Started in 2006 as a way for the Brewers Association to bring together its growing member base, 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.

Last year, 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,

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,

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,

Keep reading for the rest of the week's events…

Glass of Betty IPA at last year's Hangar 24 Airfest; Credit: Sarah Bennett

Glass of Betty IPA at last year's Hangar 24 Airfest; Credit: Sarah Bennett

Thursday, May 15

WHAT: Eureka! Tasting Kitchen One Year Anniversary
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
WHY: Though the “L.A. Beer Showcase” will technically be in effect starting Tuesday, May 13, Thursday is the day that Eureka! Burger's concept eatery, Tasting Kitchen, will be taking full advantage of an ACBW-inspired, local-centric tap list with a celebration of its one-year anniversary. That means all-day drink specials, samples of beers from the likes of Golden Road and Smog City and live music to feed the soul. Proceeds are going to charity, so drink up guilt-free.
WHERE: Eureka Tasting Kitchen, 12101 Crenshaw Boulevard, Hawthorne;

WHAT: Alosta Brewing Co. American Craft Beer Trivia Night
WHEN: 7 p.m.. to 9 p.m.
WHY: In honor of ACBW, San Gabriel Valley newcomers Alosta Brewing are switching up their Thursday trivia night by making every question entirely about American craft beer. And instead of the usual prize of Alosta gift certificates, those who possess the most beery knowledge will be rewarded with a pair of tickets to the sold-out Bite at the Beach festival, held in Manhattan Beach on Saturday.
WHERE: Alosta Brewing Co., 692 Arrow Grand Circle, Covina; (626) 470-7897,

WHAT: Big Bruery Blowout
WHEN: 6 p.m.
WHY: Billed as “a Bonanza of Barrel-Aged Badassery,” the Library Ale House is pulling out all the oak-installed goodies it can find from one of the most important breweries in Southern California. Funky and boozy originals like Tart of Darkness, BeRazzle, Rueuze, Oude Tart, Sour in the Rye, White Oak, Smoking Wood and Bois will all be available in individual pours or in flights, ensuring these kegs won't last long.
WHERE: Library Ale House, 2911 Main St, Santa Monica; (310) 314-4855.

Friday, May 16 and Saurday, May 17

WHAT: Hangar 24 Airfest and 6th Anniversary Celebration
WHEN: Friday, 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
WHY: Okay, so it's not an official American Craft Beer Week event, but for the second year in a row, Redlands' regionally successful Hangar 24 Brewery has found a way to bring back the city's beloved airfest by combining it with their sixth anniversary party. Expanding to a two-day festival – which will start on Friday night with a five-hour lineup of aerial performers and live music – the Hangar 24 Airfest is a family-friendly day featuring acrobatic aviators, food trucks and more than 30 beers from the brewery's exhaustive collection, with all proceeds from entrance fees and the sale of beer going directly to local charities that are fighitng to save the Inland Empire's orange groves.
WHERE: Redlands Municipal Airport, 1755 Sessums Drive, Redlands;

Sunday, May 18

WHAT: Tour of California at Ladyface
WHEN: 8 a.m.
WHY: Bikes and beer are like the peanut butter and jelly of our generation, fitting together so seamlessly that its only logical a brewery located in the heart of road-cycling territory would be hosting a viewing party for the biggest cycling event in the state. The final leg of the Tour of California blows right past Ladyface's Agoura Hills brewpub this weekend and those who arrive early for a spot and a pint on the patio will enjoy lunch specials starting at 9 a.m. as well as a front-row view for
WHERE: Ladyface Ale Companie, 29281 Agoura Rd, Agoura Hills; (818) 477-4566,

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