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Ask a Bartender: The Best Summer Beer Festivals in New England

Sunday, July 19, 2015


Summer festivals go beyond Ferris wheels and fried dough. In New England there is never a shortage of beer events to keep both brewers and their supports busy all year. Over the next two months there are a number of tap takeovers and other events that unite the beer drinkers of the area. Here are a few options for summer outings that do not leave you questioning if you trust the 16-year old attendant who assures you the tilt-o-whirl was setup according to code. None of this is to say, however, that you should skip fried dough this summer. When given the chance, you always say yes to that.

Where The Wild Things Are Beer Dinner – Saturday, August 1st – Treat yourself to an amazing six-course dinner complete will all the wild ales you can dream of. Julian’s and Allagash Brewing Company are teaming up with the Steel yard for the first (hopefully annual) beer dinner. The all-inclusive tickets aren’t cheap at $120, but if you’ve ever eaten at Julian’s you know the food will never disappoint. Of course it goes without saying that Allagash would never let you down either. Join the Facebook event page for updates and ticket information.

Craft Brew Races – Saturday, August 8th – This 5K brings some of the best brews right to Worcester Common. Sure, you could run the race that starts at noon and reward yourself with the finisher’s medal and a beer after. Or, you can get right down to business with the Brew Fest Only pass and start the day right with samples from such brewers as The Traveler Beer Co., Lookout Farm, Cisco, and Downeast. You just missed the early bird registration, but you can still register online now.

If you’re curious, the Newport race is being held today, July 18th at Fort Adams State Park. Remember, you can purchase tickets or register the day of. Check it out.

Marlborough Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival – Saturday, August 15th – If you missed the Food Truck Festival in Worcester last month, you’re getting a second chance. Setting up in the center of Marlborough, over 20 local food trucks will be dishing out some of their most popular and most delicious dishes. To make this day even better, Samuel Adams is a sponsor so you can wash it all down with a solid selection of year-round or seasonal beers, in addition to Angry Orchard and Traveler Beer seasonal options. Get your tickets now.

Blues N Brews Festival – Saturday, August 22nd – If you are brewing at home, this event invites you to bring our brew and compete for a number of awards. If you’re more interested in taste-testing, homebrews or other regional brewers, you’re welcome too. Held at Nashoba Valley Ski Area, this festival brings the best of many festival worlds together with live blues music, raffles and games, and delicious BBQ food, in addition to all the great beers. You can purchase tickets online or onsite the day of. There’s more to learn on the event page if you’re interested.

Pam Martin bartends at Compass Tavern at 90 Harding Street in Worcester every Friday night and Sunday afternoon.


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