These days it seems like there is some sort of beer-centric celebration held every weekend. Well, if you haven't had quite enough yet, American Craft Beer Week kicks off in the middle of May. This national celebration of all that is great and good about craft brewing is a bit different from other celebrations and festivals that you might have attended, though. What's on offer here?
First, American Craft Beer Week runs from May 16 through the 22nd. This national effort brings brewers and retailers together all across the US. Of course, there is lots of support from brew lovers from all walks of life too. The first ACBW was held in 2006 when the Brewers Association decided that American Beer Month would do better as an event held over the course of a week. It was changed from July to May and saw 124 breweries participate.
In 2007, ACBW saw 150 breweries participate. That number has grown steadily though the years. In 2008, there were 168 breweries and 212 in 2009. 2010 marked the highest point yet – 341 breweries participated in American Craft Beer Week last year. From 2006 to 2010, the number of breweries more than doubled – that's a real testament to the number of craft breweries now operating in the nation and just how popular they have become with American beer lovers.
Of course, ACBW is not all about breweries or all about retailers either. It's really about beer lovers – there are 30,000 individual supporters of American Craft Beer Week that will take part in official activities during the course of this single week across the nation. And that "national" bit – that's for real. If you want to participate in ACBW this coming May, you will have numerous ways to do that. From women only beer tastings in Colorado Springs to "mega tastings" in Richmond, Virginia and the Omaha Beer Fest in Omaha, Nebraska, there are tons of ways to show your support for craft brewers and get out there to experience some of the best brews that the world has ever seen.
In short, American Craft Beer Week gives you the keys to having a blast for an entire week straight. The number of local beer week celebrations that coincide with this event has also grown – you will likely find one in your hometown or within driving distance that you can enjoy during the week, as well.