Fall is for drinking beer outside among large groups of strangers.
Yeah, we know. Beer festivals are pretty much year-round these days. And the urban pop-up beer gardens have become synonymous with summertime. But they all grew out of the fall. Hello, Oktoberfest?
One of our favorites is the Washington Crossing Fall Brewfest because it epitomizes what we love most about drinking beer outside on crisp days among large groups of strangers.
The setting is critical, and this one is close to ideal. The festival unfolds on the edge of the woods in a particularly picturesque corner of Washington Crossing Historic Park, a few minutes south of New Hope. The Brewfest will be held October 27, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. By then, the surrounding foliage should be hitting its stride.
Vivid oranges, yellows, and reds framing a view of the Delaware River that’ll never get old as wood-smoke from several small, well-placed bonfires wafts through the crisp air; tells us that doesn’t scratch a visceral memory or two. And isn’t that what makes the difference, the experience?
Sure, you can find your favorite craft beer almost anywhere these days and guzzle it from the comfort of your own couch.
But it tastes different, better somehow, when the experience around it is unique, the way hot dogs taste better at a Phillies game.
While we’re on the subject, don’t be so quick to nail down your allegiance. It’s best to proceed through a beer festival with an open mind. After all, there’s going to be more than 100 varieties of pumpkin beers, harvest ales, sour beers, and ciders from dozens of regional and national breweries at this thing. Is hanging around the same table or two the entire afternoon, making small talk with the brewery reps really the best use of your time and limited bladder space?
No one’s saying you need to hit them all. But there will be plenty among the offerings that still falls square within your comfort zone. Another cool aspect of the Brewfest is that everything will be grouped by kind, so you’ll be able to skip past an entire section and spend more time exploring the ales, if that’s your thing, or the pumpkin beers. (Keep in mind, this is a sampling event, so the pours will run no more than two ounces.)
An afternoon of drinking beer can stir a mighty appetite, so there will be food, too.
And not a smattering of generic bar snacks. Top-shelf beer deserves gourmet foodstuffs, hence a lineup of food trucks that will hold its own.
Tickets are $45, and they’re only available here. Tickets will not be sold at the gate. You must be at least 21 to enter and have a valid photo ID. No children or pets will be admitted. Once you’ve purchased your ticket, print it out and bring it with you. Smartphones will be used to scan your ticket and check you in.
If you’re still in the camp that insists beer is great no matter where you are, buy a ticket. Then come and check back with us after Brewfest. We promise your beer won’t taste the same through the winter.
Check out our event calendar for more seasonal events from around the Delaware River!