The Midwest’s Greatest Beer Festival Is Back On This Year

The Great Taste of the Midwest is on at Olin Park in Madison on Aug. 14.

The Great Taste of the Midwest, which might be the perfect beer festival, is back on this August.

After being canceled last year due to, um, you know, the Great Taste will go on Aug. 14 at Olin Park in Madison, its organizers announced this morning. The festival’s crowd will be limited to about 5,000 people this year, including guests, brewer staff and volunteers. That’s about half of its usual crowd, the Madison Homebrewers & Tasters Guild said, “to reduce density in the park and to increase safety for all attendees.”

Great Taste chair Jason Walters said the number of breweries on hand – usually well north of 100 – will be reduced somewhat as well. “They will still represent all of the Midwest and provide the world-class experience our patrons have come to expect over our long history,” he said.



“We know that this change will affect many folks who are unable to attend, but we have confidence that this is the right decision to ensure everyone’s safety this year and the continued success of the festival in the future,” MHTG said in its statement announcing the festival.

In early May of normal years, fans line up overnight at ticket outlets around the Madison area to camp out, share beers and purchase their Great Taste tickets. This year, tickets will be sold only through a mail-order lottery, with requests postmarked on June 7. Check out details here. MHTG increased the ticket price to the nonprofit festival to $70 this year.

The Great Taste is one of the biggest and best beer festivals in the country. In 2019, about 1,350 beers were on offer. And an intense focus on accommodating the brewers, as well as a gorgeous lakeside setting not far from downtown Madison, makes it one of the few festivals brewery representatives actually want to attend.



Executive editor, Milwaukee Magazine. Aficionado of news, sports and beer. Dog and cat guy. (Yes, both.)