American Craft Beer Week -- May 13-17 -- celebrates the more than 2,400 small and independent American craft breweries that make the United States the "world's most diverse brewing destination," according to the Brewers Association, the national nonprofit that promotes the week.
Special events and celebrations are planned in all 50 states, including for the first time a nation-wide collective toast at 6 p.m. Thursday. In short, the entire week is a great time to visit your local craft brewery or brewpub and raise a glass to their collective success.
There will be plenty of glass raising all over Boulder as most local breweries, brewpubs and beer-centered restaurants have events and special tappings planned throughout the week.
Crystal Springs Brewing Co. will celebrate its anniversary and the kickoff of American Craft Beer Week on Monday with the release of Thirteen, an India Pale Ale. It's the Boulder-based nanobrewery's third anniversary, but the beer's name coincides with the date (May 13) and founder Tom Horst's predilection for the number. Look for the beer at local liquor stores and in select restaurants.
West Flanders Brewing Co. teams up with Denver's Strange Brewing Co. for a Brewer's Dinner at 7 p.m. Tuesday at West Flanders on the Pearl Street Mall. Each of the four courses will be paired with a beer from each brewery -- and they're rolling out the good stuff. Tickets, $49, are available at both breweries and by calling (303) 447-2739.
Avery Brewing Co. will release its 20th-anniversary beer -- Twenty XX India Pale Ale, a massively hopped double IPA -- during a release party starting at 5 p.m. Thursday in the brewery's taproom. Andy Thorn, Leftover Salmon's banjo player, and guitarist Tyler Grant will perform. The brewery also will host a Craft Beer Crawl from noon to 5 p.m. May 18. It begins at the brewery and participants will bike around town to visit some of Avery's craft-beer neighbors.
Twisted Pine Brewing Co. recently unveiled a brand-new logo that shows its Colorado pride and wants to celebrate with an all-day happy hour Tuesday and special tappings throughout the week.
Toast your own during American Craft Beer Week during the Boulder History Museum's Beer Fest, 5:30--8:30 p.m. Thursday, outside the museum, 1206 Euclid Ave. Admission is $20 in advance or $25 at the door and includes unlimited beer tastings from 13 local breweries as well as admission to the exhibit "Beer! Boulder's History on Tap." The exhibit runs through Oct. 27. Purchase Beer Fest tickets in advance at boulderhistory.org/beerfest.asp.
Boulder Beer Co. will cap off American Craft Beer Week with its second Innovation Celebration. When the taproom opens at noon May 18, all the taps will be given over to specialty brews and unique small-batch beers from the brewery's pilot system, some of which are limited to only a few dozen pints each. A limited number of early access VIP tickets are available and include 16 four-ounce samples.
"Back in 1979 when Boulder Beer was founded, our Boulder Porter, Stout and ESB were considered extreme, revolutionary and innovative," brewery representatives say of the event. "We continue that tradition of innovation today and celebrate our brewers' creativity -- and the more than 2,000 craft breweries that have opened since."
More than 30 years later, Boulder's breweries are still leading the way.
Contact Tom Wilmes at firstname.lastname@example.org.