American Craft Beer Week

This week (May 11th - 17th) is American Craft Beer Week, sponsored by the Brewers Association. As its name implies, its goal is to promote an celebrate the wonderful diversity of beers brewed by American craft brewers.

From the Brewers Association Website:

America's small and independent craft brewers (see Craft Brewing Statistics) are making special plans for the annual American Craft Beer Week (May 11-17), a national celebration highlighting the culture and contributions of craft beer. These brewers want the week to inspire beer enthusiasts to declare their independence by supporting breweries that produce fewer than 2 million barrels of beer a year and are independently owned. In the works are special brewery tours, beer and food pairing events, special release craft beers and festivals all across the U.S. The Declaration of Beer Independence is available on the program web site and the American Craft Beer Week fan page on Facebook, which has more than 2,000 fans thus far.

Changed to a weeklong event in 2006, the inaugural American Craft Beer Week was recognized by the U.S. Congress with House Resolution 753 (PDF file). The week has continued to grow with interest and support from beer enthusiasts and the media. In 2007, more than 150 brewers registered their community celebrations.

The Declaration of Beer Independence is a worthwhile statement, but as others have mentioned, its definition of a craft brewery as one that produces fewer than 2 million barrels a year seems flawed. If a 2 million+ barrel a year brewery still focuses on quality beer, then I would still call it a craft brewery.

I'll be celebrating ACBW by seeking out beers from Massachusetts breweries, which I too often overlook when I purchase beer. This week I encourage you to seek out and enjoy local craft beer.