A friend of mine once told me that beer tastes better under a tent, a saying that I’ve found to be true through my experiences at concerts, lawn fetes, beer tents and, of course, beer festivals.
The warmer weather that has finally arrived signals the official start of Beer Festival Season, a glorious few months where the sun is shining, the beer is flowing, the music is loud and everything you eat comes from a truck.
Now is your chance to get out of the house, visit a new spot and try a few beers from that brewery you’ve been meaning to get to, along with a lot of other beer as well.
Here are nine opportunities to do just that.
• Rock the Gates Volume 3, 11 a.m. June 1 at 12 Gates Brewing. A full day of beer and live music featuring tribute acts the Hip Experience (Tragically Hip), OCD/C (AC/DC), Unleash the Lion (Pearl Jam) and All or Nothin’ Band (Tom Petty), as well as the release of Hop on the Mic IPA. Tickets are $15 advance, $20 day of; VIP tickets are $50 advance, $60 day of (eventbrite).
• Walter Jelly Donut Festival, 11 a.m. June 2 at New York Beer Project. An afternoon filled with live music, food and the release New York Beer Project’s Walter’s Jelly Donut Raspberry Kolsch. Free.
• Third Annual Summer Solstice Street Festival, noon on June 15 at Thin Man Brewery. Elmwood Avenue, between Utica Street and Hodge Avenue, will be closed for a day filled with beer, food (including Thin Man’s menu and burgers from Allen Burger Venture), and music from Funktional Flow, Leroy Townes, PA Line and more. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 day of; VIP tickets are $30 advance, $35 day of (eventbrite). Check out Smiles from last year's Summer Solstice.
• Buffalo Brewers Festival, 2 p.m. June 22 at Canalside. In addition to local breweries, cideries and meaderies, this year the Brewers Festival will also feature around 30 other New York State breweries including Finback, Prison City and Singlecut. Tickets are $35 general, $55 VIP and $15 Designated Driver (eventbrite). There will also be food trucks and pint sales after the festival.
• West Fest 2, 2 p.m. June 29 at West Shore Brewing Company. West Shore Brewing’s second annual signature event will feature beer releases, craft spirits and mead tastings, food and live music.
• Bricks & Brews at the Martin House, 6 p.m. July 12 at Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House. Sample beer and cider from local breweries and cideries in a unique setting at the Frank Lloyd Wright Martin House. Food provided by Lloyd Taco Truck and Anderson's Food Truck. Proceeds support Martin House education and preservation programs. Purchase tickets at Martinhouse.org. Look back at shots of Bricks & Brews from last year.
• Enchanted Mountains Brewfest 2019, 2 p.m. July 13 at Four Mile Brewing in Olean. Sample more than 20 small batch beers brewed by members of the Western New York beer scene display their wares in the beer garden at Four Mile. Tickets are $30, $40 after June 15 (eventbrite). Designated Driver tickets are $10 at the door.
• Brews on the Water 2019, 4 p.m. July 27 at Gratwick Waterfront Park, North Tonawanda. Enjoy more than 100 craft beers, fine local wines and performances from American Authors and In The Valley Below. General admission tickets are $40, VIP are $75 and Artist Experience tickets are $75 (Radio.com).
• Booze & Brews Music Festival, 1 p.m. Aug. 10 at Flying Bison Brewing. Held in conjunction with neighboring Buffalo Distilling, the Booze & Brews Music Fest features performances from the Someday Maybe Band, the Steam Donkeys, A Band Named Sue, 10 Cent Howl, Randle and the Late Night Scandals and the Vinny Barbarino Experience across two stages. Admission is $10.