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Where to drink beer in September


Upslope's Backcountry Tap Room

Upslope’s Backcountry Tap Room

Maybe the crisp chill of fall isn’t yet in the air (depending on your geography), but with Oktoberfest beers and the early pumpkin ales hitting taps, autumn certainly feels like it’s right around the corner. That’s reflected in this month’s batch of beer events, which straddle the line between summery outdoor parties and fall fests. Read on, then take your pick:

September 3: Fogbelt Brewing’s Wet Hop Festival A sure sign of the impending fall, wet-hop beers are brewed with fresh hops straight from the vine, not dried or powdered or spherized or … you get it. On September 3 from noon-8 p.m., Fogbelt throws its second annual wet-hop jam in the Santa Rosa, California, brewery’s parking lot, complete with a barbecue, cigar-and-beer-pairing station, live music and of course, fresh-hop beers including Fresco Del Norte IPA, Wet Hop New World Fest Lager, NorCal Hop Alliance IPA , Wet Hop Treehouse Saison and Sentinel Wet Hop Ale. Get more details here.


September 8: Great Divide’s CoLETte’s DANCE The Denver, Colorado, brewery toasts flagship farmhouse beer, Colette, with an old-fashioned barn party on September 8 from 7-10:30 at the brewery’s RiNO Events Space (3403 Brighton Blvd.). The party includes live bluegrass music, square dancing, specialty and core Great Divide beers, games, a costume contest, and a complimentary Colette or Hoss beer on entry (plus two tickets for specialty firkin tappings). Don’t forget to dress up: Attendees can win prizes for best Hoss and Colette costumes. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here.

September 9: California Craft Brewers Summit Brewers Showcase Festival Capping off the California Craft Beer Summit, the Brewers Showcase Festival will take place September 9 on the Capitol Mall in Sacramento from 11:45 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.. More than 160 California breweries will be in attendance, including household names and smaller outfits. (See them all here.) Tickets are $60 and can be purchased here.

September 9: Michigan Brewers Guild U.P. Fall Beer Festival Michigan’s Upper Peninsula—U.P., for those in the know—offers a scenic backdrop for this early fall festival put on by the Michigan Brewers Guild. A lineup of Michigan breweries converge September 9 at Mattson Lower Harbor Park in Marquette, Michigan, along the shores of Lake Superior. Guests will be able to choose from more than 600 beers from 80 breweries, plus live music and food for purchase. Tickets are $40 and include 15 drink sample tickets; get more info and purchase tickets here.

September 16: Upslope Brewing’s Third Annual Backcountry Tap Room Anyone who’s climbed, hiked or biked up a mountain knows that beer tastes even better at the top. Boulder, Colorado’s Upslope Brewing brings the goods to the mountain on September 16 with a pop-up bar at Granby Ranch, accessed via a three-mile hike or bike. The event is hosted in conjunction with Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (LNT), who will receive 100 percent of profits. (If you volunteer with LNT for a day of cleanup, Upslope waives the $10 admission fee.) From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., hike to the Backcountry Tap Room for a chance to try cans of the limited-release 19.2-ounce Outside Denali India Pale Ale, plus up to two cans of core Upslope beers. Admission is $10 and includes the three beers; more information can be found here.

September 16: Coffee Loves Beer Coffee website Sprudge teams up Stumptown Coffee Roasters for this inaugural coffee-and-beer festival at The Woodsman Tavern in Portland, Oregon on September 16. Area breweries including Breakside, Cascade, The Commons, Crux, Boneyard and more have been collaborating with Stumptown on coffee beers that will debut at the event, which takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m and is split into two sessions. Tickets are $35 and are available here.

September 16: Craft Beer Festival of the Lost Township Curious name, cool festival. This third annual event returns to Raytown, Missouri, home of Crane Brewing, bringing together dozens of artisans including breweries, distilleries, cidermakers, kombucha brewers, spice merchants, tea blenders and other makers for a daylong festival. Expect beers from Crane, Crooked Stave, Illuminated Beer Works, Narrow Gauge, Odell, Transient Artisan Ales, Urban Chestnut and many more. General admission tickets are $45 and include admission and beer; VIP tickets are also available. All proceeds benefit the Raytown Three Trails Kiwanis. Find more info and to purchase tickets here.

Urban Chestnut's Oktoberfest St. Louis

Urban Chestnut’s Oktoberfest St. Louis

September 22-September 24: Urban Chestnut Oktoberfest St. Louis Who better to throw a weekend-long Oktoberfest than St. Louis’ revered German-style brewery, Urban Chestnut? The festival kicks off in the biergarten on Friday, Sept. 22 at noon, but festivities really get started at 7 p.m. that evening with a ceremonial keg tapping. All weekend, look for specialty Urban Chestnut beers including a märzen (Oachkatzlschwoaf), Bavarian lager (Zwickel), and Bavarian weissbier (Schnickelfritz), available in half-liter and liter pours along with traditional Bavarian foods such as pretzels, currywurst, roasted chicken, and frikadellen. New this year, the festival will operate on a token system, with tokens available for $6 each; buy them in advance and get a discounted price of $25 for five tokens. All other tokens must be purchased, day-of-festival, via cash-only. Get more details here.

September 22-24: Pacific Northwest Brewers Cup Astoria, Oregon, already home to the Goonies house and breweries including Fort George and Buoy Beer, welcomes more beer lovers and brewers to the banks of Columbia River downtown for the 16th Annual Pacific Northwest Brewers Cup. Expect three days of live music from 16 bands, food trucks, and of course, 40 Oregon-brewed beers and ciders from Barley Brown’s, Boneyard, Double Mountain, Ecliptic, Finn River Cider, Great Notion and more. Attendees have a say in who wins the “Thar She Blows” prize for the first keg to blow and the “People’s Choice” title, decided by attendee votes. Admission is free, but to taste beer you’ll need a souvenir mug ($9 each) and tokens ($1 each). Get more info and details here.

September 23: Snallygaster When Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s Greg Engert (of Churchkey and Birch & Barley, among others) himself curates a beer festival lineup, you can expect it to be good. Like, really good. The annual Washington D.C. bash this year will include 350-plus beers from heavy hitters such as Cantillon, The Veil, Tired Hands, Jester King and others. It all goes down Saturday, September 23 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at First and N Streets SE (across from Nationals Park). Admission is $10 at the door, and beer tickets ($1 each) will be available inside; full beers (14 ounces) will be priced from 5-9 tickets on average and tasting portions (6 ounces) will cost 3-6 tickets on average. All ticket sales will benefit Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture. See advanced and VIP ticket options as well as more details here.

September 23: Karl Strauss Oktoberfest You’ve been looking for an excuse to take those leiderhosen out of your closet, haven’t you? San Diego, California’s Karl Strauss Brewing wants you to don those leather overalls and come down to the brewery for an Oktoberfest celebration complete with 20-plus German-style beers (many brewed in small batches exclusively for the event), plus hot pretzels and sausages from Mastiff Sausage Company. For $15, guests receive a stein and their first beer. See details and ticket info here.

September 23: Blue Harbor Craft Beer Festival Back for a fourth year at Sheboygan, Wisconsin’s Blue Harbor Resort, this festival features more than 30 breweries with some real standouts in the mix, including Toppling Goliath, Half Acre, Karben4 and Bell’s as well as local breweries such as 3 Sheeps and Switch Gear. The festival takes place September 23 from 1-4 p.m. with a kick-off barbecue the night before. General admission is $39 and includes samples and live music. Get more info and purchase tickets here.

Sly Fox's Can Jam

Sly Fox’s Can Jam

September 29-30: Florida Tap Invitational The fifth annual event, which takes place on Friday night and Saturday, September 29-30 in Tallahasee, Florida, showcases the best of what’s happening now in the Sunshine State’s beer scene. For The Table Hospitality will host the Friday night kickoff party in the College Town District on Madison Street, featuring food and beer pairings, live music, and carnival games. The main event takes place on Saturday at Proof Brewing, when more than 40 handpicked Florida craft breweries unite to pour 100-plus exclusive, rare and one-off beers. General admission is $55 and includes Friday night’s kickoff party and 12 complimentary pairing/activity tickets, plus unlimited beer samples at Saturday’s festival. VIP tickets are also available. Get more details and purchase tickets here.

September 30: Lone Tree Brewing Hop Zombie Day This is the Lone Tree, Colorado-based brewery’s most anticipated beer release of the year, with bombers of the 9% ABV imperial red IPA expected to sell out again as they have in the past. The party lasts all day and will likely include zombie costumes, a photo booth, live music, special tappings and a sweet raffle: Buy a case of Hop Zombie bombers and you’ll be entered into a raffle to win two Saturday afternoon tickets to Great American Beer Festival. Get more info here.

September 30: Sly Fox Can Jan Festival Are you hip to the radness that is Kan Jam? If not, brush up. The lawn game takes center stage on September 30 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Pottstown, Pennsylvania taproom party that also includes live music, food and an optional, brewery-supported 16- or 40-mile bike ride along the Schuylkill River Trail. Pre-registered teams can compete in a Kan Jam tournament to win their weight in beer (last year’s winners took home 21 cases of Sly Fox beer); registration for teams of two costs $65 and is already filling up quickly. Everyone else can attend for free, with beer and food available for purchase. See more details here.



Kate Bernot is DRAFT’s beer editor. Reach her at kate.bernot[at]draftmag.com.


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