Where: The Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland
When: Hours are 8 to 11:30 p.m. Jan. 26 and 27. Early admission tickets let you in one hour earlier. A Special Connoisseurs Reception is 7 to 11:30 p.m. Jan. 26 and 27, with food service from 7 to 9 p.m. Designated drivers are admitted from 7 to 11:30 p.m.
Why you should go: If you love beer, you already know why you should go. If you’re still learning to love beer, this festival is a fantastic way to sample a variety of craft beers from more than 100 breweries. You will definitely find something that you like or love. Taste something you’re not a fan of? Dump it out and move along to the next booth. If you don’t know what you like, the “bartenders” at each booth should be able to steer you in the right direction based on what you’ve previously enjoyed.
How much: Early admission tickets are $55 in advance and $65 day of event. Regular admission tickets are $45 in advance and $55 day of event. Admission tickets get you 25 beer sample tickets and a 5 oz. souvenir beer mug.
Connoisseurs tickets are $90, advance purchase only, and include 25 beer sample tickets, a souvenir glass, connoisseur-only beers, appetizers, complimentary coat check and private restrooms. You can come and go in the Connoisseur Reception Area as you please.
Designated driver tickets are $20 in advance (online only) and include a $5 voucher for food at any food booth and water/soft drinks at the event. The Connoisseur Designated Driver tickets are $35 and offer the same access as the Connoisseur tickets, minus the alcohol.
A note based on previous experience: It might seem pricey, but 25 samples is a LOT. The price of admission is absolutely worth the amount of beer you will drink. Where else can you try so many beers from so many different places? You’ll probably find a new favorite brewery or beer.
How to get more information: Visit www.clevelandbeerfest.com/winter.
Win free tickets: Find out how here.
Cheryl Sadler loves beer, festivals and beer festivals. Follow her on Twitter @sadlercheryl.