What do you think of when you think of beer? Country music? Fraternity parties? Maybe a boat? Here’s another option: punk rock in New Jersey. For over 16 years, the Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival has brought the country’s premier craft beers to the casino capital of the east coast. Over 130 American craft brewers hailing from Philadelphia, Staten Island and even Hawaii, show up toting hundreds more beers. Alongside them are bands playing variations of punk and rock, many of which have been around for decades and developed significant, if not necessarily mainstream, followings. Thus, the festival’s attendees, like the bands’ fans, may skew more millennial and Gen X than Gen Z.
For years, Atlantic City Beer and Music Festival organizers have said this fest is about craft beer education. Those who want to know about the nitty gritty of beer making, whether they have prior knowledge or not, will have the chance to chat with master brewers about their beers and ask questions about the beer making process. For those less interested in the behind-the-scenes of beer, there’s always an assortment of extracurriculars like laser tag, corn hole, cooking and mixology demos, yoga, retro video games, a silent disco and, before the festival starts, a 5k run. The festival’s race sign-up asks “What better way to hydrate during a 5K than with beer?” though we recommend bringing a water bottle too, just in case.
The schedule is divided into sessions and you can buy tickets to as many as you want. Each day has at least one session that typically lasts four hours, has three headliners, and access to tastings at the brewer’s stands. All tickets come with a commemorative mug for beer samples. Since the pandemic, all of festivities have moved outside to Bader Field.
- 27,000 people attend the festival
- Tickets come in two levels, General Admission and VIP, and are available per session. Single session General Admission tickets start at $65.
- Check out Fifty Grande’s guide to New Jersey here.