Since the craft beer boom took foothold in North Texas, beer festivals have become ubiquitous from Dallas to Fort Worth and everywhere in between. That's not necessarily a bad thing -- with more than 45 local breweries, the more opportunities to try new beers without having to drive between facilities the better. May we suggest that each event come with an accompanying hangover food fest the next day? On second thought, there are already plenty of those, too.
Prep your pretzel necklaces and favorite brewery T-shirt -- maybe even the kiddos -- because spring is here, and there are at least six festivals to help you drink your way through the season.
Tunes, Tails and Ales
May 14: This first-year fest comes courtesy of the folks behind Dallas' Big Texas Beer Fest. They teamed up with the city of Murphy to bring 35 breweries and more than 150 beers to Murphy Central Park. Entry to Tunes, Tails and Ales is free, however, if you'd like to take part in the craft beer sampling, expect to pay $30 for advance tickets or $40 at the door. A portion of the proceeds also benefits the Murphy Chamber Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for outstanding local graduates. The beer festival runs 1-6:30 p.m., but music continues until 8 p.m.
BrewRiot Homebrew Competition
May 15: Want to see what's next in North Texas' craft beer scene? Then go where all the aspiring professional brewers are showcasing their suds. Now in its eighth year, BrewRiot coalesces up-and-comers in the Bishop Arts District with some of the most off-the-wall beer flavors you've ever seen. (Sriracha IPA, anyone?) Tickets cost $25, which buys a year-long membership to the Texas Homebrew Society. Register for the 1.1-mile beer run for an extra $15. More information.
Crew Brew Experience at Main Street Fest
May 20-22: Craft beer has been a pillar of Grapevine's long-running Main Street Fest in 2013 when the event added a "brew experience." Said experience includes three days of sampling suds from a variety of local and national breweries, alongside cask tappings throughout each day. A $15 ticket to the Craft Brew Experience needs to be purchased in addition to entry to Main Street Fest, however, entry into the larger event is free until 5 p.m. every day. After that it's $7 for adults.
North Texas Firkin Fest
May 21: A firkin is a small cask or barrel-shaped container for holding, conditioning and serving beer -- so glad you asked! Often times, breweries will make small batch brews and flavor them with wild ingredients, and that's exactly what this fest at Globe Life Park in Arlington specializes in. Last year's inaugural event featured beers using experimental hops, fruit infusions and even Butterfingers candy flavoring. Tickets cost $35-$100 for general admission and VIP depending on when you buy. More information.
Untapped Fort Worth
June 11: Returning for a fourth year, Untapped Fort Worth will feature more than 300 beers from 70 breweries alongside a serving of music from rock band Built to Spill, rootsy singer-songwriter Hayes Carll and seven other national and local acts. Tickets cost $29-$65 for general admission and VIP depending on when you buy. More information.
Best Little BrewFest in Texas
June 18: Hopheads flock to Old Town Lewisville every summer for this beer festival that also pours warm fuzzy feelings. In addition to the numerous libations, which includes wine, Best Little BrewFest annually chooses a charity to which it donates 100 percent of its proceeds. Tickets cost $35-$85 for general admission and VIP.