ABQ Beer Geek: American Craft Beer Week, May 17-23
 Alibi V.19 No.19 • May 13-19, 2010 

ABQ Beer Geek

And I’m Proud to Be an American ...

You don’t see that headline in the Alibi too often, huh? All politics and karaoke classics aside, there is no denying that American craft beer innovations are influencing the world to emulate our beers. True, once we were identified by tasteless, watery beer, and there are still plenty of uninformed people who think American beer = yuck. Since I pass time trolling local liquor stores, I hear people talking up unremarkable European and Asian lagers and snubbing anything American. I can’t keep my mouth shut, so I explain how far our beers have come and how creative our brewers are, but my vaguely homeless appearance keeps me from being taken seriously, and off they go with their 12-packs of Stella Artois.

To see the impact American brewers have had overseas, just visit a local liquor store. You can find Stateside IPA, a tribute to the American IPA style by Mikkeller, a Denmark brewery. Or Punk IPA, an American-style beer from BrewDog in Scotland. Japan has joined the trend, with the Ise Kadoya Brewery (also makers of soy sauce) bringing us Triple Hop Harvest, whose label boasts, “three kinds of hops which brew master in charge chose.” The beer translates just fine. But the reach of American brewing is evidenced most by the opening of Beer Temple, a craft beer bar in Amsterdam. It carries 30 beers on draft and 60 in the bottle—all American craft beers.

So why the gushing patriotism? Because May 17 through 23, we celebrate American Craft Beer Week. I didn’t make it up, either. It’s actually recognized under U.S. House of Representatives Resolution 1297, which in part, “encourages beer-lovers of the United States to celebrate through events at microbreweries, brewpubs, and beer stores to appreciate the accomplishments of craft brewers.” If the Powers That Be say I should, then I’d better do it. They’ve never been wrong before. The only problem is that as of press time, Il Vicino is the only Albuquerque microbrewery that has plans to commemorate the week, with an Orange Hefeweizen and a Pomegranate Hefeweizen. But I already have my own celebration mapped out:

Monday: Wear leftover Statue of Liberty costume from tax-prep job; stand at Montgomery and Wyoming with sign reading, “Honk If You Love Brewbies!”

Tuesday: Support local beer store and buy big bourbon-barrel-aged Stout. Stay home and watch last episode before “Lost” finale.

Wednesday: Cask-conditioned beer at Il Vicino tasting room (4000 Vassar NE). Wait, cask beer is an English tradition. Go to Chama River (106 Second Street NW) for $2.50 drafts instead.

Thursday: Make trek to Turtle Mountain (905 36th Place, Rio Rancho) for Steam Ale, a style invented by American craft pioneer Anchor Brewing.

Friday: See and be ignored by happy-hour crowd at Marble (111 Marble NW). Feel underdressed yet again. No more Lee jeans.

Saturday: Local taps and live music at Hallenbrick Brewery (3817 Hawkins NE). Loud band makes it hard for girls to talk to me. My face makes it harder.

Sunday: Now go to Il Vicino, but the Nob Hill one (3403 Central NE). Wait hours for table, but drink numerous Wet Mountain IPAs in the meantime.

... Or celebrate your own way. But don’t you dare go a day without beer!

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