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America’s best craft beer festivals

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America’s best craft beer festivals

While sales of macro-brewed beer by the big guys continue to slump in the U.S., there’s a category on the upswing that packs plenty of flavor and fun — the craft beer industry.

Smaller regional breweries are developing beer in styles that run the gamut from crisp Czech pilsners to smoky, oak-aged porters and everything in between (and that’s plenty).

If you’ve never been to a beer festival whose focus is regional, micro-brewed or craft beer, you should absolutely change that. Here are three beer fests that are more than worth your time:

San Francisco — The Bay Brewed — March 29
In addition to boasting an incredible food culture and countless high-end wineries in the vicinity, San Francisco is also home to some of the country’s best breweries. Throw in some incredible music and you’ve got yourself The Bay Brewed 2015: A Rock and Roll Beer Festival. Featuring Tumbleweed Wanderers, Guy Fox and more, tickets include the unlimited chance to taste local beer from local brewers such as 21st Amendment, Anchor, Magnolia Brewing and Speakeasy Ales & Lagers. Beer and rock and roll — what more could you ask for?

Boston — American Craft Beer Fest — May 29 and 30
BeerAdvocate, one of the country’s foremost beer-rating websites, and Harpoon Brewery come together once again to bring the American Craft Beer Festival, at the Seaport World Trade Center in beautiful Boston. Your admission gets you in the door and gives you a chance to taste over 600 beers from 140+ American brewers with thousands of other beer enthusiasts. With plenty of beer history right in the Boston area (as well as some tremendous places to eat), it’s the perfect setting for beer lovers to experience new brews.

Denver — Great American Beer Festival  Sept. 24-26
For over 30 years, Denver’s Great American Beer Festival has been helping bring the best and the boldest brews to new palates. Hosted by the Brewers Association at the Colorado Convention Center every fall, over 2,000 beers are poured throughout the weekend for the public, making it the largest ticketed beer event in the U.S. There are also dozens of beer judges evaluating the brews on-hand and making decisions on beers entered in the competition. Be the first to see and taste all the medal-winners.

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