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Reflections on ACBW and the “Burgeoning” DC Craft Beer Scene

As American Craft Beer Week came to a close, I took a moment and reflected on both the successes of ACBW and the forthcoming successes of SAVOR Beer Week and DC Beer Week but also on another not-so-successful development. First the good, then the bad/ugly.

By the numbers, ACBW has grown both in size and in shape. 2010 had 621 beer events take place while 2011 saw over 800 events. 2011 also marked the first time in ACBW’s six-year history that events were hosted in all 50 states. With the success of the DC area’s ACBW, DC and its surrounding neighborhoods have pulled off an amazing week with rare sightings of some whale-hunter-approved ales. It is no longer safe to call DC’s state of craft beer union “burgeoning.” Unless of course you’re referring to the production brewing side, which has already changed (pending the mayor’s signature legislation should be the next to change) and will continue to change.

While there are incredible developments in the pipeline for the District’s soon-to-open breweries, DC’s beer bars have been otherworldly for some time now. As one #dcbrews follower, Bill Jusino, put it “[b]urgeoning only in that our local craft breweries are just opening now, but our beer bars have long since been established.”

I could not agree more with Bill’s statement. It seems like every week we see another fine-ale-serving establishment in a formerly beer-barren neighborhood. So it’s only natural that DC Beer Week 2011 will see some fantastic events that will wow even the District’s snottiest suds sipper.

Between SAVOR Beer Week, American Craft Beer Week, and DC Beer Week things can get confusing. See here if you’re feeling lost. In the meantime, be sure to enjoy the craft scene that DC has developed. SAVOR Beer Week is right around the corner, and local craft beer bars and restaurants will pull out all the stops in a way that no onlooker, familiar or not with our craft beer community, could call burgeoning. Cheers!

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