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13 Not-to-Be-Missed California Craft Beer Festivals in 2023

13 Not-to-Be-Missed California Craft Beer Festivals in 2023

Hop to it—these beer events across California promise plenty of tastings, food, and fun

Posted 19 days agoby Allison Hata

The beer business is booming in California, which ranks highest nationwide for the number of craft breweries found across the state. With more breweries than you could possibly experience in one lifetime—roughly 1,100, if you're counting—a festival may be your best bet for at least getting close. There are craft beer events brewing in every corner of the Golden State, offering visitors a chance to try everything from hop-forward IPAs to malty ales. Best of all, there’s no need to wait for Oktoberfest. Here are 12 upcoming festivals this spring and summer that celebrate some of California’s best brewers and beers.

Livermore Valley Craft Beer Festival

May 13, Livermore

Add this regional brewfest to your weekend plans to sample dozens of NorCal beers—including pours from Livermore’s own Altamont Beer Works, District 15, Homegrown Hops, Pennyweight Craft Brewing, and Shadow Puppet. You can also experience lawn games, live bands, and food vendors. A VIP upgrade lets you skip the line with early access to the more than 40 participating breweries. 

Central Valley Brewfest

May 13, Turlock

Under two hours away from both San Francisco and Sacramento, you can sip unlimited samples from more than 40 breweries and wineries at this event, then hit the dance floor for live tunes from Bakersfield-based Kali Sol or check out the game zone. In addition to the 150 different beers being poured for all attendees, there are also exclusive brews only available to VIPs.

Firestone Walker Invitational

June 3, Paso Robles

Hand-selected by Firestone Walker’s brewmaster, the more than 55 breweries slated to participate at this event are among the best in the business. Though the festival itself takes place on Saturday, Firestone Walker has two days of public pre-events planned, including a kickoff concert and craft beer sensory experience on June 1 and a Brewery Block Party with barbecue and guest taps at the brewery on June 2.

Beerfest—The Good One

June 10, Santa Rosa

Celebrating its 30th year, this brewfest brings together more than 40 Northern California breweries and cider producers as well as food trucks from across Sonoma County. There will be interesting pours of West Coast and East Coast IPAs, sours, barrel-aged brews, and more from participating breweries such as Santa Rosa–based Russian River Brewing Co.

L.A. Independent Beer Festival

June 10, Long Beach

L.A. Beer Week kicks off with this Saturday afternoon event at Long Beach's Shoreline Park, where the admission includes a keepsake glass and unlimited tasting of more than 150 beers (for $15 more, a VIP admission gets you in an extra early to sample rare brews). There will also be a dozen local food trucks, live music, and games.

San Diego International Beer Festival

July 1, Del Mar

Featuring a chance to sip rare craft beers and local pours from a region widely recognized as the “Capital of Craft,” this San Diego County fest also celebrates the top-performing breweries from last year’s San Diego International Beer Festival. A VIP lounge includes five stations with food pairings and a larger souvenir glass for those unlimited beer tastings.

Los Angeles Brewsology Beer Fest

July 7, Los Angeles

Spend a night at the museum, beer in hand. More than 50 breweries are taking part in this festival that gives attendees access to the California Science Center exhibits after-hours. Opt for early admission to try specialty beers poured only for the first hour.

Monterey Beer Festival

July 8, Monterey

For its 20th year, the festival will be sampling hundreds of beers from breweries across California such as Hillside Brewing Co. in Santa Cruz, Anderson Valley in Boonville, and Central Coast Brewing from San Luis Obispo. Along with food trucks, live entertainment, and a DJ, there’s a beer festival necklace contest where attendees can win tickets to next year’s event.

Brew Hee Haw

July 14–15, Costa Mesa

Three sessions over the course of two days offer tastings of more than 100 craft beers, plus access to the OC Fair before and after the festival. Each session also has themed entertainment, from ’80s and ’90s cover bands to the Redneck Rodeo churning out country tunes.

Mammoth Festival of Beers and Bluesapalooza

Aug. 3–6, Mammoth Lakes

Celebrate summer at the mountain town’s biggest event, which draws more than 80 breweries from across the state. VIPs have a dedicated lounge and early entry to the weekend grand tasting, plus access to an exclusive pit area and viewing deck for all four days of music.

Surf ‘N’ Suds Craft Beer & Music Fest

Aug. 12, Carpinteria

At Carpinteria State Beach, more than 65 California breweries gather with local food trucks and live reggae bands for a laid-back afternoon under the sun. You’ll also have a chance to sip wine, cider, seltzer, and kombucha, and relive your college days with a supersized game of beer pong.

Hops in Humboldt

Aug. 26, Fortuna

This homegrown festival invites visitors to sample hundreds of microbrews and enjoy live music just a stone’s throw from California redwoods. Stay for the awards ceremony, which includes honors such as Mayor’s Choice and People’s Choice. 

California Brewers Festival

Sept. 16, Sacramento

This festival amps up the fun factor with a beer mile-relay that challenges participants to a round of speed drinking and running. And don’t forget to grab a few friends and dress up: Prizes will be awarded for the best team costumes. If you aren’t able to score one of the 20 team relay slots, you can still enjoy more than 100 regional beers and ciders, food trucks, a vendor village, and a Fun Zone featuring giant Jenga and cornhole games.


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