World’s Best Beer Festivals

If there’s one thing that we love at Stoke Travel it’s a good party, doubly so when the star of the show is beer, our favourite golden liquid (there wasn’t much competition for that one). If you know anything about us then you know that our Oktoberfests are legendary — month-long orgies of beer and dancing and nudity and laughs and probably orgies — but O’fest is just one of hundreds of beer-related festivals that go down each and every year. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of some of our favourites.

Springfest

Otherwise known as Frühlingsfest, this is Oktoberfest’s smaller, charming cousin. It all goes down in late April – early May, and features all the things that you love about Oktoberfest — beer, beer wenches, beer-drinking food, beer halls, beer — but with a fraction of the crowds. This party is mostly for Münchners, a way to blow the dust off the long German winter and herald the coming of a freaky naked summer. This party is perfect for anyone who can’t make Oktoberfest, people who love a more authentic, intimate experience (with 100s of 1000s instead of millions of fellow beer swillers), as well as all you beer and party fans who, like us, will go to every damn beer festival possible. Oh, and Stoke has our awesome and amazing Springfest camp, so you’ĺl have plenty of beer money left over.

Qingdao International Beer Festival

“Asia’s Oktoberfest” is held every August in Qingdao, a city of 9,000,000 people and China’s 19th largest city by population. Qingdao has been China’s beer capital since it was occupied by the Germans in the late 19th century, and it’s where they brew Tsingtao beer, the very popular and almost drinkable beer found all over China and overseas. The Qingdao International Beer Festival goes for about a month, features beers from all over the world, and according to the following very-real testimonial, is a cheapskate Stokie’s dream:

As a foreigner, you’ll be swamped with offers of free beers to “GanBei 干杯.”  I’ve gone to the beer festival in the past and not had to buy a single beer.  The Chinese are generous and kind, they are happy to show foreigners a good time.  I’ve seen only a couple of fights all the times I’ve been there, and that’s pretty amazing considering the amount of drinking that’s going on.  How good is the Qingdao Beer Festival?  Take it from a professional drinker, you’ll have a good time!

The Running Of The Goats

Every year at the Sly Fox Brewery, in Pottstown Pennsylvania, they celebrate the amber ale by racing goats, with the fastest winning the honour of having a Maibock beer named after it. Apparently “bock”, a type of beer, is German for goat, so on May 3rd up to 40 goats and their owners line up and hoof it out for the main prize. It’s not as crazy as the running of the bulls, but anything that involves goats having a good time is a-ok with us.

San Vino The Wine Fight

Wine isn’t beer, but some of us are very classy and are watching our waistlines (grow) and prefer to sip on the grape than swill the hops. And then there are those of us who will drink anything and will find any excuse to party and boy oh boy isn’t a battle of wine just the greatest excuse to get red-wine drunk while literally pouring it all over strangers? It takes place in the town of Haro, one of the world’s great wine-making villages situated in arguably the world’s greatest red-wine district, Spain’s La Rioja. You’d think that because this festival features wine instead of beer it would be classier, but it’s not, it’s a low-down and dirty bacchanal and if you haven’t yet been it belongs up the top of your bucket list.

For Oktoberfest, Springfest, San Vino and Running of the Bulls tickets (plus access to about 20 more parties) check out the Stoke Travel Passport, Europe’s budget festival travel solution.