Beer festivals are growing in popularity and the Washington, DC area hosts a variety of events throughout the year. These events are a great way to sample a wide selection of beers, ranging from local craft brews to special blends from around the world. Here’s a guide to annual beer festivals in DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia (listed in order chronologically by date).
The annual Saint Patrick's Day street festival at RFK Stadium in Washington DC celebrates Irish culture with a wide range of entertainment and plenty of Irish beer. The event features live music, food, roving entertainers, carnival rides & games and much more.
The beer festival at Nationals Park brings together dozens of craft breweries and includes live music, games, DJs, and food.
More than 25 brewing companies present over 100 different finely crafted ales and lagers at the annual festival in Frederick, Maryland. The event is family-friendly and includes live music, kids' activities and a variety of food tastings prepared to partner with the craft beers.
Held at the National Building Museum in Washington DC, the premier beer and food pairing event features more than 70 small and independent craft brewers representing every region of the country. Along with tasting some of the finest craft beers, attendees enjoy a diverse array of food pairings.
June and October
The beer sampling event features primarily microbrews from more than 40 breweries. Local restaurants provide foods that complement beer such as chicken wings, chili, barbeque, and much more. Entertainment includes live music, arts, and crafts, vendors and exhibitors. The spring event is held at Morven Park in Leesburg, VA. The fall event is held at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, VA.
Enjoy unlimited beer and bourbon tastings as you stroll from tent to tent along the Potomac River at National Harbor, MD. There are 40 bourbons and 60 beers on tap. The barbeque selection includes pulled pork from whole hogs, ribs, brisket, chickens, sausages and a wide range of fixin's. Listen to live music, enjoy seminars with Master Distillers, Brewmasters, and Pit Masters from the Deep South and participate in contests like the BBQ Bean Eating Competition and the Daisy Dukes & Boots Contest.
Each summer, Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) hosts its beer sampling event to raise money for animal care, conservation science, education, and sustainability at the National Zoo. This is an adults-only event and you must be 21-years-old to attend.
The annual celebration includes a variety of beer-focused events ranging from tastings to seminars to beer-pairing chef competitions. Local beers are highlighted with specials at a variety of DC restaurants, bars, and other venues.
September and October
Many communities in the Washington, DC area hold a German fall festival with a focus on beer, food, music, and dancing. See the schedule of events around the capital region.
The event in Annapolis, Maryland features tastings from regional and national artisan breweries and beer seminars on topics such as "Beer 101" and "Pairing Craft Beer and Food." Live music will be performed by a variety of local bands. The event also includes arts and crafts exhibits and a wide range of specialty food items.