Fort George Brewery’s Popular Festival of the Dark Arts Will Finally Return in 2023

Tickets go on sale Nov. 25 and are sure to sell out.

By now, pretty much every major beer festival that was put on hold during the pandemic has welcomed back throngs of eager drinkers—though there has been one notable exception.

Finally, after a three-year absence, Fort George Brewery’s Festival of the Dark Arts is scheduled to return in 2023, and beer nerds better mark their calendar for the ticket release date because they’re sure to sell out.

Today, the Astoria business announced in a subscriber newsletter that it would resume its celebration of stouts on Saturday, Feb. 18.

“We took a break for a while. We don’t have to tell you why,” the message stated. “The list of stouts is steadily growing. We’ve had two whole years to gather the rarest, coolest, darkest stouts in the known universe. And this is a festival of STOUT. No porters, no barleywines, no soft IPAs, no Uruguayan Tannat. Just STOUT.”

Festival of the Dark Arts, which sprawls out across an entire city block every February (which also happens to be Stout Month in the craft brewing world), has become one of the most anticipated events among drinkers and always sells out well in advance. In addition to the staggering lineup of dark beers is the spectacle of it all: Fort George brings in a lineup of performers and crafters with unusual talents, including sword swallowing, fire dancing, ice carving and blacksmithing.

The street party will resume, complete with bonfires (it is the dead of winter in Astoria, after all), live music on three stages, and a slew of masters of the unique and curious arts.

Tickets, which include a glass, tasting tokens, extra treats and a collectable grimoire—the festival handbook—will be released at 7:30 am on Nov. 25. Best be at your laptop bright and early that day for the best chance to snag your spot.