American Craft Beer Week
(May 12-18 this year) has grown into a nationwide, seven-day extravaganza with breweries and craft beer bars all over tapping rare pours, organizing special events and finding their own imaginative ways to encourage fresh faces to join the fan fold.
, Los Angeles had such a full calendar - with most places celebrating with a different event each day - that this year's low-key amount of offerings almost make you think something might be wrong. But nothing is amiss here; craft beer in L.A. is continuing to develop and form its own personality. Instead, the modest number of organized events (what, no movie screenings?) is more indicative of a craft beer culture pulling back some of its built-in bravado and letting the beer speak for itself.
As the number of American craft breweries grows to pre-prohibition-crushing numbers, American Craft Beer Week has taken on a more reserved persona this year, nixing 2013's extravagant manifesto and Thursday night's "simultaneous toast" for a more demure 2014 theme of Brewnited We Stand. A short video doesn't say much, but instead scrolls through a selection of photos from breweries across the country who will be celebrating ACBW (including Lakewood's Timeless Pints!) and encourages all to "brewnite" around craft beer.
Many bars look to be saving the big guns for L.A. Beer Week this year are opting just to have drink specials all week on American brews. Here's a selection of For a full list of ACBW events, click here
Monday, May 12
WHAT: Ladies at Ladyface 3rd Anniversary & Brewery Tour
WHEN: 6 p.m.
WHY: Ladyface's monthly female-only beer night is celebrating its 3rd anniversary this American Craft Beer Week with a theme of "Beers Across America!" and a special $15 tasting flight of owner Cyrena Nouzille's favorite U.S.-made beers. A casual setting perfect for beginners and enthusiasts alike, Ladies at Ladyface promotes dialogue and beer love with little emphasis on snobby chit chat. Bring your favorite American craft beer and watch the conversation fly.
WHERE: Ladyface Ale Companie
, 29281 Agoura Rd, Agoura Hills; (818) 477-4566, ladyfaceale.com
Tuesday, May 13
WHAT: Beard Beer Night
WHEN: 6 p.m.
WHY: The Factory is celebrating American Craft Beer Week each night with special tappings (Night of 1000 IBUs on Thursday) and even a birthday party for a local beer-appreciation society (Bixby Beer Society's 3rd Anniversary on Monday), but Tuesday's Beard Beer event has to be by far the most imaginative. To encourage customers to come and try Rogue Brewing's conceptually gross "Beard Beer" - made with yeast cultivated from inside the Brewmaster's own facial hair - the Long Beach gastropub is giving 5% off all food bills for every inch of beard present at the table. Try this infamously weird brew and bring your viking friends - you just may eat for free.
WHERE: The Factory Gastropub
, 4020 Atlantic Ave., Long Beach; (562) 595-4020, thefactorylb.com
Wednesday, May 14
WHAT: Women's Beer Forum: Session Beer Month
WHEN: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
WHY: Though Eagle Rock Brewery has been more focused on its Session Fest - which launched last weekend - than ACBW, its always inspiring Women's Beer Forum promises to address a mounting trend in the national craft beer scene: session beers. With low ABV and big, bold flavors, session beers (aka beers you can drink throughout a single session) are overshadowing hop bombs and gnarly heavy beers to become the new darling of drinkability. Utilize this ACBW-timed night to discuss and share this delicious trend with women from across L.A.
WHERE: Eagle Rock Brewery
, 3056 Roswell Street, Los Angeles; (323) 257-7866, eaglerockbrewery.com
Keep reading for the rest of the week's events...
Started in 2006 as a way for the Brewers Association to bring together its growing member base,