American Craft Beer Week is under way and picking up speed. The Brewers Association-- a nonprofit group recognized as the central foundation for craft beer in America -- designates a week in May to celebrate small and independent craft breweries. This year, May 13-19 serves as an opportunity to get to know your local brewers, attend tap takeovers and drink really good beer. If you need visual stimulus, see the Brewers Association ACBW video on the next page. (You're in good company if it makes you misty-eyed.)
For Los Angeles and around the country, the celebration culminates on Thursday night with an inaugural nationwide, synchronized toast at 5 p.m. PST. Because we Westerners are of heartier stock and require daytime drinking. Thursday is also the most concentrated day for beer events, so you're advised to start the weekend early.
Our list supplies highlights only. Your favorite local watering hole likely will have updates and specials listed through its social media of choice, and a complete list is at Craftbeer.com. Enjoy the upcoming events -- or commit yourself to our life's motto and live every week like it's Beer Week.
Wednesday, May 15
Firestone Walker and Epic Brewing Collaboration Tap Takeover, 5 p.m.
Women's Forum featuring Rebecca Giddens (Kern River Brewing Co.), 4-10 p.m.
Different breweries hosted daily, throughout the week, see list for details
Thursday, May 16
Archived Ales on tap
Stone Brewing Takeover with six Stone rarities and three Quingenti Millilitre Series bottles, 5 p.m.
Samuel Adams Brewery Night with four unusual brews on tap
Firestone Walker Night with kegs of XIV, XV, XVI Anniversary Ales and more, with David Walker and Ryan Sweeney in attendance, 6 p.m.
Stone Brewing Rare Vertical Tastings, 4:30 p.m. (through Sunday)
Nine selections from Drake's Brewing, 6 p.m.
Avery Brewing Tap Takeover, 6 p.m.
Friday, May 17
Special Cask Tapping (and Saturday) 4-10 p.m.
Samuel Adams Tap Takeover and Pint Night five selections and a souvenir glass
Saturday, May 18
Craft Brew BBQ and Strong Ale Fest with new brewery St. Archer and selections from The Bruery, AleSmith and Eel River (San Diego), noon-6 p.m.
Local Brews Tap Takeover
Sunday, May 19
Beercentricity presents "Beer Storytelling" with brewers from Craftsman, Kinetic, Eagle Rock and Automatic brewing companies, tickets required, 6 p.m.
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Central Coast Tap Takeover with selections from Figueroa Mountain and Firestone Walker 3-7 p.m.
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