Tap into one of the fall season’s most spirited traditions by raising a stein, beer mug or glass to toast the world’s best beers. September and October mark busy months for U.S. beer festivals. None can compare to Munich, Germany's Oktoberfest, which draws 6 million party-goers to a 16-day beer bust, but the United States is well on its way to setting its own record for the number of festivals taking place across the nation, with more than 2,000 now planned annually.
Some of the older events, such as Cincinnati's Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, fashion themselves after the Munich festival, but the newer festivals are an homage to craft beers, where interest and sales are skyrocketing.
Whether you chug your suds from a pitcher or drink them sedately from an amber-colored bottle, this is the season to join in the cheer. Following are some of the nation's hottest hops spots.
Cincinnati, Ohio, Sept. 22-23, 2012
Can’t make it to Munich, Germany, this year for the world’s largest Oktoberfest? You need only go as far as Cincinnati, Ohio, to party at the second-largest Bavarian beer bust in the world, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati USA. Sponsored by Sam Adams, the event draws more than a half-million participants who down more than 800 barrels of beer in a salute to the German heritage. Brats, schnitzel and cabbage rolls are among the European specialties on the menu at the event, which takes place in a six-block downtown area of the city. For entertainment, participants can get crazy performing the chicken dance, or watch a doggie derby in which dachshunds dressed in hot dog costumes compete in the annual Running of the Wieners race.