Beer itself long predates the throwing off of our imperialist governance: The current craft beer renaissance is a truly American tradition. It was the patriotic brewers of the 1970s that stood for something greater than the commercial swill of a cold-war country, who put the hops back into hoppy and laid the foundation for the outstanding drinking culture we enjoy today.

There are more reasons to celebrate American craft beer than that tickling buzz that approaches at the end of a pint. According to the Brewers Association, craft brewers employ over 100,000 people in their breweries and brewpubs. In 2012, while the rest of the American economy slouched over regrets and tattered mortgages, the craft beer industry grew 15% by volume and saw the opening of 409 new microbreweries and brewpubs, bringing the total number of such institutions to 2,347 — surpassing in number the last time small breweries reigned, before prohibition.

So maybe support your country and its economy by throwing some love at the following five craft beer Independence Day events, ordered by time and date. We'll leave you to consider this while you're planning your holiday and considering beer purchases — that American craft beer (as distinguished from “crafty” versions of commercial beer) is made in America, consumed in America, and is a growing industry employing Americans. It's a product that cannot be imported and whose jobs cannot be outsourced — and if that's not enough reason to spill some tears over the Declaration of Independence, we don't know what is. Cheers.

5. Ballast Point Independence Party at Select Beer

Select Beer Store presents their Ballast Point Independence Party Wed., July 3rd at the bar and retail shop in Redondo Beach. Three iterations of the brewery's popular and highly-acclaimed Sculpin IPA will be on hand — Sculpin, Sculpin on Nitro (ask about the difference between carbon dioxide and nitrogen kegs, and consider a side-by-side tasting), and Habanero Sculpin. They'll also feature Wahoo Wheat with Thai Chilis, Indra Kunindra, Pescadero Pils and a cask of Black Eye — Ballast Point Brewing's Black Marlin Porter blended with their Big Eye IPA. Vella Mobile Wood Fired Pizza will be on location to assist you with handling all your outstanding beer drinking. 5-10 p.m.

4. Eagle Rock Brewing Imperialist IPA Tapping

Local fans should head east to Eagle Rock Brewing Co. tonight, Wed., July 3, when they will tap their Imperialist Double IPA at the taproom and brewery. This 10% alcohol beer should be tenderly enjoyed not just for the amplified alcohol level but because the orange and grapefruit notes will become something you crave when it's gone. Get it in a growler to go for tomorrow's festivities and you're destined to find thirsty mouths to satisfy. iHeart Pies will be on site from 4-9 p.m. offering sweet and savory selections and taking pie orders for your July 4th celebrations (perhaps they'll suggest apple).

3. Golden Road Brewer's Supper at Bar Chloe

An outstanding Brewer's Supper with beer pairings can be devoured at Chloe's in Golden Road Brewing Wed., July 3, to kick off our nation's independence. Choose three savory items and a dessert — loquat salad with arugula and watercress paired with It's Not Always Sunny in LA, along with chicken roulade with mushrooms and asparagus paired with Cabrillo Kolsch, and rack of lamb with kabocha squash and sugar snap peas paired with Hudson Porter sound especially irresistible. Reservations are available from 6:30-9 p.m., email .

2. Discount Growler Fills and Holiday Hours at Monkish, Smog City Breweries

Torrance's Monkish Brewing and Smog City Brewing will both open doors to South Bay beer drinkers during special hours from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday, July 4. At Monkish, enjoy $2 off growler fills, and their newest release, Libertas — a Belgian-style beer brewed exclusively with Liberty Hops — for $11 (cleverly noted as 7+4). A quick scoot down Del Amo Boulevard will deliver you to Smog City Brewing where you can also enjoy $2 off your growler fills on Wed. from 4-9 p.m. and Thurs. from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. the Amarilla Gorilla IPA is worth a try. Since they're both offering such a great deal and you have all those star-spangled events to attend, we highly recommend you save yourself the pain of choosing between the two and go to both breweries.

1. July 4th Beer and Barbecue at Angel City Brewing

Of the few places open on July 4th, Angel City Brewing Co. downtown is high on our list. They'll endorse this American holiday in a truly American manner with flowing pints of beer and a free barbecue. Pablo from Taqueria el Severo will be flipping sliders and mini hot dogs from 1-3 p.m. — do strike up words, he's a delightful conversationalist. The Berliner-Weisse and Schwarzbier are especially good in warm weather, but be sure to leave some for us! Venture around the building with beer in hand and take in the structural details and art deco elements that make this location as exciting as what's pouring.

See also:

5 California Summer Beers to Drink Now

More To-Go Beer For You: L.A. Breweries to Start Filling More Growlers

Erika writes at and @erikabolden. Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.

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