Beer festivals are extremely popular social and community events in many parts of the world, but even more so in both Germany and Britain. At these festivals a number of beers tents or beer halls are set up and the brewers offers their wares to the general public as well as to beer connoisseurs. Most beer festivals also include a serious side to them and that is the Beer Exhibition in which the emphasis is on sampling or tasting. Awards are also given out for different beer categories and at the bigger beer festivals these awards have international recognition.
German Beer Festivals
Germany is well known for its Oktoberfest festival in Munich, but even though it is the largest such festival in the world there are also 7 other well known smaller beer festivals held in Germany throughout the year. One of these 7 is the Cannstatter Volksfest, which although not as well known as the Oktoberfest is still the second largest festival in Europe. This festival is held in the Bad Canstatt district of Stuttgart and starts a week after the Munich beerfest.
Many international beer fests have been influenced by their German counterparts and even in America, Africa and the Far East celebrations of German food, drink and culture can be observed almost every September or October.
Did you know? There are a number of Bavarian beer fests that are nothing like the Oktoberfest! Such a festival is the Gäubodenvolksfest in Straubing and the Barthelmarkt by Manching festival which has been actively held on a yearly basis since Roman times.
Other German Beer Fests
The other popular beer festivals that are held annually in Germany include the Schützenfest in Hanover and Bremen’s Freimarkt. All of these, as well as the major beer festivals in Munich and Stuttgart are seen as family and social gatherings. They are often referred to as festivals of the people or Volksfest in Germany.
British Beer Fests
British beer fests are very different from their German counterparts in that they normally focus just on draught and real ale. Over the last few years however there has been a move towards including local bottled beers and even apple ciders. Most of these beers fests are also beer exhibitions and focus more on the business side of beer drinking than the social side seen at the German Volksfests.
British beers festivals are more often than not organised by the Campaign for Real Ale or CAMRA and take place in large indoor venues. Food in the form of “pub grub” is usually also available and the entertainment at these festivals normally includes live music, pub quizzes and even tombolas.