Craft Beer Facts
Craft beer is thriving and steadily gaining in popularity across the country. These mostly small, local breweries and brew pubs are producing a variety of beer types with exciting new flavors that normally aren’t available from the large mass producing brewers.
Although, the big breweries are starting to introduce innovative new brews in a similar vein. According to the Brewer’s Association, an American Craft Brewer is defined as follows.
Craft Beer Brewers:
- Small - producing 6 million barrels of beer or less annually.
- Independent - no more than 25% ownership or controlling interest in the brewery by an alcoholic beverage industry member who is not a craft brewer themselves.
- Traditional - flagship beer with greatest volume is either all malt or 50 percent minimum of the brewers volume is either all malt or in beers using adjuncts to enhance and not lighten their flavors.
Craft Beer Week Celebrations Support Local Breweries With Festivals & Educational Events
The average American lives within 10 miles of a brewery. Combined with 40 plus state, city and regional craft beer weeks along with over a thousand weekend festivals and daily events, there is sure to be something for every home bar owner within a reasonable driving distance to experience.
Its a great opportunity to increase your knowledge and add ideas for entertaining with your at home bar. These craft beer events normally have a host of activities including brewery tours, tasting parties, beer and food pairing classes / dinners, promotions and much more.
American Craft Beer Week is the national celebration and is scheduled Monday through Sunday from May 13-19, 2013. Now in its eighth consecutive year, it is normally held in the second full week of May* based on years past. You can check the official American Craft Beer Week events calendar for a detailed list of local and regional activities being held in your area during the week long celebration.
Brewery Recommendations Growling To Be Tried
Here’s a United States map of good craft beers recommended as local favorites with top reviews through nationwide voting for possible suggestions to try in your area. Depending on the laws and regulations where you live, you may be able to bring your own growler along to have filled. In fact, December 17th 2012 was declared National Growler Day and is another fun reason to visit your local brewery for seasonal beers crafted especially for the holidays.
Otherwise the breweries and many brewpubs will have bottled selections available to take home along with local and regional distribution throughout the year. Be sure jot down your favorites while sampling and collect ideas for hosting parties with your bar that you can use later.
If you enjoy craft brew you should treat yourself to these beer lovers gift ideas.
* - there have been exceptions which sent the annual event to the third full week in May in 2010 & 2011 for example. May 12-18, 2014 is estimated, but should be verified if making advance plans.