10 Of The Best Drinking Festivals In The World

Corks from the Bordeaux Wine Festival, one of the best drinking festivals in the World

Thirsty? You look like you needed another excuse to drink. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best drinking festivals around the world.

From the classic Oktoberfest to the competitive wine-soaked battle in Spain, you’re sure to find a reason to pack your bags and head to the best vacation you’ll never remember.

1. Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest in munich germany one of the best drinking festivals in the world

When: September 16th – October 3rd, 2017
Where: Munich, Germany

Once a year the world’s largest beer festival takes over the streets of Munich, filling patron’s bellies with beer, brats, and Barbarian fare.

Over 6 million beer-loving visitors make the pilgrimage to this German city for 18 days of boozy eats, drinks, carnival rides, and parades. Come early, while the 14 themed beer halls offer plenty of sights and delicious drinks to quench your thirst, they fill up quickly.

Official Website: Oktoberfest

2. London Cocktail Week

London Cocktail Week in london, United Kingdom, one of the Best Drinking Festivals In The World

When: October 2nd – 8th, 2017
Where: London, England

Pinkies up, London is showing us the proper way to party. If you’re looking for crazy innovative concoctions like the flaming marshmallow cocktail, look no further. London Cocktail Week features over 200 bars, a cocktail village, master classes, tours, tastings, and just about any cocktail you can imagine.

One ticket grants you access to the participating bars and the £5 special cocktail they’re offering. With over 200 locations to sample, planning ahead is recommended (but not required – stumbling through the streets of London may or may not be on our bucket list).

Official Website: Drinkup.London

3. Kentucky Bourbon Festival

Barrel Racing at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in the United States, one of the Best Drinking Festivals In The World

When: September 11th – 17th, 2017
Where: Bardstown, Kentucky

If barrel races, cowboy boots, and bourbon sounds like your kind of party, you’ve come to the right place. For one week every fall, Bourbon aficionados and distilleries gather just a half hour southeast of Louisville to celebrate the storied history of Kentucky’s most renowned industry.

Join more than 53,000 people from all over the world to taste the finest Bourbon, two-step your way onto the dance floor, and cheer on your favorite teams in the festival’s famous Bourbon Barrel Relay Races.  And that’s just the start to a full week of fun!

Official Website: Kentucky Bourbon Festival 

4. Wine Fight

Sea of purple at the Wine Fight Festival, Haro, Spain one of the best drinking festivals in the world

When: June 28th – 30th, 2017
Where: Haro, Spain

If fancy tastings aren’t your thing, maybe shooting wine at your friends through a Nerf gun is. This festival is not for the faint of heart, before drenching your friends with the sweet Spanish nectar, you must make the trek up a mountain 5kms away.

All night parties both before and after the fight take place in the city. Once at the battleground, patrons are granted access to the trucks, water guns, and buckets filled with wine, no need to BYOW. Make sure to pack a white colored shirt (and some Advil).

Official Website: Wine Fight

5. Great American Beer Festival

Great American Beer Festival, one of the best drinking festivals in the world

When: October 5th – 7th, 2017
Where: Denver, Colorado

Taking place in the unofficial microbrew capital of the world, the Great American Beer Festival boasts the largest collection of U.S. beers under one roof. Competitions for over 96 categories of beer take place during this jam-packed 3-day festival.

Hundreds of breweries offer tastings, educational presentations, food pairings, and multiple hangout areas, including a silent disco.

Official Website: Great American Beer Festival

6. Great British Beer Festival

Great British Beer Festival in London, one of the best drinking festivals in the world

When: August 8th – 12th, 2017
Where: London, England

Across the pond, our British friends are gearing up to celebrate 40 years of the Great British Beer Festival. To celebrate, the festival is offering an online beer finder. Check in weeks before the festival for an online directory of all the beers available, so that you can plan out your perfect tastings beforehand.

In addition to sampling the largest collection of English beers, shop & book signings, food stalls, and tutored tastings are available during the festival.

Official Website: Great British Beer Festival

7. Bordeaux Wine Festival

Bordeaux Wine Festival, France, one of the best drinking festivals in the world

When: June 14th – 17th, 2018
Where: Bordeaux, France

The Bordeaux Wine Festival, taking place every two years just an hour from the coast of France, is about as close to a true sommelier experience as you can get.

Vineyard passes, fireworks, and a multimedia light show take place every evening. A digital tasting pass grants you access to 13 tastings, and plays a part in their eco-friendly implementations.

Official Website: Bordeaux Wine Festival

8. Qingdao Beer Festival

Qingdao Beer Festival, China, one of the best drinking festivals in the world

When: August 2017
Where: Qingdao, China

Dubbed the “Asian Oktoberfest,” this month-long celebration is filled with plenty of beer drinking and parties. Taken straight from their website, “As a foreigner, you’ll be swamped with offers of free beers to “GanBei 干杯.”

I’ve gone to the beer festival in the past and not had to buy a single beer.  The Chinese are generous and kind, they are happy to show foreigners a good time.” In addition to free beer, a bikini contest, parades, and carnival events are held during this month long festival.

Official Website: That’s Qingdao

9. Caribbean Rum & Beer Festival

Shots line up at the Caribbean Rum and Beer Festival, one of the best drinking festivals in the woirld

When: December 9th, 2017
Where: Barbados

As if you needed any more of a reason to visit the Caribbean, the Rum & Beer Festival taking place at the Rockley Golf and Country Club in Barbados is the perfect opportunity to quench your thirst.

This festival offers over 100 different tastings and a highly competitive Rum & Cocktail Wars. Caribbean music, cocktails, and incredible beaches make this the perfect vacation opportunity for rum & beer lovers.

Official Website: Caribbean Rum and Beer Festival

10. Northwest Tequila & Agave Spirits Fest

Northwest Tequila Fest, one of the best drinking festivals in the world

When: September 2017
Where: Seattle, Washington

Get your limes and salt ready; the largest Northwest Tequila Festival is returning this fall. 170+ bottles of tequila and local grub await your taste buds.

A cocktail competition (winner gets a trip to Mexico!), speakers, and an exhibit hall bring the best tequila in the world to Seattle, Washington for a festival you’re sure to love.

Official Website: Northwest Tequila Fest

Feature image credit: Bordeaux Tourisme

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Ellie Herring

Ellie Herring is creative writer, chai tea addict, and unofficial dog whisperer. You can usually catch her at a funky Denver music venue or festival dancing near the front of the stage. When she’s not behind her computer (or embarrassing her friends at a show), you can find her hula hooping in the mountains.

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