Plan Ahead: Check Out These Winter Beer Festivals

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atlanta winter beer festival
Atlanta's Winter Beer Festival is held in late January 2018. (Credit: Winter Beer Festival/RSVP Atlanta)

Many breweries and event companies around the U.S. are throwing beer festivals during the cold-weather months – and craft beer drinkers can’t get enough.

After all, there’s nothing quite like a robust stout to keep you warm. Why not throw saisons, Belgian wits, and others into the mix? As a novice, a craft beer aficionado or an advanced homebrewer, enjoy the opportunity to discuss beer with someone as enthusiastic about beer as you. Dig in further to learn more about these under-the-radar winter beer festivals from all over the country.

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1. Big Beers Festival

big beers winter beer festival
Loveland Aleworks pours at the Big Beers Festival. (Credit: Big Beers)

  • Jan. 4 to Jan. 6, 2018
  • Breckenridge, Colo.
  • Tickets are on sale now, with different packages found here

This isn’t your typical beer festival. It brings together renowned beer masters and educational seminars all in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Attending the Big Beers Festival is an opportunity to taste hundreds of experimental beers, explore beer and food pairings and learn from brew masters and industry experts during their seminars. is among the sponsors, so stop by and say hello!

Tastings will be held Saturday afternoon from 2:30 p.m. through 6 p.m. It’s open to the public and showcases more than 400 different specialty beers from around the world.

2. The Denver Brew Fest

At the Denver Brew Fest, you can enjoy live music while sampling brews with a commemorative tasting glass. Last year’s beer lineup featured craft brews from Hogshead Brewery, Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery, Kannah Creek Brewing Company and more. The Denver Brew Fest benefits Swallow Hill Music Association, a nonprofit organization for music lovers.

(READ: 12 Beers of Christmas)

3. Atlanta Winter Beer Fest

The Atlanta Winter Beer Fest showcases more than 150 beers from breweries in Atlanta, all across Georgia and around the country. For instance, local brewery Abbey of the Holy Goats will feature their Goats in the Garden, an herbal saison with elderflowers.Your ticket price includes entry, a souvenir cup and all of your samples. The event features food, live music and a DJ tent.

4. 15th Annual Invitational Extreme Beer Fest

Boston’s Extreme Beer Fest focuses on supporting independent brewers and educating attendees through creative brews and innovative seminars. Expect more than 300 beers from 80 brewers that’ll show off their experimentation and favorite brews.

What makes this winter beer festival even more special is that brewers are invited from all over the country. Breakside Brewery is traveling all the way from Portland, Oregon, to bring their pinot noir-aged brews to the beer festival. Night Shift Brewing won’t have to travel out of state to pour at the festival – and if you’re already excited to try their One Hop This Time, Boston has brew tours that include this brewery as one of their stops.

Each Extreme Beer Fest ticket includes access to all beer tastings and a complimentary glass.

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5. Arizona Strong Beer Festival

arizona strong beer fest
Credit: Arizona Strong Beer Fest

Arizona Strong Beer Festival features food vendors, local music and games. More than 100 Arizona breweries will be serving 2-ounce pours of their most flavorful beers at this festival. Phoenix Ale Brewery will have their famous Camelback IPA readily available as well as their Orange Peel IPA, Cranberry Oatmeal Stout and Watermelon Wheat Ale. If you want to sample these brews early, there’s a Groupon deal to get you and a friend a taste of their beer selection.

Standard admission includes 40 tasting tickets. The weeklong festival is presented by the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild.

6. The 10th Annual St. Louis Centennial Beer Festival

  • Feb. 19 to Feb. 24, 2018
  • Historic Schnaider Brewery Malt House in St. Louis
  • Purchase tickets

The Centennial Beer Festival is a weeklong event that highlights the history of the Centennial Malt House beer in the St. Louis region. This festival boasts more than 35 breweries spanning more than 50 different tasting tables. Featured are local favorites like Six Mile Bridge Beer, Earthbound Brewing and Crown Valley Brewery. If you’d like to try Earthbound Brewing’s full beer menu, you can try stouts and IPAs alike while learning about the beer-making process during one of their brewery tours.

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7. The Winter Beer Festival

This Winter Beer Festival will feature more than 125 Michigan breweries and around 1,000 different craft beers. Guests can expect local music, ice sculpture demonstrations and fire pits to help them warm up.

Each ticket comes with 15 tasting tokens that guests can exchange for 3-ounce beer samples, with the exception of some specialty beers that will require two tokens per 3-ounce pour. Additional tokens are available for 50 cents.

Haley loves beer and traveling, and she loves writing about them both. Watching an Arizona sunset with a stout in hand is one of her favorite ways to wind down for the day. is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.