Five beer festivals for the fall

Find craft brews, food and live music. And if you can, grow a beard. If you can’t, fake it.

nova brewfest
Photo by James Yeager, Jr.

It’s the season for beer festivals. Here’s where you can find German-themed, chili-starring and beard-celebrating sipping parties within the state.

Richmond Oktoberfest
Oct. 20-21, 6-11 p.m.
Musical performances, food (sausages, pork loin, roasted chicken, cabbage, potato pancakes, potato salad, sauerkraut, pretzels and pastries) and international and domestic beer will celebrate German Bavarian culture at this two-day event. Find music by Die Lustigen Almdudler, with an opening act featuring The Sauerkrauts. Activities include folk dancing by the Hirschjager Bavarian dancers and a men’s and women’s stein-hoisting contest. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $15 and in advance for $12.// Old Dominion Building: Richmond International Raceway, 600 E. Laburnum Ave., Richmond

Northern Virginia Fall Brewfest
Oct. 21-22, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Over 30 breweries from Delaware to North Carolina, including about a dozen from Northern Virginia, will bring their best fall, winter and holiday brews to this two-day festival presented by Mad Fox Brewing Company. Food items range from fried seafood and chicken to Greek gyros, Italian or Polish sausages, jerky and bacon on a stick. There will also be live music and arts and crafts for sale. Tickets for adults 21-plus are $35 (and include a 5-ounce sampling glass plus six beer sampling tickets) and tickets for 16-plus are $10. // Special Events Center at Bull Run Park: 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville

Participating NoVA breweries: Brew Republic BierwerksCaboose BrewingFair Winds BrewingFarm Brewery at Broad RunHeritage BrewingMad Fox Brewing CompanyMustang Sally BrewingOld Bust Head BrewingOld Ox BreweryOrnery BeerPort City Brewing

Chili Cook-Off and Brew Festival
Oct. 21, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
A $20 tasting ticket gives guests 10 beer tastings and (while supplies last) a miniature mug. Guests can sample and judge the chili cook-off from noon-3 p.m. while also enjoying a live performance by The Worx. Chairs, blankets and coolers (for food, not outside drink) are permitted. Individuals not drinking can purchase passes for $10. Youth admission costs $5. // Orange County Fairgrounds: 14500 Old Gordonsville Road, Orange

Participating NoVA breweries: Beer Hound

Beards & Brews Festival
Nov. 11, noon-6 p.m.
Grow your own or paint on a beard at this hairy-themed event. Awards will be given for the best real beard, the best fake beard and best bearded costume. There will be food trucks and music, though kid-friendly entertainment is limited. Beer tickets are $22, designated driver tickets are $10, and admission for kids over 12 is $5. // Riverfront Park: 713 Sophia St., Fredericksburg

Thanksgiving Craft Beer & Wine Festival
Nov. 25, 1-6 p.m.
This pet- and kid-friendly event includes live music, bratwursts, pretzels, wings and other food, plus competitions, contests, yard games and prizes. Over 50 area breweries and wineries will be present. Online tickets are $20, and tickets at the door will cost $30. // Tysons Biergarten|: 8346 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Corner

Participating NoVA breweries: Old Ox BreweryOld Bust HeadCaboose Brewing