There are quite a lot of beer festivals coming up, but how do you separate the wheat from the chaff?

Well, I’m here to help. If you live in the Philadelphia area, then you probably already know how good we have it as far as beer events. You could keep yourself busy year-round with all there is to do.

In this post I’ll be introducing some of the can’t-miss beer events and festivals in the Philadelphia area for the rest of the year.

This list may be updated, with new events popping up all the time. As I visit these events, we’ll be sure to update with a link to the 2018 event recap.

And yes, I know, I’m posting a few events in here that have already passed. Now that I have what seems to be a complete list of the major events in the Philadelphia area, I’ll be sure to post this earlier in the year next year, making sure you know in advance!

There are a few other events, some honorable mentions, that aren’t included here because they are either smaller local events, or simply due to date conflicts with other events on the list, though you shouldn’t miss them if you are close by, including the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Beer Festival, a super-informative Hops class at The Foodery in Phoenixville, and the Mount Hope Brewfest in May, as well as the Yardley Beer Fest and the WMMR Birthday Beer Bash in June.

I’m sad though, as there is one event missing from this years list. The Brooklyn Brewery Beer Mansion won’t be visiting Philadelphia this year – maybe next year they’ll be back. That one was definitely in my top 3 beer festivals I’d ever been to in the Philadelphia area.

 

JANUARY

Big Philly Beerfest

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA
January 12-13

About the event: Breweries and beer enthusiasts from across the region gather on two January evenings for an unlimited sampling of fresh craft beers of all styles, and tastes and a whole lotta fun, all while raising funds for Animal Rescue Partners, a 501-c-3 organization dedicated to supporting numerous animal rescues, pet adoption groups, and community spay/neuter programs in the Philadelphia area and beyond.

My 2 cents: I was out of town for this one, and very sad I missed, especially given the great fundraising aspect of this event, I would have loved to give them more coverage. I’m just glad to know it’ll come around again next year. This is another event that is fighting for the honor of being the largest Philadelphia area beer festival.

More Information

 

FEBRUARY

 

Winterfest Live! at XFINITY Live!

XFINITY Live!, Philadelphia, PA
February 17, 3:00pm – 7:00pm

About the event: Winterfest Live! is back at XFINITY Live! Join us on Saturday, February 17 for The Great Philadelphia Winter Craft Beer Festival celebration! Grab your friends and listen to live bands all day with unlimited samplings of 150+ great beers from 75+ breweries. Enjoy winter-warmup lagers, porters, and stouts in your own custom stein. Plus a day filled with live DJs, amazing bands, super-fun contests in Victory Beer Hall, outdoor fire pits, games, activities, prizes, and giveaways.

My 2 cents: This is a great event, jam-packed with beers to try, but even  more jam-packed with people. This is a popular event that gets pretty full as the night goes on, so get there early. Be sure to head to the VIP section first, before you head anywhere else.

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Beats, Brews & BBQ

World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA
February 24, 1:00pm

About the event: Come celebrate & indulge with us as we celebrate our 14th Annual Beats, Brews, & BBQ festival! We will be pouring beers from over 40 breweries (year round offerings, seasonals, and rarities!). 3oz Samples of all beers are included with your ticket. Food is also included, as well as music from the Bob Lowery Band.

My 2 cents: I have yet to attend Beats, Brews & BBQ or the Winter Beer Festival at World Cafe Live, though I’ve been to a few concerts there in the past. Great venue, and it would make a wonderful place to drink a top-of-the-line craft beer.

More Information

 

MARCH

 

Philly Craft Beer Festival

The Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA
March 3

About the event: The Philly Craft Beer Festival, the event USA Today named one of the 10 Best Beer Festivals in the U.S., Forbes Travelercalled one of the “Top 10 Beer Festivals in America,” and winner of Philly Beer Scene’s coveted “Best Beer Fest” award for three years in a row.

My 2 cents: I was originally scheduled to get out here, but my usual DD and beer festival buddy were also unavailable, so I decided it was safest to just relax at home with the family. Despite the soggy ground, cold weather, and high wind speed, thousands of beer lovers still turned out for this long-running beer festival. Not only was the event a success despite of the weather, but every Philly Craft Beer Festival ticket buyer has been offered a complimentary ticket for the event company’s upcoming Beer Under The Big Top in June.

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APRIL

 

WMGK Local’s Only Beer Fest

Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia, PA
April 28, 1:00pm – 5:00pm

About the event: On Saturday, April 21, local beer connoisseurs and classic rock fans come together as one for the 102.9 WMGK Locals Only Beer Fest, where 25 of the best PA, NJ and DE area brewers each show off their brews. MGK has teamed up with Independence Seaport Museum to bring Pennsylvania’s, New Jersey’s & Delaware’s finest breweries into one place.

My 2 cents: The day was absolutely beautiful, perfect for an event with such a wonderful location. This was a standout beer festival to attend; I loved the friendly competition brought out in the brewers. Each brewer was asked to bring their best beers, one Flagship (the beer they are known for, or most proud of year-round), and one Specialty (something new or more experimental), and drinkers would be able to choose their favorite beers, with winners announced at the end.

2018 Event Recap

 

MAY

 

Taste of the Brewvitational

Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia, PA
May 2, 7:00pm – 10:00pm

About the event: Help Craig LaBan, the Inquirer Food & Restaurant Critic, pick the Best CraftBeer in Philly! For this year’s 8th annual Brewvitational, Craig and his expert judges will choose winners in two categories — New Beer and Lager.

My 2 cents: I have been dying to cover this event, but I have not heard back from organizers. I might just have to bite the bullet and buy a ticket early next year.

More Information Buy Tickets

 

Washington Crossing Brewfest

Washington Crossing, PA
May 5, 12:30pm – 4:30pm

About the event: The 8th annual Washington Crossing Spring Brewfest, a sellout every year, will be held in a wooded, riverside section of Washington Crossing Historic Park. The event features sampling of at least 130 beers from more than 60 regional and national breweries, live music and multiple food vendors.

My 2 cents: This will be my first time attending this year, although not my first time at Washington Crossing Historic Park. A wonderful setting for an outdoor beer festival. Any excuse to go down to New Hope with the wife is a good one.

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Phoenixville Beer & Wine Festival

Kimberton Fairgrounds, Kimberton, PA
May 12, 11:00am – 4:30pm

About the event: The second annual Phoenixville Beer & Wine Festival will be held at Kimberton Fairgrounds on Saturday, May 12, 2018. The event sold out in its inaugural year. Attendees can sample craft beers, wines, meads, ciders & spirits. Visitors will enjoy live music and browse among local artisans. Tasty food is available from local restaurants and food trucks.

My 2 cents: I just missed this event last year, and being that I live so close by, I knew I couldn’t miss this one a second time. I look forward to getting back to the fairgrounds, a fantastic setting for many a carnival and county fair, as well as beer festivals, of course.

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All-Star Craft Beer Festival

Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
May 19, 3:00pm – 7:00pm

About the event: On Saturday, May 19th 2018, the All-Star Craft Beer Festival returns. Guests will be treated to hundreds of amazing craft beer & wine samples from around the world showcased throughout the entire concourse, enjoy live music, free parking, 2 tickets to a Phillies game, free admission to the official after party at McFadden’s. Not to mention a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the ballpark like never before by being able to walk the bases, get a professional photo in The Phillies dugout, and, walk the warning track around the entire stadium.

My 2 cents: Being a big Phillies fan, this is going to be an extra-special event. I am really looking forward to being able to walk the bases. Maybe even with a craft beer in hand (that would make it even better). They argue that this is the largest beer festival (as do a few other events) – so I’m looking forward to see just how big it is!

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June

 

Philly Beer Week

Philadelphia, PA
June 1-10

About the event: Philly Beer Week is a week-long (okay, a little over a week-long) festival to celebrate Beer in Philadelphia, with 10 days of dinners, festivals, tastings and pub crawls. With hundreds of festivals, dinners, pub crawls, tastings and brewer events at pubs, restaurants, parks and other locations throughout the entire Philadelphia region, Philly Beer Week is the nation’s largest beer celebration of its kind.

My 2 cents: Philly Beer Week really sets Philadelphia apart from other beer cities. I’ve been to a few of the smaller events, but never for event coverage. This year I hope to cover a bunch of the events, including the Opening Tap Celebration at The Fillmore in Philadelphia.

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Beer Under the Big Top

Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA
June 2, 12:00pm – 5:30pm

About the event: Beer Under The Big Top returns to The Navy Yard in Philadelphia on June 2nd for another star-studded and spectacular beer festival. More than 150 brews from local and national craft breweries will be sampled…Feast your eyes upon the main stage where contortionists, sword swallowers, jugglers and more will turn an ordinary Saturday afternoon into a day that will long be remembered. Stilt walkers, carnival games, and sideshow fare from local food trucks all add to the best beer fest on earth experience…

My 2 cents: Beer Festival meets Big Top Circus. What a fun idea. This will also be my first time attending this year, and looking forward to a wild time. Should get some amazing photos here.

More Information Buy Tickets Buy VIP Tickets

 

West Chester Craft Beer Festival

Charles A Melton Arts & Ed Center, West Chester, PA
June 16, 1:00pm – 5:00pm

About the event: This will be the 2nd Annual West Chester Craft Beer Festival, with an amazing line up of breweries and beers, food trucks, artisan vendors and more. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Charles A Melton Arts & Ed Center. The Mission of the historic Charles A Melton Arts and Education Center is to contribute to the quality of life for all people of the greater West Chester community by continuing its long commitment of providing educational, recreational, cultural and civic services.

My 2 cents: This festival is only about 30 minutes from my home, so I’ll be sure to contact the organizers and see about some event coverage. I haven’t seen any recap or coverage, but the images I’ve found are promising. I hope it’s a fun event (although, if craft beer is involved, I’ll usually have a good time).

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Philly Zoo Summer Ale Festival

Philadelphia Zoo, Philadelphia, PA
June 23, 6:00pm – 10:00pm

About the event: The Philadelphia Zoo Summer Ale Festival is a craft beer festival highlighting local breweries. There are 70+ beer stations with two styles of beer at each and food trucks vending throughout the Zoo. Many of the Zoo’s first-class animal exhibits are open that evening for guests to enjoy. The event also features live music, games and activities.

My 2 cents: This is the be-all-end-all best beer festival you can go to in the Philadelphia area all-year long. I can’t emphasize that enough. I have yet to go to any beer festival ANYWHERE that tops the experience here. Can’t wait to return for this year’s festivities.

2017 Event Recap More Information Buy Tickets

 

July

 

Summerfest Live! at XFINITY Live!

XFINITY Live!, Philadelphia, PA
July 21, 6:00pm – 10:00pm

About the event: Summerfest Live! is back at Xfinity Live! — complete with indoor & covered outdoor beer gardens, 7 spectacular areas with 175+  beers to taste, food trucks, and live music. Grab your friends and come on out for great day of amazing beer-drinking fun on Saturday, July 21. Cool off with unlimited sampling of 175+ of the best summer and early fall beers from 75+ breweries in your own custom stein while enjoying live music throughout the day.

My 2 cents: Similar to the Winterfest Live, but more focus on the outside areas due to the obviously warmer weather. It can get hot, and crowded, but it is still a good time. The biggest crowds seem to be on the younger side than other, smaller festivals, so keep that in mind. And it should be just called a

2017 Event Recap More Information Buy Tickets

 

August

 

Fonthill Castle Beer Fest!

Fonthill Castle, Philadelphia, PA
August 25, 6:00pm – 10:00pm

About the event: Enjoy a daytime beer extravaganza in the beautiful outdoor setting of Fonthill Castle.  At the Fonthill Castle Beer Fest, sample high-quality drafts from around the country, alongside drafts from local and regional breweries and home brewers.  Enjoy beer pairings with locally grown and prepared foods. The First Tap VIP ticket includes early access to the fest and a chance to taste unique beers not poured during the general session.  All gusts must be 21+ and have a valid ID. All proceeds support education programs at Fonthill Castle.

My 2 cents: This is a smaller festival, but by no means does that make it inferior. With a gorgeous historic location, and absolutely AMAZING food for VIP guests, this is another event you should not miss this year.

2017 Event Recap More Information Buy Tickets

 

September

 

OktoBEARfest

Philadelphia Zoo, Philadelphia, PA
September 15, 12:00pm – 5:30pm

About the event: Philadelphia Zoo’s second annual OktoBEARfest. Throw on your lederhosen and join the fun with over 100 beers, a night at the zoo, 10 food trucks, live music, yard games, trivia and relay races.

My 2 cents: Same exact sentiment as the Summer Ale Fest, although the Summer Ale Fest has better weather (and I’m a bigger fan of summer beers rather than oktoberfests and fall seasonals). Any beer festival at the Philly Zoo should be added to your list of can’t-miss beer festivals near Philadelphia.

2017 Event Recap More Information

 

October

 

King of Prussia Beerfest Royale

King of Prussia Mall, King of Prussia, PA
October 4/6

About the event: The King of Prussia Beerfest Royale could be a case study on how local beer festivals should be planned. Small and intimate, yet never feeling underwhelming with two stages of live music (with a fantastic musical selection spanning generations), over 100 beers to try, and culinary creations from many of the best restaurants and caterers this area has to offer.

My 2 cents: This events stands alone in it’s own category. Instead of just approaching local and regional brewers, they also reach out to the top restaurants in the King of Prussia area. In a city known for it’s fine dining.choices, you get some absolutely amazing food at this event to pair with the awesome craft options.

2017 Event Recap More Information

 

Conhochocken Beer Festival

A.A. Garthwaite Stadium, Conshohocken, PA
October, TBD

About the event: The 4th annual Conshohocken Beer Festival is expected to return to A. A. Garthwaite Stadium in Conshohocken on Saturday, October 13th from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The event is a benefit for the Conshohocken Plymouth Whitemarsh Rotary and is managed by MoreThanTheCurve.com.

My 2 cents: This event, benefiting the local community through the Rotary, the location, and even the vendors themselves, were very enjoyable and giving over that ticket fee didn’t feel bad. This event had a much more personal and local feel than some of the other festivals I’ve visited. At other festivals I met a lot of distributors and wholesalers who were pouring the beers they sold, but here, most of the people working were actually from the local breweries, and knew what they were talking about when it came to the brews.

2017 Event Recap More Information

 

November

Hmm, hoping that as the year goes on, November gets more interesting for craft beer drinkers. As of yet, no notable events coming up.

 

December

 

Valley Forge Beer & Cider Festival

Greater Philadelphia Convention Center, Oaks, PA
December 1, 12:30pm – 9:00pm

About the event: Sample over 150 beers and ciders and procure some amazing provisions from a variety of Philly’s most sought-after and popular food trucks who will be vending on site. The Valley Forge Beer & Cider festival is partnered with the local Committee To Benefit the Children (CBC) and supports them in their efforts to improve the quality of life for children and families who face cancer, leukemia and serious blood disorders.

My 2 cents: This is another hyper-local event for me, minutes from my home, so another event I have no excuse to miss. Ticket sales go to a great cause, and the beer flows freely. What else could you want?

2017 Event Recap More Information

 

11th Annual Winter Beer Fest

World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA
December, TBD

About the event: Come indulge with World Cafe Live as they celebrate 11 years of offering their guests the best in winter beers at the 11th Annual Winter Beer Fest. Pouring over 50 beers (winter seasonals, double IPA’s, all kinds of stouts & porters, as well as special one-offs and rarities). 3oz Samples of all beers are included with tickets. Food is also included from Executive Chef Rob Cottman, as well as two sets from the beloved local group Whiskeyhickon Boys.

My 2 cents: I have yet to attend Beats, Brews & BBQ or the Winter Beer Festival at World Cafe Live, though I’ve been to a few concerts there in the past. Great venue, and it would make a wonderful place to drink a top-of-the-line craft beer.

More information to come.

Andrij Harasewych
Editor at The Craft Beer Diaries. Devoted husband and father. Excessively geeky. Comic books, video games, and craft beer are my vices. Favorite beer style easily the IPA. Growing love for the DIPA, specifically.
Andrij Harasewych
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