Last May, Seattle celebrated its first official Seattle Beer Week. For 10 days our calendars were slam-packed with all sorts of cool beer events. Our livers barely survived and, as great as it was, by the last day most of us were breathing a sigh of relief. However, it only took about 5 days for us to start thinking fondly of what 2010 might bring. As other cities now organize their first Beer Week celebrations it is clear that once again we are leading the way for the nation when it comes to beer.
I recently proposed to the Washington Beer Commission that they organize an official Washington Beer Month, which would be similar to a city beer week but on a grander scale and with a different purpose. Sanctioned by a proclamation from Governor Gregoire, Washington Beer Month would feature a series of events all across the state celebrating our craft beer culture and promoting the vitality of our local beer industry. Finer beer drinking establishments could step up and organize their own Washington Beer Month events. Television, radio and print media would all be talking about Washington Beer Month and Washington Beer in general. A brilliant promotions idea, if I do say so myself.
But I digress, back to Beer Week celebrations.
Seattle Beer Week was organized by a group of beer enthusiasts (craft beer industry insiders) who, as I understand it, were inspired by San Francisco Beer Week and Philadelphia Beer Week. I’m not sure if anyone noticed the first New York Craft Beer Week, which happened in 2008. (This year’s New York Craft Beer Week just concluded on September 20th). St. Louis also celebrated a Beer Week in the spring of 2009, but we can’t find any information about the 2010 version.
Whatever the case, Seattle was one of the first cities to officially celebrate its proud beer culture with an organized Beer Week. Now it seems everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. So far we’ve learned of Beer Week celebrations starting up in Los Angeles, Cleveland, Baltimore, San Diego and Washington DC.
Denver Beer Week doubles as the Great American Beer Festival. We all know about that one. No news there.
Los Angeles will celebrate it’s first LA Beer Week October 17th – 24th. “Featuring a mind and palate pleasing array of local beer establishments, breweries, beer, cuisine, tasting, events and demonstrations.Come out and celebrate the diversity of our local beer culture at one of the many events being held at the great beer establishments all across the Southland. LA Beer Week will provide a framework and calendar for individual establishments and breweries to promote their own events.” http://www.labeerweek.com
Cleveland Beer Week will take place from October 16-24, 2009. “With a mission of promoting the craft and imported beer industry, Cleveland Beer Week features plenty of tastings, events, activities, and entertainment staged at bars, taverns, restaurants, grocers, and specialty beverage stores throughout Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.” http://www.clevelandbeerweek.org
Baltimore Beer Week starts today (October 8th) and run until October 18th. “10 full days celebrating All things beer in the Land of Pleasant Living and will include over 300 separate events with something for everyone – who loves beer! Boog Powell, former Baltimore Oriole who is a longtime friend of beer, will start Baltimore Beer Week with a mighty blow. Powell will crack open a cask of beer aboard the USS Constellation in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.” http://www.baltimorebeerweek.com
San Diego Beer Week will run from November 6th – 15th. According to the Web site, this event “Promotes San Diego’s thriving craft beer culture by sponsoring a ten-day countywide festival that attracts beer tourism, fosters knowledge of our regional brewing heritage, and serves as a showcase for San Diego’s breweries, restaurants, pubs, and other businesses with ties to the craft beer community. San Diego Beer Week is sponsored by the San Diego Brewers Guild.” http://sdbw.org
Washington, DC Beer Week concluded on August 29, 2009. “The inaugural 2009 Washington, DC Beer Week featured more than a dozen domestic and international breweries and involved restaurants and bars from all sectors of the district. The 5-day extravaganza of beer tasting events gave consumers an opportunity to meet and greet with brewers, experience food and beer pairings, and learn about beer styles and the history of brewing.”