Berrong on Beer - Ale yeah! It's American Craft Beer Week
May 13th, 2013
03:00 PM ET
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Nathan Berrong works at CNN's satellite desk and writes Eatocracy's beer column, "Berrong on Beer." He Tweets at @nathanberrong and logs beers at Untappd.

American Craft Beer Week kicks off today, a seven-day event celebrating the awesomeness of craft beer. If there’s ever a week of the year to slow down, take a breather, enjoy yourself with some good company and support something that is truly American, it’s ACBW.

The beer holiday, in its eighth year, should prove to be the biggest yet, with hundreds of events taking place all over the country. The celebration has become so prominent that the U.S. Congress has even passed two resolutions supporting the ideals of ACBW. And although this week is a big deal to beer nerds, the vast majority of people are mostly unaware of it. Here’s to changing that.

The Brewer’s Association, a not-for-profit trade group that represents small and independent brewers, is the driving force behind ACBW. Below are some tips from them on how to get the most out of this year’s beer week:

• Conduct a craft beer tasting or pairing.
• Visit your favorite local brewery, restaurant or tap room and enjoy local craft beers.
• Host a tasting at home featuring craft beer from small and independent producers.
• Tweet your pride for U.S. craft brewers using the hashtag #ACBW.
• Seek out other like-minded folks by attending an official ACBW event. Use the official ACBW events page to find an event in your area.

I browsed the events and there are truly some epic can’t-miss beer gatherings planned for this week. Leon’s Full Service in Decatur, Georgia, is having an Allagash takeover with several rare and sought-after beers from the Portland, Maine, brewery. Chicago, Lexington, San Antonio, and Seattle have their own beer weeks that coincide with ACBW that are chock-full with terrific events. Austin’s drink.well. restaurant is having a beer dinner that features interesting courses like ceviche with Navajo fry bread and smoked red bell pepper ketchup paired with an Amber Mexican Lager from nearby Hops & Grain brewery.

And lastly, there’s one event taking place this year that everyone can participate in together. This Thursday, May 16 at 8 p.m. ET, craft beer drinkers from coast to coast will collectively raise a glass in the first ever “nationwide toast”. I’ll be raising my glass to homebrewing, specifically for Mississippi and Alabama who just became the 49th and 50th state, respectively, to legalize the beer-making hobby.

What will you be toasting this week? Please let me know in the comments below and here’s to a great American Craft Beer Week!

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soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. I Love Food

    Alabama is slowly joining the rest of the civilzed world of beer! For decades since prohibition, Alabama has controlled alcohol distribution and sales via the Alabama Beverage Control Board (ABC Board) which established many serious limitations on beverage alcohol content, methods of distribution, container size, brewing restrictions, brewery locations, retail sales requirements, etc. But a couple of years ago, local grass root groups such as "Free The Hops" and the "Alabama Brewers Guild" have successfully lobbied and campaigned to loosen restrictions to help increase local commerce! Two years ago the state passed new laws allowing the brewing and sales of high gravity beers with higher alcohol content, then last year passed another law allowing brewers to sell their beverages in tasing rooms at the brewery site and this year passed yet another law allowing larger retail containers of beer, further increasing the number of craft beers now allowed for sale in the good old Heart of Dixie!
    I intend to celebrate by stopping at one of our local distributors of craft beer on the way home from work and buy at least one jug of our locally brewed "liquid bread" from each of the four micro breweries here in my little home town!
    Praise Dog! Drink Beer! Life is good!

    May 15, 2013 at 11:06 am | Reply
  2. Richard

    Best is Alaskan Ale from Juneau, Alaska!

    May 15, 2013 at 4:01 am | Reply
  3. G.Spinks

    For all us beer lovers I recently found a fun and entertaining DVD about beer brewing.Brewed in Brooklyn is the story of how
    Brooklyn was once the beer brewing capital of the world and could one day be again.This DVD was produced by a small
    production company in New Jersey called Delaware Valley Video. http://www.brewedinbrooklyn.tv
    sit back with a cold one , I think you'll enjoy it ,I did.

    May 14, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Reply
    • davessworks

      Brooklyn was NEVER the brewing capital of the world. That is the most ridiculous statement I've heard in a long long time. Only in the good ol' USA : the world only extends as far as the borders.

      May 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  4. Drinkmeupmate

    now where to go in California, any suggestions will be appreciated

    May 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  5. Just Me

    Come on folks. There are only TWO kinds of beer. There is COLD beer and there is FREE beer. After that, you can get particular.

    May 14, 2013 at 10:37 am | Reply
  6. Twistr25

    I'm a homebrewer, so I'll be enjoying my Honey Rye Pale Ale and a fresh Citra Black IPA. Slainte!

    May 14, 2013 at 9:59 am | Reply
    • Barry

      Just finished my last chocolate oatmeal stout. Good thing my honey citra IPA is ready to go.

      May 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Reply
    • I Love Food

      Where did you say you live?...

      May 15, 2013 at 10:41 am | Reply
  7. taco bender

    Beer...mmm...

    May 14, 2013 at 9:57 am | Reply
  8. Gabriel

    Horray! Horray. This a great reason to celebrate such an awesome event. Enjoy a libation of the golden liquid. Cheers, Salud, A Vôtre Santé

    May 14, 2013 at 9:49 am | Reply
  9. Greg

    Grand Rapids, Mi = Beer City USA 2013!
    http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2013/05/gr_beer_city_win.html#incart_2box

    May 14, 2013 at 9:21 am | Reply
  10. Ellen

    Bear City USA – Grand Rapids, MI! :)

    May 14, 2013 at 8:41 am | Reply
  11. bbrouwer

    Reblogged this on mottled memes.

    May 14, 2013 at 7:44 am | Reply
  12. jofb716

    If you're in Chicago (or NY, Boston, or Washington), try enjoying a great beer from a cool little brewer, Three Heads Brewing from Rochester, NY

    May 14, 2013 at 6:50 am | Reply
  13. J. Hetfield

    Great stuff. Hit me up if you're ever in Downey CA for some startup brews. Rock on! James

    May 13, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Reply
    • D. Mustaine

      James,

      I thought you stopped drinking.

      May 14, 2013 at 9:13 am | Reply
      • S. Ian

        LOL

        May 14, 2013 at 10:00 am | Reply
        • L. Ulrich

          Kind of off subject, but can you guys sign my petition to end Napster?

          May 14, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
  14. christinarussell

    Reblogged this on 2 Cookin' Mamas and commented:
    Nationwide Toast – Thursday May 16th at 8pm for American Craft Beer Week! Cheers!

    May 13, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Reply

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