Ladies and gentlemen, start your growlers because it’s American Craft Beer Week! ACBW is the annual celebration of small and independent craft brewers, and celebrations are planned in all 50 states over the course of May 11-17.  Activities range from pint nights and tours at small breweries and taprooms to huge festivals recognizing the best in American brewing.

The week is organized by the Brewers Association, a nonprofit that represents the majority of American breweries and publishes craftbeer.com. Craft-beer enthusiasts are invited to join in the fun by conducting tastings at home (twist our arms!), visiting local breweries and taprooms or organizing a gathering for the first-ever national ACBW toast on Thursday, May 16, at 8 p.m. Eastern time. (Of course, West Coast tipplers will have to raise their glasses at 5:00 p.m., but I don’t think anyone will mind a little day drinking for a good cause.)

The website also offers plenty of resources to help drinkers find local events in their area. In addition to an interactive infographic that shares interesting factoids about craft beer in each state, they’ve also created a master calendar of ACBW events. A quick glance at that calendar shows that the Buffalo Wild Wings chain is a major supporter of American Craft Beer Week, with multiple events planned at their various locations. The wingporium will focus on local and regional craft beers on tap as part of their Beer of the Month program throughout May. 

Participants are invited to declares their love for American craft beer by using the hashtag #ACBW on Twitter all week long. Individual cities are also taking advantage of ACBW by organizing their own events to coincide with the national celebration: Beer Weeks are taking place in Chicago, San Antonio, Seattle and New York City. So there’s no excuse to drink cheap beer this week. Celebrate the talent and dedication of your local craft-beer community by lifting a pint or two!

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