Pikes Pub: American Craft Beer Week turns 13

By Stephanie Earls Updated: May 17, 2018 at 2:52 pm • Published: May 16, 2018 0
photo - More than 75 percent of the nation's craft beer brands now feature the Brewers Association's "independent craft brewer" seal on their labels. Photo courtesy of the BA.
More than 75 percent of the nation's craft beer brands now feature the Brewers Association's "independent craft brewer" seal on their labels. Photo courtesy of the BA.

It was Mother's Day, 1970-something, and I was lamenting to my mom about the unfairness of a world that neglected to set aside a holiday specifically to honor children.

"Every day is Kid's Day," she said, and went back to clearing the table from Mother's Day lunch.

Point taken, but necessity isn't necessarily the mother of American holiday invention. And even though we show our love for a person (or thing) round-the-calendar, what's wrong with designating a special date to focus on celebrating the relationship?

Which brings us to American Craft Beer Week.

Some of the 12 beers of Christmas on tap at Brewer's Republic in Colorado Springs Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, are from left to right Pikes Peak Brewery's AdAmAn, Prairie's Beer That Saved Christmas, Delirium Noel, O'Dell's Isolation, Upslope's Christmas, Brvery's 6 Geese A laying, and Kannah Creek's Winter soulstiz. ( The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
Some of the 12 beers of Christmas on tap at Brewer's Republic in Colorado Springs Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, are from left to right Pikes Peak Brewery's AdAmAn, Prairie's Beer That Saved Christmas, Delirium Noel, O'Dell's Isolation, Upslope's Christmas, Brvery's 6 Geese A laying, and Kannah Creek's Winter soulstiz. ( The Gazette, Christian Murdock) 

The annual event, which runs through Sunday, was launched - and recognized by Congress - in 2006 when the Brewers Association decided to get a jump on the busy summer beer season by rebranding July's American Beer Month into a more "manageable and thus more effective" weeklong event held, instead, in mid-May. The focus also was narrowed to highlight craft beer, and the Boulder-based nonprofit trade group encouraged small and independent commercial brewers to take the time to showcase their wares and toot their own horns and that of their up-and-coming industry at large.

Since the first ACBW, the number of breweries in America has quadrupled to more than 6,000, the majority of which - around 98 percent - are small and independent. Modern calendars are awash in suds-themed holidays, such as Colorado Craft Beer Week, SAVOR and IPA Day, to name just a few.

After 13 years, I think it's safe to say one of the original messages of American Craft Beer Week - Drink Craft, Drink Local - has been received, loud and clear.

These days, the beer holiday week is as much about reconfirming a commitment to artisan and raising a glass to the brewers, and the hits and misses, that made it all possible.

"We remember that many craft brewers were far ahead of their time and early missteps were lessons that those that followed were able to learn from," wrote Brewers Association web manager Andy Sparhawk on craftbeer.com. "We recognize that not long ago, access to the variety of craft beers we now enjoy was unfathomable. And we celebrate the beer culture we enjoy today."

Visit craftbeer.com to pledge your support for Not-Big Beer and get a free pin, by mail, featuring the BA's "genuine independent" seal.

For more interactive options locally, Nano 108 Brewing Co. is hosting a full schedule of events this week, including special tappings, games, discounts and food trucks with Nano beer-infused fare.

"Each day this week we have a new beer tapping, food truck 'beer infusion' food item, and a feature to promote independent craft brewers. Three things well combined for guests to be educated, and get involved with small independent craft brewers," said owner Keith Altemose, in an email.

Festivities at Bristol Brewing Co., which recently brought home World Beer Cup silver for its Beehive Honey Wheat, include giveaways, brewery tours, and beer tappings.

Other destinations hosting ACBW-inspired promotions include Colorado Mountain Brewery, which is discounting beer flights by $2, and Red Leg Brewing Co., where you’ll find special beers and discounted pints on Sunday.

As for me, I’ll be celebrating with my visiting parents, at a belated Mother’s Day party.

What say you, Mom? I promise not to stick you with the dishes this time.

Have a story idea or sudsy topic you'd like to read about in Pikes Pub? Email me at stephanie.earls@gazette.com.

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