Craft beer has become so popular that entire cities have designated an entire week to it. Savannah's craft beer week recently took place Aug. 25-31.
During this week, craft beer-centric restaurants, pubs and stores hosted events that featured various breweries and beers. The week kicked off with a hit at The Distillery: Georgia Beer Day. The Distillery hosted a tap takeover with all Georgia-based breweries. They also had a ribbon-cutting to signify the start of craft beer week.
Brewery reps, brewers and brewmasters were present. It was the perfect start to a week full of events.
The week continued with events at The Distillery and World of Beer. World of Beer hosted SweetWater Brewing Co.'s Waterkeeper Benefit Night. SweetWater releases a Waterkeeper Hefeweizen every year to benefit the Waterkeeper Alliance. This was the featured beer and benefit at World of Beer's event.
On a side note, in a recent study of Georgia Breweries, it was discovered that 100 percent of all Georgia breweries are involved in some type of philanthropic activity or nonprofit support.
The Green Truck Pub hosted a benefit craft beer event featuring Southbound Brewing Co.'s beers. They donated $1 from every pint sold to Wholesome Wave-GA. This nonprofit organization strives to increase access to fresh, healthy, locally grown food for all Georgians. They have a huge presence at the local farmers market, where Green Truck's owners, Joshua and Whitney, source many of their ingredients. Events such as these help promote not only craft beer and local businesses, but primarily nonprofit education and support.
As the week continued, several restaurants hosted beer-savvy events. Crystal Beer Parlor, one of the area's oldest pubs, put together its second beer dinner.
It was a four-course meal paired with four beers from Southbound Brewing Co. Tickets sold out days before this event, so keep this in mind next year!
Savannah's Westin Hotel hosted a Southeast beer and food pairing, as well. It included many of the breweries within our region and had some of the best food and live music imaginable.
The week wrapped up with Savannah Craft Brew Fest. This fest hosted thousands of people sampling beers from 50-plus breweries. It sold out in record time and they had to turn people away at the door. Festivals are a great opportunity for breweries to promote their beers, as well as get feedback from a huge variety of potential consumers.
Needless to say, it was a wildly successful perfect ending to a great week of craft beer in Savannah.
Savannah isn't the only city to host a craft beer week. Most major cities with a large craft beer presence host a week designated to craft beer. There is even a national craft beer week, along with national beer days. May 13-19 was the official American Craft Beer Week this past year.
A list of U.S. beer weeks is available at CraftBeer.com. There is also a list of past and upcoming events. For more information, be sure to follow breweries' social media outlets.
Cheers to a successful 2013 Savannah craft beer week! We're looking forward to more!
Smith Mathews (brewmaster) and Carly Wiggins (marketing director) are the founders of Southbound Brewing Company, Savannah's only production microbrewery. Go to southboundbrewingco.com or email info@southbound brewingco.com.