Whilst many of 2012’s music and cultural festivals have been and gone, this year’s beer festival season is still very much in full swing. A celebration unlike any other, the “beerfest” has undergone a renaissance in recent years, with more and more events across the globe welcoming a record breaking number of guests. Even if you’re not too sure of the difference between a pilsner and a pale ale, beer festivals offer great entertainment for all ages, along with the perfect excuse to visit some unique destinations. Read on to discover the Splendia team’s top 3…
Mention the words beer festival to more or less anyone and more often than not the first thing that springs to mind will be Munich’s iconic Oktoberfest. Held since 1810 and attended by more than 5 million people in 2011, this 16-day festival is imitated all over the world, in places as far afield as Hong Kong and Brazil. Unlike the majority of beer festivals, the Oktoberfest does not exhibit a wide range of international varieties. Instead, only beer conforming to the Reinheitsgebot or “Bavarian Purity Law” that is brewed within Munich’s city limits can be approved for consumption. For visitors who really want to get into the swing of things, the Oktoberfest Bavarian hat (Tirolerhüte) is the traditional fashion accessory worn by the locals. The more tufts of goat hair you have in your hat, the richer you are considered to be!
As the birthplace of the pub, and with a reputation for producing some truly world-class ales, it is no surprise that Britain is home to one of the world’s most well-established beer festivals. Organised by the Campaign for Real Ale and self-styled as the “biggest pub in the world,” the GBBF serves over 250,000 pints of Real Ale, Ciders and Perries that stem from 800 different varieties. Volunteers are on hand to provide expert guidance to first-time visitors and traditional pub games offer entertainment for the whole family.
The BAB-Bierfestival, Bruges
Currently in its 6th year, Bruges’s annual beer festival presents the ideal excuse to take a trip to one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Housed in the elegant medieval halls beneath the iconic town belfry, the BAB presents visitors with over 270 different beers from 67 breweries. In most cases the brewers themselves will be available to provide information and advice whilst a number of critically-acclaimed chefs will be offering cooking demonstrations and the opportunity to sample some world class Belgian cuisine.
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