It’s almost September and everyone’s talking about the Oktoberfest.(Because the Oktoberfest actually starts in September, and sort of just gets over in October, but it is what it is.)
Confusing beer festival names aside, it’s a well known fact that beer makes you merry and cheery and feeling festive. Hence, beer festivals.
But festivals, apart from being places where you can put your liver to the ultimate test, also double up as spaces where enthusiasts can sample not just a whole variety of beers but also cultures, meet passionate drinkers and brewers, and generally contribute to keeping the brewing spirit (and economy) alive and kicking.
In the spirit of Oktoberfest, here is our pick of five fun beer festivals that happen across the world.
And even though there are more than 30 that take place every year, we’ve picked five that happen around this time of the year, so that it’s not too late for you to take a mini, boozy vacation.Curate a calendar dedicated to craft beer, if you will.
Because we know, beer makes bitter-butter, Betty, and everything else better.
Great British Beer Festival
Where- London, England
When- Early August
Since- AD 1977
If you grab your bags now and jump on a plane, you might just make it in time! This festival worth mentioning because it’s not called the ‘biggest pub in the world’ for no reason. Organised by the Campaign For Real Ale (CAMRA), this festival offers over 900 ales, ciders, perries and international beers for you to try. If statistics are to be believed, in 2006, CAMRA estimated that one pint is sold every half second at the festival. (That’s 350,000 pints for around 60,000 people spread over a week!)
Where- Munich, Germany
When- Late September to early October
Since- AD 1810
The Big Daddy of Beer Festivals. ( Or should we say the big Vati?)
If you’re going to choose just one beer festival to attend, let it be this. Oktoberfest is a 16 day event, and it is estimated that close to 6 million people attend this event every year, consuming over 6 million litres of beer. You know you want to be a part of that statistic!
And it’s also the perfect place to sample some traditional Bavarian food and culture. Over the years, this festival has become so popular that countries around the world have their own versions of it. Yup, there’s an Oktoberfest in Hong Kong too!
Where- Stuttgart, Germany
When- End of September to early October
Since- AD 1818
This one’s actually a proper fair, but is also considered the second largest beer drinking event after the Oktoberfest. Stretched out across two weeks, attractions (apart from the beer) include the world’s largest portable ferris wheel, oompah bands (please go watch and tell us how they are), and a 26 meter high column covered in fruit which is a symbol of the festival (because, health bro!).
And the best part? It’s a week after the Oktoberfest in Munich, so if you’re having any withdrawal symptoms, you know where to go deal.
Great World Beer Festival
Where- New York City, New York
When- Late October
Since- AD 2002
Held over two days, this festival is probably the most popular among the American beer festivals. Organised by the Beer Brothers, this festivals aims to promote different craft beers from all over. Attendees get a glass on entering and get unlimited samples from over 100 microbreweries.
A crash-course in cultur(e)al learning, if there ever was one!
Bitter and Twisted International Boutique Beer Festival
Where- Maitland, Australia
When- Early November
You’ve probably heard of people walking into jail drunk, but ever heard of someone walking in sober and walking out drunk?
If you’re looking for something unusual, this is the beer festival for you! It takes place inside a former maximum security prison, and offers over 50 craft beers from around the world for your sampling pleasure.
This, coupled with live music and great food, promises to change the way you perceive prisons. And maybe even beer festivals.
Bags packed and ready to go? No? Well, if you’re not about to jump onto a plane, then jump into/onto a car/auto/bus/Uber/Ola/scooter/cycle/Go bike/Yulu bike/unicycle (free beer for anyone who shows up on a unicycle!) and head to Indiranagar. We promise to welcome you with beer bellies and a big hug. Awwwww!!!