Is it just me, or does the month of May get lost planning for June? From Memorial Day plans to the inevitable piles of wedding and graduation party invites that will surely suck up your Saturdays for the foreseeable future, May is gone before you know it.
But don’t you deserve a little you time this month, beer lover? Yes, yes you do, and there’s no better way to spend a spring Saturday than trying the newest craft beer releases at one of these May beer festivals.
(MORE: 2017’s Great American Beer Bars)
Chicago Beer Classic | Chicago | May 6
Jay Cutler may not be returning to Solider Field (at least in a Bears’ uniform), but you can! The Chicago Craft Beer Classic returns for the fifth time on May 6, 2017. Enter the festival through the Chicago Bears player tunnel, talk to brewers who are there pouring, build your own pretzel necklace and test your knowledge with trivia on the Jumbotron. VIP ticket holders get a full tour of the stadium.
Greater Northeast Philadelphia Beer Fest | Philadelphia | May 6
The Greater Northeast Philadelphia Beer Fest celebrates its seventh year in 2017. This festival aims to strut local pride by attracting local and regional breweries from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Maryland. You’ll want to take some notes as you taste — the festival has competitions in several beer categories and counts on attendees to vote.
7th Annual ameriCAN™ Canned Craft Beer Festival | Phoenix | May 13
The 7th Annual ameriCAN Canned Craft Beer Festival is moving to a new location in 2017. This year, the festival will be held at Margaret T. Hance Park, which means there’s more room to spread out and enjoy the beer and music. More than 250 canned beers from more than 100 breweries will be available — including many beers that aren’t usually available in the area. The festival will also include live music, a science garden, seminars and beer Olympics.
(MORE: What is a Session Beer?)
Stanley’s Beer + Bacon Fest | Minneapolis | May 13
We dare you to find a better way to spend a Saturday than with bacon and beer. On Saturday, May 13, more than 50 breweries, bacon stops and food trucks will line four blocks around Stanley’s for the Beer + Bacon Fest on University Avenue. The festival itself runs from 2-5 p.m., but there’s a pre-party and a post-party with music.
Denver Bacon and Beer Classic | Denver | May 13
The Denver Bacon and Beer Classic on May 13 will feature more than 80 regional breweries, many of them small and independent craft brewers. The festival will be at Sports Authority Field at Mile High and attendees will get access to unlimited (yes, umlimited) beer and bacon. What’s even more impressive is the list of local restaurants that’ll be cooking up bacon-infused dishes.
American Craft Beer Week | Nationwide | May 15-21
While not technically a festival where you’ll rub elbows and sample small pours in a local park, American Craft Beer Week is a nationwide celebration of small and independent breweries, so we’re counting it (#shamelessplug). All week you’ll find events at breweries, brewpubs, beer bars, beer stores — wherever you find local beer. Bookmark our CraftBeer.com Events Page to check back as more events are announced.
Sour Flower Fest | Portland, Oregon | May 18 to May 21
April showers bring May flowers, or in the case of Cascade Brewing, sour ales made with flowers. Cascade Brewing will present its first Sour Flower Fest May 18 through May 21 at its two Portland pubs: the Cascade Brewing Barrel House on Belmont and the Raccoon Lodge and Brewpub on Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy. The Sour Flower Fest will debut a half-dozen new small batch blends made with floral ingredients. The festival is free to attend, but beer sampling costs additional.
(MORE: CraftBeer.com Brewery Finder)
Gathering at the Bines Brewfest | Stratford, CT | May 20
The second annual Gathering at the Bines Brewfest will be held at Two Roads Brewing Company Hop Yard Saturday, May 20. More than 40 breweries will be on tap. The first year proved to be such a success, this year’s festival will have two sessions: one from 12-3 p.m. and an evening session from 5-8 p.m. Get more details on how you can drink among the hops here.
Tennessee Brew Works: BLOCK PARTY | Nashville | May 20
“The Tennessee Brew Works BLOCK PARTY is a musical celebration of craft beer and the community around us,” explains Tennessee Brew Works Founder Christian Spears. Music acts this year will include the Pixies tribute band Is She Weird Is She White and a James Brown tribute band Soul Power. The festival benefits the Freedom Farm Animal Sanctuary, which is dedicated to rescuing abused, abandoned and neglected animals in Middle Tennessee.
Beer City Festival | Asheville, NC | May 27
The Beer City Festival will happen on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend in downtown Asheville. This festival is on the second day of Asheville Beer Week and focuses on local and regional breweries, so you’ll get a true taste of Asheville-area brewers. Proceeds benefit Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Western North Carolina. Check out more festival info here.
(BEER TRAVEL: Asheville’s South Slope)
FemAle Brew Fest | Fort Lauderdale, FL | May 28
The FemAle Brew Fest in Fort Lauderdale is the first of its kind in the U.S. The event will feature only craft beer from breweries with a female head brewer, brewmaster or owned and operated. “I am a beer drinker and female entrepreneur that is always on the lookout for avenues to promote and showcase women,“ explains Frances Antonio-Martineau, festival organizer and CEO of Fem Collective. The event will be held at a warehouse in the city’s Flagler Arts District and feature female DJs, bands and vendors. More info on the festival can be found here.
Don’t Forget City Beer Weeks in May
Several craft beer festivals also coincide with city beer weeks. Now is the time to poke around for events planned in your area.
- Tulsa Craft Beer Week – April 28 to May 6
- Missoula Craft Beer Week – April 29 to May 6
- Seattle Beer Week – May 4 to May 14
- Green Bay Craft Beer Week – May 8 to May 14
- Columbus Craft Beer Week – May 12 to May 20
- Spokane Craft Beer Week – May 15 to May 21
If you’re booked in May and want to plan farther ahead, check out our Festivals page for beer fests in the works for June and July.
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