In craft beer circles, October means two things: It's time for the Great American Beer Festival and it's time for purists to admit that it's seasonally acceptable to drink pumpkin beer. GABF, craft beer's Oscars and Mardi Gras rolled into one beer-soaked Colorado weekend, is long sold out, but there are plenty of other events to check out across the country this month, gourd or no gourd. Here are our highlights:
Texas Craft Brewers Festival Austin, TX
The Lone Star State's largest annual celebration of craft beer features over 100 different beers from almost 30 breweries. Also expect live music and plenty of local food on the banks of the Colorado River. The Festival benefits Austin Sunshine Camps for low-income youth.Event website.
The Village Voice's Brooklyn Pour 2012 Brooklyn, NY
Try over 100 different beers from breweries in NYC and beyond in the gorgeous Skylight One Hanson building. The focus is on breweries from the tri-state area, but there'll be beers from across the country. Event website.
World Beer Festival Durham, NC
All About Beer magazine has gathered together more than 300 different beers from around the globe, along with plenty of food and live music from local bands. Now in its 17th year, the Durham World Beer Festival offers two sessions of unlimited sampling at a minor league baseball stadium.Event website.
Stone Brewing Co.'s Pour It Black Escondido, CA
Join the illustrious "Dr." Bill Sysak for a celebration of all things dark in the gorgeous Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. The draft and bottle list features more than 100 of the best stouts, porters, and black IPAs on the planet. Event website.
The Great American Beer Festival Denver, CO
This one needs no introduction. With more 2,200 beers to try, GABF is America's beer festival of beer festivals. If you got shut out this year, start planning your trip for Oct. 10-12 2013. Tickets usually go on sale at the end of July. You can check out our recap from last year here. Event website.
Denver Rare Beer Tasting IV Denver, CO
There's plenty of beer to be drank outside of the Colorado Conference Center while you're in town for GABF. This year the Denver Rare Beer Tasting, which benefits the Pints for Prostates, sold out before the breweries were even announced. It has built a reputation for having one of the most-drool inspiring tap lists around. This year's 34 rare beers include Portsmouth Brewing Co. Kate the Great, Samuel Adams Utopias 10th Anniversary Edition, and The Lost Abbey Track # 8. Tickets usually go on sale on Father's Day. Event website.
Breakfast with The Bruery Denver, CO
Start your GABF Saturday off strong at The Bruery's annual breakfast at The Cheeky Monk with brewery founder Patrick Rue. No tickets needed. Food and beer is pay-as-you-go. Event website.
Elysian Brewing's 8th Annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival Seattle, WA
Check out a lineup of 60 different pumpkin beers from across the U.S. and abroad, including 13 different types of pumpkin ale from Elysian. At each session, the brewers will tap a Great Pumpkin, which has been hollowed out, filled with still-fermenting beer, and then resealed with wax to condition. There will also be food trucks and pumpkin carving. Event website.
Baltimore Beer Week Baltimore, MD
Charm City's fourth annual beer week features more 300 events at over 70 plus venues in and around Baltimore.Event website.
Austin Beer Week Austin, TX
Stay weird with nine days of more than 100 craft beer events spread across over 40 different venues, including Draught House Pub & Brewery's 3rd Annual Beer Olympics. Event website.
Cambridge Brewing Co.'s 2012 Great Pumpkin Festival at Cambridge, MA
Join the costumed hordes as Cambridge Brewing Co. continues their annual tradition by gathering together dozens of pumpkin beers, including a number brewed in-house. Event website.
What's your craft beer itinerary this month? Let us know in the comments below, and include a link so we can all check it out!