As microbreweries continue to grow, so do beer weeks all throughout the States, but no other beer week takes it to a national level like the American Craft Beer Week (May 14 – 20) organized by the Brewers Association; an organization that promotes micro and independent American brewers. The ACBW is about celebrating the delicate work by small breweries. We connected with Brewer Association’s Craft Beer Program Director Julia Herz and asked her three questions about the beer industry, the beer week and how she’s going to celebrate it.
As craft beer producers continue to grow in the U.S., where do you see the industry going in the next five years?
The future looks bright! In the next 5 years I think we will continue to see exponential growth, interest and demand for craft brewed beer from small and independent producers who make up 97% of today’s 1,900 plus breweries. These are historic beer times with more breweries since the late 1800’s and more in planning than we’ve ever recorded (800 and more in planning). Demand from beer lovers is more than brewers can make right now during this cultural shift from a localization of beer movement here in the U.S. That’s cause for celebration.
When ACBW first started back in 2006, was it difficult to get people on board, since nothing like it, in this scale, was around during that time?
[quote align=”right”]When you look at the history of the week you can certainly see how it’s gained steam. Year after year we’ve gotten more participation with 2011 finally reaching 1,300 plus events happening in ALL 50 states and tens of thousands of beer lovers estimated to have celebrated.
What do you do to celebrate ACBW?
Ah, I love that question! I spend my time that week talking to as many people as I can about craft brewers, beer weeks and the importance of celebrating and supporting your local brewery (and tasting of course).
Last year I went to a great celebration in Old Chicago, Denver where many people signed the Declaration of Beer Independence. As well, I got staff of the Brewers Association out for happy hour at our local establishment, the West End, who featured some wonderful craft brewed beers to recognize the week.
This year I might travel to one of the many local beer weeks that will also happen during American Craft Beer Week. In addition to Colorado Beer Week being held at the same time I could go to Long Island, Albuquerque or Chicago.
Events are rolling in for American Craft Beer Week, check craftbeer.com for the full schedule.