Celebrate American Craft Beer Week. At First Fridays!

There was a time when one of the last places you might expect to find marking a week like American Craft Beer Week would’ve been one of those end of the work week, usually held downtown, social/music/I’ve made it to Friday so please give me a beer type gatherings.  After all, I think it’s safe to say that historically, the beer selection at events such as Roanoke’s First Fridays (or insert name of city and whatever the event is called in your town) has predominantly featured more “macro” type choices, even if the event happens to occur during the single week that the ever growing, hard to ignore American craft beer community is supposed to be celebrating all that is wonderful about, well, craft beer.  Now, this is not a criticism of either the beer made by folks like Anheuser-Busch, or Miller, or Coors Brewing companies, nor it is a criticism of these kinds of events.  Let’s face it, it’s just what typically sells.  Yet, if you were a craft beer fan at one of these events and wanted to a craft beer, usually you would consider yourself happy to find one or two choices, even on a week such as this, that could be considered truly craft.

So it struck a chord with me last night when I read the beer choices available at tonight’s First Fridays event in downtown Roanoke.  Yes, again, it is American Craft Beer Week, and yes, that is the primary driving force behind tonight’s availability of so much craft beer.  But the number of such beer selections has been growing steadily for some time now at events like First Fridays.  And true, having so many regional breweries nearby adds to the charm of offering beers (and reinforces the safe bet of being able to sell them) from the likes of Devils Backbone, Legend, and Starr Hill, and is even more so true when those choices are even more local, such as beers from recently opened Chaos Mountain.  And yes, it is a great way to get those brewery’s names out there, especially when they’re new to the scene.  But the fact that the number of craft beer choices at events such as these seems to be growing, I would think, is certainly a sign of the times.  No longer the kind of event where only macro brewery produced beer – the Buds, Bud Lights, and the like – is being offered, save for one or two craft selections (thank goodness for Legend Brown through the years, right?).  First Fridays type events seem to be making the same choice that many restaurants make these days.  There are enough folks out there that want a larger selection of beer, of craft beer, and it would be wise to offer it.

So if you are a craft beer fan, as you line up to the closest beer truck tonight at First Fridays, ticket in hand and glad to have survived your week, take a look at all the choices.  Yes, it’s American Craft Beer Week, so if you’re curious about something new, perhaps celebrate by trying something that looks and sounds good.  But take a moment and think about how an event such as this – one that historically, I think it’s safe to say, has always been a predominantly macro brewed beer kind of celebration – is now helping celebrate American Craft Beer Week.  Because tonight, you’ll have more than the usual number of choices.  But should you come out to the next event of this kind, you might notice that there are still more than a few craft selections to be found, more than you might remember having seen before – definitely a sign of where craft beer is now, and most certainly, of things to come.


In case you haven’t seen it yet, here is the list of craft available tonight, according to the Facebook page for tonight’s First Fridays : Starr Hill Grateful, Devils Backbone Gold Leaf Lager, Three Brothers The Great Outdoors Pale Ale, Legend Brown Ale, Apocalypse Golden Censer, Sunken City Dam Lager, Victory Summer Love, Soaring Ridge White Top White Ale, Chaos Mountain Mad Hopper & Bold Rock Hard Cider Virginia Draft.



~ by thebeerroad on May 16, 2014.

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