American Craft Beer Week - A whole week devoted to the magnificence that is craft beer.
Craft brewers, retailers, home brewers, distributors, beer lovers and even the United States Congress have been busily making plans to celebrate this week, which runs from May 17th to May 23rd.
Last year hundred of events were held nationally to recognize craft beer and its tremendous impact on the American beer drinker.
This year promises to be more of the same. Already hundreds of events are posted on the offi cial web site for the week (www.americancraftbeerweek. org) and over 16,000 fans are following the Facebook page created for the week. The week is designed to be a celebration of small and independent brewers with a focus on featuring why American Craft Beer is some of the best beer in the world. The events are an opportunity to share with the consumer and invite them to join in the celebration. Conducted in a similar fashion to local Beer Weeks made popular in cities like San Francisco and Philadelphia, and which have now spread throughout the nation, expect ACBW to provide plenty of fun and opportunity to drink good beer.
In Arizona, events are still being planned as we go to press, but we already know that Papago Brewing will be featuring one of the newest entrants in to the market on May 20th. Crispin Ciders will be featured from 6 PM to 8 PM that night. Look especially for The Saint and Honey Crisp from the Artisanal Reserve Series. On Friday night May 21st, the Hard Rock in downtown Phoenix will be opening their Sun Up Patio. Sun Up Brewer Uwe Boer will be on hand from 4:30 to 7 PM that evening as the Hard Rock opens its patio. Before every home baseball game look for Sun Up Light Rail Cream Ale and Armadillo Red featured on the patio.
We mentioned earlier that Congress was involved in ACBW as well. How so? Glad you asked. House Resolution 1297 adopted on April 22nd recognizes and supports the goals of American Craft Beer Week. Considering the fi nal paragraph of the resolution encourages beer lovers to attend events and celebrate American Craft Beer Week, it seems as if we all have a Congressional mandate to attend these events and enjoy craft beer. As Stephen Colbert said on his television show, “This isn’t one of those fake holidays…No, this is officially sanctioned by congress, as of 2006, which in my book makes it the equal to the separation of church and state.” With 62 co-sponsors from across the country and from both sides of the aisle, this resolution is a true act of bi-partisanship and something that each and every member of Congress should be proud of. So complain all you want about health care, and taxes and other hot button topics, but they got this one right.
Enough about American Craft Beer Week, what we really need here is Arizona Beer Week. That’s right, a week dedicated to the wonderful beers brewed and available in the state. Imagine a week bookended by two major events and a whole bunch of little things in between. Beer Dinners, Pint Nights, Promotions, Festivals, Beer Education and more…it makes our heart go pitter patter and brings a little tear to our eye just to think about it. Well rumor has it that the Arizona Craft Brewers Guild and a few others are starting to kick this idea around, and maybe 2011 will bring us our fi rst Arizona Beer Week. That would be one of the next big steps for craft beer in the state. After all if Minnesota and Charlotte and even Cleveland can have a beer week, why can’t we?
For now, we have ACBW, so get out that week, stop by your local watering hole and enjoy some good craft beer. Hit the local breweries and thank them for what they do to support great beer in our state. Attend the events that are going on. In general, take a week to celebrate great American Craft Beer. You’ll be glad you did.
As Seen in AZ Weekly