June 29, 2013, Lincoln Village Shops, Main Street, Lincoln, NH, 603-745-6621. The Lincoln-Woodstock Chamber of Commerce sponsors this ninth annual gathering of New England craft brewers. In addition to sampling regional beers, visitors have the chance to learn about craft brewing and to shop, eat and enjoy live entertainment. There is a VIP session one hour before the Brewfest opens for general admission.
12. Empire Brewfest
July 19, 2013, Clinton Square, Syracuse, NY, 315-426-8741. This beer festival in neighboring New York State features the chance to enjoy live music, learn about the art of beer making and taste hundreds of handcrafted brews.
July 19-20, 2013, Waterfront Park, Burlington, VT, 802-760-8535. Vermont has more breweries per capita than any other state. Sample some of the finest craft brews from microbreweries and brewpubs in Vermont, New England, New York and beyond at this annual beer festival presented by the Vermont Brewers Association, held rain or shine on the shores of Lake Champlain.
August 2-3, 2013, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY, 607-544-1800. Head to neighboring New York State for a taste of some of the best Belgian-style beers brewed in North America, along with the finest brews imported from Belgium. The 2013 festival also features brewing demonstrations, food, live music, chefs competing to pair beer with food and a Ferris wheel. A VIP event is scheduled for Friday night. Tickets for Friday and/or Saturday must be purchased online in advance and will not be sold at the gate. The picturesque grounds of the brewery are available for camping by reservation for an additional fee. No RVs or dogs permitted.
September 7, 2013, Mel's Funway Park, Litchfield, NH, 603-594-6471. The Nashua Telegraph presents this 5th annual tasting event featuring New Hampshire and New England wineries and breweries. The outdoor event is held under tents rain or shine. Purchase tickets in advance online. Proceeds benefit the NH Food Bank.
September 27, 2013, Mark Twain House, Hartford, CT, 860-247-0998. Toast Mark Twain's affection for ale at the annual Oktoberfest beer tasting and party at the author's Connecticut home. Guests will have the opportunity to sample many regional beers and snacks prepared by area restaurants. Proceeds benefit the Mark Twain House & Museum.
September 13-14, 2013, The Cyclorama at The Boston Center for the Arts, Boston, MA Allagash Brewing Company and Beer Advocate team to present this two-day tribute to Belgian brews featuring opportunities to taste and to learn about some of the best beers on the planet.
September 28, 2013, Barnstable County Fairgrounds, East Falmouth, MA, 401-318-2991. Not ready to say goodbye to summer? Head for Cape Cod on the last Saturday in September, and tip back a few cold ones at the Cape Cod Brew Fest. This is the rare beer festival in New England that is family-friendly: Kids 8 and under are admitted free. Of course, only grown-ups can enjoy unlimited samples of more than 200 distinctive beers, but admission to the Cape Cod Harvest Festival is included, too, so there'll be plenty for your whole clan to do.
19. Festival of Ale
September 21, 2013, Higgins Armory Museum, Worcester, MA, 508-853-6015. The Great Hall at the largest museum of arms and armor in the Western Hemisphere is an impressive space for a beer tasting, and this 13th annual event offers the chance to sample some of the finest brews made in the region. Plus, ticket sales support the preservation of the castle-like edifice and its remarkable collection. Tickets go on sale in early August for this annual sellout, which typically features dozens of microbrews to taste, educational seminars, music and food available for purchase.
20. Harbor Brew Fest
September 28, 2013, Ballpark at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, CT, 203-257-6403. What pairs well with beer? Food trucks! So quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger at the Harbor Brew Fest. You can even take Metro-North out of New York City to this event at Bridgeport's minor league ballpark (it's about a 15-minute walk from the station). The festival features food trucks parked in the outfield, local bands on stage and beers from the East Coast and beyond. Proceeds benefit the Harbor Light Foundation for special needs children.