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Keep Toasting to 2011 with Three Winter Beer Festivals in January

December 29, 2010 at 10:11 AM | by | ()

Sure the majority of the holidays have come and gone, but that just means we need something new to entertain us until the summer warmth returns. There's still plenty of special winter beers and brews to sample, so here’s our picks for three festivals from which to take a sip or two this January.

· Denver’s Winter Brew Fest 2011:
Citizens of Denver know their beer, and they’re ready to celebrate their love of the sudsy stuff at the end of January. On Friday, January 28 the annual Winter Brew Fest is ready to welcome both craft brewers and mega breweries to Mile High Station to celebrate ales, lagers, and stouts. Expect at least 35 breweries from around the state, country, and world to bring over 90 different varieties of beverages to share. Best of all, some of the proceeds of your admission go to benefit the Swallow Hill Music Association.

Tickets are still available, but we’d act quickly, as we’re sure a beer festival in Colorado is guaranteed to sell out. Tickets are $30 in advance and include unlimited tastings of the festival’s best brews. You’ll even get a souvenir tasting glass that you’re free to stumble out the door with once you’ve had your fill. Of course there will be plenty of live music, great food, and other stuff for sale to help balance all the delicious beer samples.

· Philadelphia’s Winter Beer Festival 2011:
Beer fans in Philly are still digging out from the remnants of the Snowpocalypse, but hopefully by January 22 the roads will be clear for the city’s Winter Beer Festival. There’s two sessions at the Starlight Ballroom where all the season’s leftover holiday ales will be available to sample. Expect beers aged in oak barrels as well as plenty of seasonally spiced ales. Plenty of breweries will be represented, but there’s quite a few locals making appearances as well—be sure to check out the seasonal offerings from Sly Fox Brewery.

As of now, admission is $40 per person, but if want to buy your tickets at the door expect to shell out $50 for each session. Samples appear to be unlimited, so you’ll be more than welcome to overindulge on some of your favorite offerings. You’re even free to bring along a personal designated driver, and these folks can get in for just $10. Munchies will be available including hamburgers, hot dogs, and pretzels—hopefully some awesome PA-style soft pretzels.

· Great Alaska Beer & Barley Wine Festival :
It might be a little far away for most of the country’s beer lovers, but with over 200 beers and barley wines to sample, it could be worth it to buy a plane ticket and make a trip up north. It’s the 17th year that fans have been gathering in Anchorage to celebrate a way to keep warm during the winter, and this year’s events will be held at the William Egan Convention Center. Expect plenty of different opportunities to sample, but remember to take it easy as some of those barley wines are way stronger than that Coors Light in the back of your fridge.

Tickets to this year’s event are $45 per session, and that will get you access to all the samples you can handle. There will be food and entertainment as well, just in case you get tired and need a break from all the boozing. This year’s festival runs on January 14 and 15, with one session on Friday and two sessions on Saturday. Maybe after two or three you can even see how the locals really feel about Sarah Palin.

Related Stories:
· Winter Beer Festival Philadelphia [Official Site]
· Winter Beer Fest Denver [Official Site]
· Great Alaska Beer Festival [Official Site]
· Beer Travel coverage [Jaunted]

[Photos: Theworldeffect and zieak]

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