What is that big, yellow thing up there in the sky? Ah, yes, it’s summertime in Connecticut, which clearly means that big yellow thing is the sun. And when the sun is up high in the sky, we can all shed our winter clothes (though maybe not our winter weight) and bask in the warmth and light that lasts but just a mere 2 or 3 months here in New England. While we encourage you to get outside and take in the sun, we’re also obliged to tell you that while outside in the summer, it’s extremely important to stay hydrated. Of course, what you choose to hydrate yourself with is your own prerogative. We can only suggest what we think is best. So consider this our civic duty for the day. It’s summertime. It’s hot. Get outside. No, get outside and drink. These 7 CT summer beer festivals should help you along the way.
Freedom Beer Fest (Ansonia, 7/18)
The Freedom Beer Fest at Warsaw Park is making its debut on Saturday, July 18, in the heart of historic Ansonia. Boy, are they kicking things off with style. The festival is planned for 3,000 festival attendees, and will feature more than 70 breweries, 6 food trucks, live music and specialty vendors. All of this alone makes this a festival worth going to. But here’s the feather to stick in your cap: the Freedom Fest is designed to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The Wounded Warrior Project helps injured men and women who have served our country. Learn more now.
Two Roads Jam Fest (Stratford, 6/27)
You can’t say “craft beer” and “Connecticut” in the same sentence without mentioning Two Roads. The folks at Two Roads live, breath and, well, drink all things CT-craft-beer. Here’s your opportunity to see them in action, as they host a full day of beer, food trucks, and music. This is the second annual “Road Jam” concert. $25 gets you entrance and your first pint. CT-based bands will perform, including Snooty Garland and McLovins. The night will be topped off with a performance from New Orleans’ very own The Soul Rebels. Learn more now.
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Ski Sundown Summer Brewfest (New Hartford, 6/20)
The name alone should conjure confusion: summer and skiing? In CT? You bet! Of course, there won’t be any skiing being done on the mountain, but you can enjoy a nearly endless supply of ice-cold beer to help you feel as refreshed as you would when you hit the slopes. This year’s Ski Sundown Summer Brewfest features more than 30 CT-based craft brewers, live music, food and more. The event will be held rain or shine (there’s a lodge in case Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate). Learn more now.
ShakesBeer Festival (Stratford, 8/22)
Drink beer and preserve history this summer. You’ll feel better. 30 years ago, the American Shakespeare Theatre shut down, and has been dormant ever since. Folks like Ed Asner, Christopher Walken, James Earl ones and Audrey Hepburn started their careers at this theater, and now the folks behind ShakesBeer Festival are looking to reopen this historic place. But if doing your civic duty isn’t enough motivation, consider this: this year there will be an all-new VIP hour where ticket buyers will get exclusive access to craft beers you can’t get at any other beer festival. To drink or not to drink. That is the question. Learn more now.
Hops for Hope Brewfest (New Britain, 8/30)
You really can’t have a better cause to support than this one. Hops for Hope Brewfest came to fruition when four friends wanted to support a fellow craft-beer lover (Steve) and his family, whose child suffers from Smith-Magenis syndrome. The four friends organized the festival without Steve knowing, because they knew he might be adverse to that kind of charity. But a SMS diagnosis is pretty serious. It’s a rare disorder that changes everything about a family’s life and aspirations. This is a great opportunity to do some real good for someone in your own backyard. Learn more now.
Brass City Brew Fest (Waterbury, 9/12)
Happening just as summer turns to fall, the 10th annual Brass City Brew Fest takes place in Library Park and is a massive gathering of craft beer. 125+ breweries and brewpubs will showcase nearly 300 domestic and international brews. This is one of the largest beer fests in all of New England, and is attended by craft beer lovers up and down the east coast. Make sure CT is represented by getting your ticket today! Learn more now.
Bethel Beer Fest (Bethel, July 17)
This is the Bethel Beer Fest’s 3rd year, and promises to be the best one yet. The BBF focuses on CT breweries, giving you an opportunity to taste the latest creations by CT’s best brew wizards. You’ll also get to speak directly to brewers and company representatives about their concoctions, while tasting new, special, and limited release beers and ales. Learn more now.
Close but no cigar – Our Honorable Mention Award goes to …
This is CTBeer.com, and we’re all about Connecticut beer. But we’d be remiss if we shielded our fellow craft beer lovers from a fantastic summertime beer festival taking place, just because it’s not in the greatest state in the union. So we decided to compromise and award Valley Brew Fest with our self-proclaimed prestigious Honorable Mention Award.
Valley Brew Fest (Springfield, MA, 8/29)
Springfield isn’t in CT, but it’s really just a stone’s throw away. That’s why we think it’s well worth your while to head to Valley Brew Fest, where more than 50 brewers from throughout the Connecticut River Valley will showcase their best beers to thousands of beer aficionados. Beyond beer, you’ll also enjoy food, live music, tchotchkes and more. Heck, if you don’t want to drive back to CT (or realize that you shouldn’t) there are plenty of places in Springfield to rest your head for the night. BONUS: Take an extra 10% off tickets with coupon code “CTBeer”. Learn more now.
Get your drink on with style
With summertime heat comes this insatiable thirst that you’re constantly looking to quench. We think you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for by hitting up these 7 CT summertime beer festivals. Good luck and stay hydrated (wink, wink).