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In 1982, only 50 breweries operated in the U.S. Just a meresixmicrobrews were open for business.

How times change. Now there are over 3,400 breweries,with new labels appearing almost daily. That doesn’t include the thousands of home brewers who try recipes in brew systems set up in their garages or man-caves or who join “libation associations” of fellow hopheads.

“Beeroisseurs” converge at brew fests to see what new beers familiar labels have developed, sample the offerings from new labels, and pick the brains of brew masters and each other.

Related:A cool summer break in Vermont


Brewfests are not generally family-friendly. You must be 21 and IDs are checked. Find yourself a designated driver and check out these brewfests.

August 8: Microfestivus, Roanoke, Virginia

The ticket price includes 20 tastings. Choose carefully: There are 50 breweries with 130 beers on tap.

August 22, Gate City Brewfest and Wings Competition, Nashua, New Hampshire

Unlike other festivals, this one is family-friendly with games and kids’ activities. Wash down wings from 15 different vendors with beer and cider from 20 different labels.

August 22, Gettysburg Brewfest, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

This one takes place at an unusual venue —the grounds of the Lutheran Theological Seminary. Re-enactors fire cannons periodically. The focus is on brews from the Mid-Atlantic states, with 150 beers and ciders from 50 brewers.

August 29: Brews by the Bay Craft Beer Festival, Cape May, New Jersey, andLewes, Delaware

Try New Jersey beers in Cape May and then ferry across the Delaware Bay tosample Delaware brews. The ticket price includes the ferry crossing. You can also get tickets for just one location.

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