer festivals styled as "Oktoberfests", but taken on its own the name is generally taken to mean for the Munich event.
The second largest genuine Bavarian festival is the Gäubodenvolksfest in Straubing. The festival is similar like Oktoberfest but it has an own history and it is not a copy of the Oktoberfest, as is the Barthelmarkt by Manching, which even dates back to Roman times. The third largest beer festival in Bavaria is the Bergkirchweih in Erlangen, with the largest open-air beer garden in Europe.
Not called "Oktoberfest", but very similar in character, is the Cannstatter Wasen in Stuttgart which starts one week later and is the second largest fair in the world. Smaller beer festivals similar to the Oktoberfest are common in Germany and take place throughout the year in most bigger German cities. Some of them go on later into the night than the Oktoberfest.
Other beer festivals include the Hanover Schützenfest, the Freimarkt in Bremen, and the Hamburger Dom. Like the Oktoberfest and the Cannstatter Wasen, most German beer festivals are also funfairs. They are called "Volksfest" (festival for the people).
British beer festivals
Festivals are organised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and by pubs. CAMRA festivals are run by volunteers under the direction of local branches and the admission fee is reduced or waived for CAMRA members. Pub festivals use professional bar staff and there is usually no entry fee.
At British beer festivals casks of ale from different brewers are placed on stillage behind rows of trestle tables. Staff serve beer directly from the cask and take payment in the form of cash or tokens purchased at the entrance. Cooling is achieved using wet sacking or blankets for evaporative cooling or though refrigerated cooling saddles and coils. Glasses are distributed at the entrance to the venue, usually for a small deposit although often included in the entrance fee, often bearing a design specific to the festival. A beer list is usually available, often indicating where in the venue the different casks will be situated. Food is usually available, and entertainments and games such as live music, pub quizzes or tombolas are often organised.
In all British festivals the beer is sold in quantities of half or full pints. From 2006 the GBBF additionally served beer in "nips" (one-third of a pint), for the benefit of those who wish to sample many beers wthout consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.
Notable British beer festivals
Beer festivals are held across the United Kingdom. Notable ones include:
- The Great British Beer Festival held annually in August in London is the largest beer festival in the UK organised by the Campaign for Real Ale. The "GBBF",founded in 1977, was attended by over 66,000 people in 2006 when 350,000 pints of ale were consumed over the five days.
- The CAMRA National Winter Ales Festival; held at New Century Hall, Manchester, is designed to showcase beer styles which may not be readily available during the summer festival. Taking place every January, it has also been celebrated in Glasgow and Burton-on-Trent.
- The Farnham Beer Exhibition in Surrey, having been held every year since 1977 at the Farnham Maltings, is the longest-running beer festival to be held annually on a single site in the United Kingdom, and every year sells over 29,000 pints of real ale during its 3 day opening.
- The Cambridge Beer Festival, held since 1974, is the longest running beer festival, although it has changed venue three times. Currently, it is held for a week each May in a large marquee erected on Jesus Green in Cambridge. It is the second largest festival outside of London and had 32,000 people attending in 2007.
In addition, many small festivals are organised by local CAMRA branches, pubs, clubs and charities.
Belgian beer festivals
Belgium has a number of beer festivals, including:
- The BAB-bierfestival, held every year in November in Bruges
- The festival held every spring in Leuven (previously in Sint Niklaas and Antwerp) organized by the consumer group Zythos.
- The Belgian Beer Weekend held in Grand Place, Brussels, organized by the Brewer's association.
- Karakterbieren Festival in Poperinge, Belgium's hop-growing capital.
- The Beer Passion weekend held each July in Antwerp, organized by Beer passion magazine,
- The Christmas beer festival Essen
US beer festivals
- The Great American Beer Festival held in Denver, Colorado, started in 1982 and in 2008 had more than 46,000 people attend, with judges selecting medal winners from 2,961 beers entered by 477 breweries.
- Another large event in the US is Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, in Cincinnati, Ohio; over 500,000 people attend this annual festival each year.
- The pseudo-Bavarian village of Leavenworth, Washington in the US holds Oktoberfest during the first two weeks in October yearly.
- The largest and longest running beer festival in New York City is Brewtopia: The Great World Beer Festival.
- The Oregon Brewers Festival attracts more than 60,000 each July to Portland.
- Philly Beer Week is a 10-day series of beer events starting on the first weekend in June in Philadelphia as a celebration of America's Best Beer-Drinking City. The Hammer of glory was used to tap the ceremonial first keg at Opening Tap on March 6, 2009.
- The Great International Beer Festival is held in Providence, Rhode Island twice annually.
- The World Beer Festival has four locations through the southeastern U.S. Durham, North Carolina, Raleigh, North Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, and Richmond, Virginia. The festival features 250+ beers, educational seminars, local cuisine, music, and entertainment. Partial proceeds from the festival go to locally selected charities. The World Beer Festival is put on by All About Beer Magazine.
- The KC Beerfest, located in Kansas City, Missouri, provides one of the Midwest's newest opportunities to try the wares of hundreds of different craft brewers from all over the world.
- The Cincinnati Beer Fest takes place every September on Fountain Square; Cincinnati's premiere public space in the heart of downtown.
- The NY Brewfest takes place annually in June on the waterfront in Manhattan. In 2010, their 4th year, the festival moved to Governors Island, with over 100 breweries in attendance. 
- The Seattle International Beer Festival is a beer festival held annually in Seattle, Washington during the month of July. The festival offers visitors a selection of 100-150 beers from some twenty countries around the world.
Canadian beer festivals
Beer festivals in Canada include the Great Canadian Beer Festival, which since 1993 (with help from the Victoria chapter of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)) has focused on cask ales from the Pacific Northwest. Since 2005 the festival has been held at Royal Athletic Park on the first weekend after Labour Day. The festival attracts over 40 craft breweries from across Canada and the Pacific North-western USA and more than 7000 visitors. The Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is a nine-day event in Kitchener-Waterloo, which started in 1969 influenced by the original German Oktoberfest. It is held every October, starting on the Friday before Canadian Thanksgiving and running until the Saturday after. Toronto's Festival of Beer was first held in 1995 at Fort York in Toronto, though has been held at Exhibition Place since 2009. There is also the Lauder Beer Festival which is a much smaller and more exclusive festival held in the North end of Toronto. In 2010, the Ontario Craft Brewers started Ontario Craft Beer Week, a week-long craft beer celebration across the province. The Mondial de la Bière was founded in 1994 in Montreal and attracts around 80,000 people.
The Golden Tap Awards is an annual beer awards event held in Toronto. The awards are sponsored and presented by The Bar Towel, a website and forum dedicated to the discussion and promotion of Toronto's craft and microbrew beer scene.
Czech beer festivals
- Český Pivní Festival (Czech Beer Festival) is the biggest Czech beer festival, is 17 days long and held every year in May in Prague.
- Pilsner Fest is the big festival held every year in August in Plzeň.
- The Olomoucký pivní festival is held in Olomouc.
- The beer festival Slavnosti piva v Českých Budějovicích is held in České Budějovice.
- Nepomucké pivní slavnosti is festival held in Nepomuk city in Plzeň Region.
- Velký pivní festival v Padochově is held in Padochov city in South Moravian Region.
Festivals in other countries
Other european countries
- In Belgrade, Serbia, Belgrade Beer Fest takes place every August at Ušće park.
- In Braşov, Romania, a large Beer festival is held every year in October.
- In Copenhagen, Denmark, the big Copenhagen Beer Festival takes place every year in May.
- French festivals are held in Schiltigheim (August) and Felletin (July).
- In Karlovac, Croatia, Dani piva, held every year, 10 days starting on last Friday in August
- In Kragujevac, Serbia, Šumadija Beer Open, held every year in June.
- In Prilep, Republic of Macedonia, Фестивал на пивото (Festival na pivoto) or Пивофест (Pivofest), held every year in July.
- In Tallinn, Estonia, festival Õllesummer is held every year in July.
- In Trondheim, Norway, an Oktoberfest is held every second year during the student festival UKA.
- In Stockholm, Sweden, Stockholm Beer & Whisky Festival is held every year in September.
- In Ta' Qali, Malta, the Farsons Great Beer Festival is held every year in the last week of July.
- Hong Kong has celebrated the 3-week Oktoberfest since 1991 and it is organized by the Marco Polo Hong Kong Hotel. Many other clubs, hotels and restaurants have an Oktoberfest celebration evening or weekend.
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam has celebrated Oktoberfest every October since 1992. The event is organized by the German Business Association of Vietnam and the Windsor Plaza Hotel. The 2008 event attracted more than 10,000 guests. In 2009, the Windsor Plaza Hotel also organized Beerfest Saigon, the first beer exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City
- In the Philippines, the Oktoberfest is celebrated all throughout the archipelago. The Philippine Oktoberfest starts every first of October and ends thirty days later. The event is marked by concerts and parties usually sponsored by San Miguel Corporation and Asia Brewery, the top two beer companies in the Philippines.
- In China, the city of Qingdao holds an annual beer festival for 14 days starting in the last week of August. The festival features the local Tsingtao beer as well as other better known international beers such as St. Pauli Girl and Heineken.
Australia and New Zealand
- Hobart, The Tasmanian Beerfest is held on the 12th and 13th of November 2010. Showcasing over 100 boutique and imported beers at Princes Wharf. It started in 2006. In 2009 over 10,000 people tasted over 100 different beers from around the world.
- Brisbane has many small celebrations of Oktoberfest. Mainly supported across the local university populations, it has spilled over into local restaurants and pubs, looking to join in the festival.
- Sydney celebrates Oktoberfest at the German-Austrian Club in the suburb of Cabramatta as of 2010. This is the first year in 40 years that the Oktoberfest has not been celebrated at the Fairfield Showground.
- Canberra celebrates Oktoberfest at the Thoroughbred Park, Lyneham.
- Adelaide celebrates Schuetzenfest in January at Bonython Park just outside the CBD.
- There previously was an annual Oktoberfest Beer Festival at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds in Flemington, Victoria, after a break of two years another Oktoberfest was celebrated in 2007 at the Dandenong Showground.
South and central America
- A huge Oktoberfest is held in the Brazilian city of Blumenau (more than 600,000 visitors in 2004), and many other Brazilian cities founded by Germans have their own Oktoberfest, such as Santa Cruz do Sul (more than 500,000 visitors in 2004), Igrejinha (more than 200,000 visitors in 2006), Rolândia, São José do Cedro, Seara and Itapiranga. They Also have the Brazilian Beer Festival Brazilian Beer Festival.
- In Argentina, a town called Villa General Belgrano in the Córdoba Province has an Oktoberfest that is well-known and the biggest in the country.
- In Valdivia, Chile host each summer a so-called Bierfest that organized and sponsored by Kunstmann Bier, a local high-quality beer company.
- Llanquihue also in Chile hosts a once a year a Bierfest during summer. The main sponsor is Cerveza Cristal, Chiles largest beer brand.
- In Mexico, in the cities of Puebla, Mexico City, Mazatlán and Tapachula Oktoberfest is celebrated by the descendants of German immigrants in these cities. The largest ones are held in Puebla and Mexico City where the German community is very important and one can hear German music and be delighted by German food and folk dresses.
- In Costa Rica, every year festivities called Fiestas de Palmares are held in Palmares to raise funds. Even though the drinking of beer is not one of the main events, and despite campaigns to reduce it, the consumption of it reaches levels that are comparable to those from international beer festivals like Oktoberfest and Spring-Break.
- International Beer Day
- ^ Farnham Beer Exhibition programme, 1977
- ^ Top 10 Belgian Beer Festivals
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- ^ Dardeen, Brian (2008-08-21). "The Great International Beer Festival". Beerfestamerica.com. http://www.beerfestamerica.com/announcement/news-article/archive/2008/08/21/article/the-great-international-beer-festival-2.html. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
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- ^ BOLD Internet Solutions (2011-10-22). "KC BeerFest". KC BeerFest. http://www.kcbeerfest.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- ^ "Fountain Square". Cincinnati Beer Fest. 2011-08-24. http://www.thecincinnatibeerfest.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- ^ "NY Brewfest". Facebook. 2010-06-19. http://www.facebook.com/pages/NY-Brewfest/373264947694. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- ^ Kaiser, Geoff (1 July 2011). "Seattle International Beer Festival -- beer picks & details". The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/foodwine/2015482174_webbeerfestival01.html. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- ^ a b "About". www.gcbf.com. http://www.gcbf.com/about.html. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- ^ "Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest - History". www.oktoberfest.ca. http://www.oktoberfest.ca/aboutus_history.php. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- ^ "Welcome to the Beer Festival". www.beerfestival.ca. http://www.beerfestival.ca/. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- ^ "Ontario Craft Beer Week website". ONtario Craft Brewers. http://www.ontariocraftbeerweek.ca.
- ^ "About us - Mondial de la bière". festivalmondialbiere.qc.ca. http://festivalmondialbiere.qc.ca/en/apropos/. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- ^ "The Bar Towel: Golden Tap Awards 2010". www.goldentapawards.com. http://www.goldentapawards.com/about.html. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- ^ "Ceski Pivni Festival". Ceskypivnifestival.cz. 2010-05-14. http://www.ceskypivnifestival.cz/en/. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- ^ "Pilsner Festival". Pilsnerfest.cz. http://www.pilsnerfest.cz/cs/. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- ^ "Olonouc Beer festival". Beerfest.cz. http://www.beerfest.cz/. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- ^ "Slavnosit Piva (Czech Language". Vcb.cz. http://www.vcb.cz/vystaviste.php?cze/vystavy-2011/slavnosti-piva/7/. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- ^ "Nepomucké Pivní Slavnosti". Pivo.nepomuk.cz. http://pivo.nepomuk.cz/. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- ^ www.eshop-rychle.cz (2011-02-07). "Velký pivní festival v Padochově". Pivni-festival.eu. http://www.pivni-festival.eu/. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- ^ "Dispatches from the 1st annual Beerfest Saigon". www.draftmag.com. http://features.draftmag.com/2009/07/01/dispatches-from-the-1st-annual-beerfest-saigon/. Retrieved 2009-07-20. [dead link]
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