Beer festivals have become such a part of Australia's craft beer scene they now take place whatever the time of year and come in so many different formats. From one-day events in the height of summer that see beer fans pack into regional cities, to week-long extravaganzas that attract international guests, beer festivals have increasingly diversified in recent years.
Add in those dedicated to music, food, art and anything else involving fun and there's a good chance there'll be good beer involved somewhere. It's a healthy state of affairs for anyone wanting to explore the diversity of the local (and international) beer world. And, to make exploration easier, we've gathered the country's major festivals and beer weeks in one place.
NB: The festivals listed here are generally large or multi-day events. For hundreds of smaller events, see The Crafty Pint’s Events Diary for Australia’s most comprehensive calendar of craft beer events. If there’s a festival or event you think is missing – or if you’re planning one – let us know.
NB II: To be in with a chance of winning free tickets, VIP packs, beer, merch & more at some of the country’s leading beer festivals, why not join the Crafty Cabal and become a supporter of The Crafty Pint?
Kosciuszko Craft Beer Festival (VIC)
February 9, 2019
An opportunity to celebrate beer from great heights, Kosciuszko Craft Beer Festival is takes place at alpine village Thredbo the middle of summer. Held at the Thredbo Alpine Hotel in the heart of the picturesque Snowy Mountains, the festival features a range of breweries from far and wide.
South West Craft Beer Festival (WA)
February 16, 2019
Taking over Signal Park on Busselton’s picturesque town foreshore, South West Craft Beer Festival brings beers and ciders from across one region of Western Australia together. In total, 130 plus beers will be pouring from some 25 different craft breweries and cideries, including some special and new releases at the festival’s One Off Tasting Bar.
Great Australian Beer Festival Geelong (VIC)
February 16, 2019
One of Victoria's longest-running and most diverse beer festivals returns to its home at the Geelong Racecourse again in February, bringing together more than 200 craft beers and ciders, music, food, entertainment, brewer challenges and more. All the favourites from past events will be there, while, as ever, the organisers have conjured a few new ideas for guests.
Look out for ticket giveaways for Crafty Cabal members going live mid-October 2018.
Brewer's Feast (VIC)
February 23 & 24, 2019
A beer festival with something of a food first approach, the Brewer's Feast (pictured above) is set in the gorgeous grounds of the Abbotsford Convent. Over two days, Victorian brewers will pour both their regular beers and some made just for the festival, as local restaurants cook up a storm and live music fills the air.
Look out for ticket giveaways, including some special packages, for Crafty Cabal members from October.
Beer InCider Melbourne (VIC)
March 2, 2019
Having taken Brisbane by storm over the past five years, The Beer InCider Experience brings its heady mix of great live music and craft beer to Melbourne for the first time in 2019. The crew will be taking over the Melbourne Showgrounds and you can expect killer acts as well as a huge lineup of brewers and food stalls.
Beer InCider Brisbane – March Edition (QLD)
March 9, 2019
When you can sell 20,000 tickets over two sessions for your festival, why not do it twice a year. That's what the Beer InCider team is doing in Brisbane, bringing the successful formula to March to tie in with long-running beer week Brewsvegas.
Brewsvegas 2019 (QLD)
March 14 to 24, 2019
Speaking of which... Brewsvegas is the not-for-profit beer week run by the Brisbane beer community for the Brisbane beer community and is one of the most fun ways you can occupy yourself for ten days straight (provided you've got the stamina). Expect all manner of madness alongside more typical beer week events.
Canberra Craft Beer & Cider Festival (ACT)
March 16, 2019
The Canberra Craft Beer & Cider Festival returns with a big lineup of both local breweries and those from further afield. A record number of exhibitors is expected for the event staged in the gardens of the heritage Mercure Canberra in Braddon, including breweries from across Australia along with live bands, food, entertainment and a wide range of kids’ activities.
High Country Harvest (VIC)
March 30 to March 31, 2019
Victoria's High Country is one of Australia's major hop-growing regions and to showcase that fact, Bridge Road Brewers throws a festival during harvest each year.
High Country Harvest sees the Beechworth brewery team up with seven other breweries from the region for a two day celebration of hops, beer, food and live music. It's also the launch of Bridge Road's Harvest and Dark Harvest beers, the two longest continually produced fresh hopped beers in the country.
Fresh Harvest Beer Festival (NSW)
April 20, 2019.
Launched by the team at Frenchies Bistro & Brewery, the Fresh Harvest Beer Festival will return for its second year in 2019. The day is designed to celebrate fresh, hoppy beers, the annual hop harvest and more besides, so expect plenty of limited release and one off beers just for the occasion.
April 26 to April 28, 2019.
Tasmania might be a little island but it grows a majority of the country's hops, many of which are in growing demand globally. So it's only fitting the state should celebrate its annual bounty, which is what the team at Saint John Craft Beer in Launceston had in mind when they launched Fresh Hop Beer Festival a few years back. Now the festival sees more than 25 breweries from across Australia – most of which hail from Tassie – will launch new beers they've created with hops have been rush straight from their bines to the brewery quicksmart.
GABS Brisbane (QLD)
April 27, 2019.
For the first time ever, one of Australia's biggest beer festivals will head to Brisbane in 2018. Taking places at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Brisbane’s South Bank, GABS Brisbane will bring the festival beers, brewer stands, masterclasses, entertainment and food offerings that have all helped make the GABS name so synonymous with good beer. Like the Sydney leg of the roving tour, the festival will take places over two sessions held on one day.
Byron Bay Craft Beer Festival 2019
May 4, 2019.
Taking over the Sun Bistro, the Byron Bay Craft Beer Festival will see more than 20 breweries showcase some 80 beers for one day only in the coastal paradise. The day will also feature local food trucks, live music and the festival has partnered with ticketing platform Humanitix and the charity Ozharvest to raise money for the important cause.
Good Beer Week (VIC)
May 10 – 19, 2019
Australia's biggest celebration of the best of the beer world both here and globally, will once again take over Melbourne and its surrounds in May. For those who have never attended, the weeklong festival takes over good beer venues across the city for tap takeovers, beer dinners, unique brewdays and all kinds of events in celebration of good beer.
GABS Melbourne (VIC)
May 17 to 19, 2019
One of the biggest beer festivals in the world is also one that stands out from the crowd. Sure, there's heaps of brewer stands, food offerings, masterclasses and entertainment – turned up to eleven here compared to most festivals. But then there's the container bars filled with more than 100 beers and ciders created specially for the event.
GABS Sydney (NSW)
June 1, 2019
It's fair to say the Sydney leg of GABS found its feet in 2018. It was the third time the festival had taken place in the city, moving to a new location within the Olympic Park, enlisting its own train to help get punters to and from the festival and attracting record numbers. It's the same mix of beers, ciders, entertainment and education as in Melbourne, albeit over two sessions on one day rather than an entire weekend.