Yet another great beer festival takes place right in the heart of America’s Midwest. It’s called the Great Taste of the Midwest and, despite its increasing popularity, remains an exclusive one-day event that is dedicated to bringing its attendees samples of the best brews that the region has to offer.
It takes place on the second Saturday in August of each year in the town of Madison, Wisconsin - the self-proclaimed beer capital of the Midwest - and lasts from around 1 p.m. until 6 p.m., giving you just a few short hours to down as much excellent craft beer as possible. This event has been going on since 1986 and now holds the prestigious title of being the second longest-running craft beer festival in North America.
If you manage to secure one of the coveted tickets to Great Taste of the Midwest, you’ll have plenty to look forward to. Nearly 150 breweries came by to show off their stuff last year and with each year that number increases. They serve up more than 500 different varieties of craft beers of all types and flavors. These offerings come in from Wisconsin as well as eight other states in the Midwest. They are served out of five huge tents and there is a sixth tent as well that is entirely devoted to serving cask ales.
In addition to the drinking, there’s a chocolate and beer pairing presentation as well as plenty of food and music for people to enjoy. Both the attendees and the employees alike tend to show up in costume, so expect some strange attire.
Being as how it’s still a smaller festival, Great Taste of the Midwest doesn’t use the token system, instead charging a flat $50. They give you your souvenir glass (a full pint) and let you loose in the tents on a race to try as many of the brews as possible in the five hours you have.
This event is a great relaxing drinking environment that promises some remarkable brews every year. Unfortunately, it’s extremely popular and they only allow 6000 tickets to be sold for each occasion, so if you want to give it a try, best to grab some up quickly.