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Cheers! Raise a Glass at Beer, Wine and Spirits Festivals Across the Country
As the variety of handcrafted beers, wines and spirits being produced across the country continues to grow, there’s no better way to satisfy your thirst for these locally-produced beverages than by attending a festival where you can sample many of them at one time.
Here are a few festivals where you can wet your whistle wherever your camping adventures take you:
Billing itself as the “foremost producer of premium beer festivals in the country,” America On Tap currently has more than 40 one-day events scheduled from coast to coast throughout the year with even more to be “tapping soon.” While all of the events are promoted under America On Tap’s national brand, each festival is designed to honor its host city’s local culture, beers and food. Live music and vendors add to the fun.
Now celebrating its 10th year, the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival will be held in 10 cities in New York, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Ohio in 2016. Check out the festival’s website to find out what they’re cooking up in a city near you, but here’s a taste of what to expect: The festival at National Harbor, MD on June 17th and 18th will feature unlimited beer and bourbon tastings with 40 bourbons and 60 beers on tap, live music, seminars and exhibits, and, of course, BBQ galore, including the “Shrine of Swine” that serves up pulled pork from a new pig every hour on the hour.
March 11-12, Fountain Hills
This is one art festival where the setting is as beautiful as the art. Fountain Hills, which takes its name from its iconic 560-foot fountain, is located east of the Phoenix metro area and offers spectacular views of Four Peaks, the Superstition Mountains, the McDowell Mountains and the surrounding desert landscape. This juried art fair attracts a world-class gathering of artists whose work will be on display. Wine tasting tickets that include a souvenir glass are also available.
Late September through Mid-November, Orlando
Here’s your chance to “taste your way around the world” without even needing a passport. Each fall, the Epcot theme park at Disney World hosts this popular weeks-long event where more than 25 international kiosks offer small plate-sized samplings of global cuisine along with recommended beer and wine pairings. The festival also features the “Eat to the Beat” concert series with big name acts. (Specific dates for the festival and the names of the concert performers have not yet been announced.)
February 27, Portland
Presented by the Oregon Distillers Guild, the sixth annual TOAST event offers an opportunity to sample your choice of over 120 spirits from across the Northwest, the country and the globe. The handcrafted spirits being showcased will range from whiskey, run, gin, vodka, tequila, brandy and liqueurs to more unique offerings such as absinthe and aquavit. Even if you can’t make it to TOAST, you can still savor the state’s spirits by hitting the Oregon Distillery Trail where craft spirits are served up in tasting rooms at more than 30 locations.
March 2-6, Charleston
Save room on your calendar the first weekend in March and head to Charleston’s historic Marion Square and other Lowcountry sites to celebrate the city’s outstanding local food culture. More than 100 culinary events will be held over the five days of the festival, and the proceeds will benefit scholarship programs for students studying the culinary arts, hospitality and tourism.
July 9, Seattle
Seattle’s Fremont Studios will once again be the site of PROOF, a one-day event that will feature spirits from more than 40 Washington distillers and food from local restaurants. Expert bartenders will also be on hand to offer attendees helpful tips on crafting beverages based on locally-produced spirits.