I think I've become biased. No, I'm not talking about my
addiction love of bitter, hoppy beers (I can stop drinking IPAs any time I want to). I'm talking about my bias toward American craft beers.
Historically, imported beers had a leg up on domestic brews. But that was back in the dark days when craft brews were few and far between. Now, I'd argue that if you name an imported beer, there is a superior American version of it.
Where brewers in the United States once copied the brewing traditions of the Old World, now we're driving innovation and brewers in places like Belgium are now borrowing from us. Our local craft beer culture is exploding, too.
What better way to mark American exceptionalism than with American Craft Beer Week? Created by the Brewers Association, the week of May 14-20 is when "communities come together to show appreciation on a local level for the more than 1,900 small and independent craft brewers responsible for the steadily advancing American craft beer culture," the association writes.
There are events all across the country. And local craft beer joints are involved as well. Did I miss an event? Please let me know.
World of Beer will be featuring Florida breweries throughout the week:
• May 14 -- Swamp Head
• May 16 -- Cigar City
There will be prizes raffled off each night.
Gecko's Grill and Pub on Hillview Street will be doing a Cigar City tap takeover on May 17 starting at 7 p.m. Here's the lineup:
• Jai Alai India Pale Ale
• Maduro brown ale
• Hot Blooded foreign stout
• Ligero black lager
• Minaret ESB
• El Lector mild
• Florida Cracker white ale
• Plus two more drafts to be determined
Also, on May 18, starting at 5 p.m., Gecko's will hold a Southeast Craft Night featuring Red Brick from Georgia, Highland from North Carolina, Thomas Creek from South Carolina, and Florida breweries Swamp Head, Cocoa Beach and Green Room.
Shamrock Pub has a full schedule of events:
• May 14 -- $3 Swamp Head Darkwater Black IPA all day
• May 15 -- Highland Gaelic Ale and cheese pairing all day. The cheese is free and you get to keep the glass.
• May 16 -- Order a Harpoon Catamount Maple Wheat and keep the glass
• May 17 -- A firkin of cask-conditioned Cubano Espresso Brown ale from Cigar City will be tapped at 5 p.m. and paired with a Cubano Espresso brownie with a bacon and cream cheese frosting by Indigenous.
• May 18 -- Dogfish Head day, details to come
• May 19 -- Oskar Blues day, details to come
• May 20 -- Lagunitas day, details to come
On May 15, Total Wine & More will be sampling Samuel Adams beers from 3-5 and Stone brews from 6-8.
North Bridge Tavern says they are also celebrating, but I don't have more details.
Mr. Beery's has several events, too:
• May 14 -- $10 gets you unlimited drafts from 3 p.m. to midnight, including cask-conditioned ale
• May 15 -- "Bacon Happy Hour" from 3 to 8 p.m.
• May 16 -- Rare beers from Dogfish Head, plus they're giving away "signed 8.5"x11" photo's of a shirtless Sam Calgione (DFH founder and former Abercrombie & Fitch model)" Yow!
• May 17 -- All-beer edition of team trivia night featuring guest host Jared Barnes, brewmaster at Darwin's on 4th.
So raise a glass of American craft beer next week. Even better, drink a Florida brew.