Beer festivals and events return this spring to Long Island

March isn’t the only thing roaring like a lion on Long Island. Our craft beer scene comes alive with many beer festivals and other in-person events in March, April and May.

The Spring Craft Beer Festival returns to the Nassau Coliseum on March 26 after an absence of several years due to the pandemic and prior to that the Coliseum was closed for renovations. Held at the Belmont Park Racetrack from 2016 to 2019, the festival was first held at the Nassau Coliseum in 2007. Produced by Long Island’s premier beer festival organizer, Starfish Junction, this event’s year will include an afternoon session with general admission from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and VIP tickets that include an additional hour from 1:30 a.m. Over 100 craft breweries across Long Island and across the United States will be pouring their beers. The event will raise funds for the local charity Kids Need More and its Camp Adventure program to improve the lives of children battling a life-threatening illness.

The festival will also feature homebrew tastings from Long Island’s three homebrew clubs, Brewers East End Revival (BEER), Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts (LIBME), and Handgrenades Homebrew and Craft Beer Club (HHCBC). Clubs have resumed holding monthly in-person meetings and BEER will hold its 25th annual in-person Brew-Off homebrew contest on May 21 at Po’Boy Brewing at Port Jefferson Station.

Blue Point Brewing hosts its annual 4/20 celebration on the afternoon of April 20 (of course) at the Patchogue Brewery. The Shakedown on Main Street party will feature a live performance by funk band Lettuce, the Shakedown Market with snack foods including grilled cheese, local arts and crafts vendors, and the Blue Point Terpene tent with Exclusive variations of Blue Point’s seasonal Legalize Wheat Ale.

The New York State Brewers Association plans to hold a beer festival on Long Island on April 30, with the likely venue being Belmont Racecourse to celebrate the opening weekend of live racing.

Great South Bay Brewery in Bay Shore will host the Long Island Feast Fest on May 7 with dozens of food trucks, live music, local artists and vendors, and craft beers from Great South Bay and neighboring Ghost Brewing.

The popular NY Best Wings Fest, a celebration of finger-licking good wings and great craft beer, will be held May 21 at the South Shore Craft Brewery in Oceanside. There will be two sessions, with attendees able to eat wings from some of Nassau County’s finest restaurants while enjoying South Shore beers and live music.

For Long Islanders who prefer to earn their beer with exercise other than eating wings, the 15K race at Port Jeff Brewing returns on May 22 after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Billed as “the race you’ll love to hate” due to its punishing hills, the race is followed by a “party you’ll love” with food, live music and plenty of Port Jeff beers for worthy finishers.

Port Jeff Brewing is also hosting a three-day Spring Music Fest-of-Ale, featuring live music from 10 bands and plenty of craft beer, at the downtown Port Jefferson Brewery on April 29, 30 and May 1.

With summer fast approaching, Long Island’s hot craft beer scene is unlikely to come out like a lamb after a busy spring.

More information on upcoming beer festivals and events can be found at LIBeerGuide.com/events.

Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.

For more food and drink coverage, visit longislandpress.com/category/food-drink.

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