Beer has been one of the world's most popular alcoholic beverages for thousands of years, and every September, Munich, Germany, hosts the world's largest beer festival. Oktoberfest is a 16 to 18 day folkloric celebration that has been held annually since 1810. It is a great opportunity for beer lovers to sample both local and international brews, as well as enjoy live music and other festivities. At Oktoberfest, visitors can sample traditional Bavarian beers such as pilsner and weissbier, which were initially brewed in the Czech Republic. However, craft brewers from around the world are also competing for a seat at the event, hoping that their beers will be included in the 6.6 billion liters of beer consumed by festival visitors.
Heineken, Grolsch and other major brewers showcase their bock beers at the event, which includes more than 50 types. Oktoberfest has been the subject of several performances in popular culture, and it is often misperceived as the biggest beer festival in the world. However, there are several other large beer festivals around the world that are worth checking out. The Belgian Beer Weekend is one of the biggest beer festivals in the world and is organized by the Belgian Brewers Guild in Brussels.
It features more than 350 of the best Belgian beers from 51 small and large local brewers on the first weekend of September. The Montreal Beer Festival, known locally as Mondial de la Bière, is another great event for beer lovers. It will have 637 beers from some 200 different breweries for its next twentieth edition, from May 29 to June 2 of this year. The National Winter Ales Festival is held annually at the Sheridan suite and is the second largest beer festival in the world.
It features more than 150 double IPAs, dark beers, barrel-aged beers and sour beers from 16 different countries. The Great American Beer Festival is held annually at the Colorado National Convention Center in Denver and attracts an average of 50,000 beer lovers over three days. Visitors can try more than 2000 different American craft beers as well as more than 1000 different international beers made by more than 500 different brewers. In Asia, Qingdao hosts a 24-day celebration every July that specializes in both beer and entertainment. This event attracts visitors from all over the world and more than 4.2 million thirsty guests attend it each year. The Cannstatter Volksfest is held every year at the Cannstatter Wasen in Stuttgart, Germany during three-week festivities and includes seven large beer tents with capacity for more than 5,000 people each. The Czech Beer Event is not one of the most important festivals in the world but it also plays an important role in the evolution of global beer.
The Montreal Beer Fest ensures that visitors will discover plenty of beers they've never heard of with its focus on South American beers. Finally, Portland hosts one of the oldest craft beer festivals in the country with nearly 70,000 beer lovers heading there to taste some of the best froths in the United States. On the first Sunday of this festival, 8,000 participants march in a parade wearing their historic festival costumes from Maximilianeum over a seven-kilometer stretch to the festival site. Oktoberfest may be one of the most famous beer festivals in the world but there are many other great events worth checking out if you're looking for an unforgettable experience with delicious food and live music.