Best Beer Fests to add to your calendar now

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Beer fests are back. Here are some of the best ones to check out around Harrisburg this year.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Once upon a time, this exact week would be the thick of Harrisburg Beer Week. It’s still a little surreal that we aren’t doing that anymore, but plenty of beer folks have picked up the slack. I’m really excited about a few new and returning favorites that I think you should look out for. These are some of the best beer fests happening around Harrisburg.

Best Beer Fests around Harrisburg

Prototype Brewery Invitational | April 30 | Harrisburg

Prototype Brewery & Meadery celebrates its official launch with a massive Brewery Invitational Saturday, April 30 at Zembo Shrine in Harrisburg. No fewer than 46 breweries will be serving delicious craft beverages from 12-4 p.m., rain or shine.

3 ticket options, including DD! Get your tickets now before they sell out!

Bonus: For those of you missing Harrisburg Beer Week, Prototype is ramping up the whole week with beer events.

Poured in PA is sponsoring a special Prototype & Friends PA Brewery Showcase on Wednesday, April 27 at Harrisburg Beach Club! Also on Wednesday, check out Miami Beer Week Florida Brewery Showcase at The Blue Sky Tavern.

On Thursday, April 28, it’s a North Country Brewing Co Tap Takeover at The Midtown Tavern, and a Prototype & Friends Tap Takeover at Brewhouse Grille.

You also can stop in to Djs Beverage and Breski Beverage all week long for brewery features leading up to the invitational on Saturday.

Stay up-to-date on weeklong Prototype Invitational events by visiting Beerscovery.

Bonifest | June 11 | Ephrata

Returning after a two-year hiatus, Bonifest is a day of beer, bands, and food from the great collection of folks at St. Boniface Craft Brewing in Ephrata.

Held in honor of the brewery’s namesake St. Boniface Feast Day, this is a great community event. Tickets are just $15, and you get a commemorative glass and first beer included.

St. Boniface also hosts a food drive supporting Ephrata Area Social Services with raffle entries for each item donated.

Tickets are on sale now at the Taproom, soon SBCB’s Lititz location, Tied House, and look for online tickets in the future.

Breweries in PA | PA Homebrew Competition | multiple dates | statewide

The duo at Breweries in PA is nothing if not thorough in their mission to share the depth and breadth of Pennsylvania beer. Their PA Homebrew Competition features six events across the state to ultimately crown the best homebrewer in Pennsylvania.

  • June 11 – Free Will Brewing (Perkasie, PA)
  • June 25 – Wallenpaupack Brewing (Hawley, PA)
  • July 9 – Englewood Brewing (Hummelstown, PA)
  • July 16 – Hop Farm Brewing (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Aug. 13 – Lavery Brewing (Erie, PA)
  • Oct. 16 – Rusty Rail Brewing (Mifflinburg, PA) – Final Competition

The top three winners from each event will advance to compete for the title of best PA homebrewer.

Homebrew competitions are a total sleeper in terms of experience — believe me, I didn’t get it until we hosted Battle of the Homebrewers and got to experience it first-hand! Nowhere else do you get to sample the variety of styles and creativity in one place. Homebrewers are a passionate and inspired bunch, and sometimes their booths are as entertaining as the brews they create.

Each of these events is held “beerfest” style — guests can purchase tickets for $35/event. Get yours now!

10th Annual Dauphin County Brew Fest | July 16 | Harrisburg

The 10th annual Dauphin County Brew Fest is on Saturday, July 16 in Fort Hunter Park in Harrisburg.

The event, held along the scenic Susquehanna River, delights local food and beer enthusiasts with an impressive lineup of vendors, live music, local food trucks, and breweries.

Dauphin County Brewfest will be one session this year. Tickets are $40/person in advance; $50 at the gate. Proceeds from the event benefit Dauphin County Parks & Recreation programs and free community events.

Buy tickets now.

Plants + Pints | Aug. 27 | Harrisburg

For something a little different — check out this community fest with brewery angle. Plants + Pints (formerly Harrisburg VeggieFest) is a family-friendly community event highlighting local vegetarian and vegan vendors, craft beverages, and other plant-based products.

Check out a wide variety of vendors, demonstrations, and of course — local craft beer. Participating breweries include Tröegs Independent Brewing, Englewood Brewing, Grateful Goat Brewing, Zeroday Brewing, and Ploughman Cider.

Tickets are just $20. The event also benefits local nonprofit organizations, Downtown Daily Bread and Harrisburg River Rescue & Emergency Services.

Lititz Craft Beer Fest | Sept. 24-25 | Lititz

One of the best beer fests around is undoubtedly Lititz Craft Beer Fest. Held over two days in September, this charity fundraising craft beer festival in Lititz draws thousands to America’s Best Small Town.

This year’s event features one session each day between 3-6 p.m. In addition to 150+ offerings from more than 70 craft breweries, take in live music on two stages, and enjoy food from local food trucks. Plus, Lititz Craft Beer Fest also features beer from its Homebrew Competition finalists. 

Lititz Craft Beer Fest has raised more than $550,000 for charitable organizations since 2014.

Autos & Ales | Nov. 4 | Hershey

Autos & Ales is another local classic beer festival, held in the fall at the AACA Museum in Hershey. The event is held on Friday, Nov. 4 from 6-10 p.m. It includes live music, food from C&J’s Catering, and of course great beer from dozens of regional craft breweries.

Plan in advance: Tickets are on sale now.

PA Flavor | April 15, 2023 | Harrisburg

PA Flavor is one — if not, *the* — best festivals in the area. This unique festival brings together Pennsylvania food and Pennsylvania beer (and much more) for “The Ultimate Beer & Food Pairing.” Truly great food, great beer, and a great time at this large event held at the PA Farm Show Complex. Hands down one of my personal favorite events.

Typically in April (we scheduled Harrisburg Beer Week to always include it!), PA Flavor been on a semi-hiatus since the pandemic. However, it returns on Saturday, April 15, 2023.

And since the organizers know it will be difficult for fans to wait, stay tuned for a new special event, PA Flavor Inner Circle on Oct. 2.

For more great beer events

Stay tuned for more great beer-related events and other festivals around Harrisburg all year long.

What are your picks from these the best beer fests around Harrisburg?

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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