For nine days in May the beer will flow.

We’re not talking about that swill that you stole from your uncle and gagged down all those years ago, that stuff could choke a donkey. Oh no, we’re talking about the good stuff. The crème de la crème. It’s nutty, foamy, hoppy and might have a surprisingly fruity note that lingers on the tongue.

Behold…American Craft Beer Week, your excuse to partake some of the best malty goodness available and learn to talk about IBU, ABV and using lactobacillus to brew a Lambic is here again.

Help San Luis Obispo celebrate American Craft Beer Week, May 11-17. This is a chance to give a toast to local breweries, enjoy some of the best beer around, and celebrate the beer culture in America.

The craft beer industry in California has grown significantly since Ken Grossman introduced the bitter hoppyness of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in 1980. Since then the total production from all 500-plus craft breweries in California has grown to more than 3.4 million barrels of beer, 100 million gallons annually. Now craft beer is a $6.5 billion industry here in California; let’s celebrate!

Craft Beer Week is celebrated throughout the country, but the Central Coast is lucky enough to have some of the best brewers and brewery representatives coming to us. There will be events including brewery tours, special craft beer releases, food and beer pairings, tap takeovers and more.

A quick look at some of this week’s events:

  • Sunday, May 10 thru Saturday, May 16 – Hot Shots in Pismo presents 4th Annual West Coast Beer Tour featuring 20+ beers from different breweries found on the West Coast.
  • Sunday, May 10 – The Frog & Peach Pub present the 4th Annual IPA Fest – 20 IPA beers on draft. Sierra Nevada/Dogfish Head Specialty IPA glass.
  • Monday, May 11 – Spike’s Pub present’s “Sharing & Pairing”. $30 per person. In the back patio area there will be two stations. One will be a food serving station and the other will be a vintage bottle station pulled from Spike’s cellar (paired with the food buffet). Also, Spike’s will have a $5.00 discount on all “cellar bottles” that can be opened at the event and shared or taken home.
  • Tuesday, May 12 – Luis Wine Bar presents “Secrets of the Sour – an in depth discussion on the art of wild and sour beer making”. This will feature a panel of some reputable sour beer makers like Tyler Clark of The Libertine Pub, Jim Crooks from Firestone Barrelworks, Paul from Telegraph Brewing Co., Jamil Zanisheff of Heretic Brewing Co., and Brant Myers from Hop On Beer Tours. Central Coast Craft Beer Radio will host and record the show.
  • Wednesday, May 13 – The Boardroom Tap Takeover – Beers from the Crypt. Boardroom will be posting their cellar list of kegs they have collected over the last five years and will let the public decide which six beers they will tap into for Craft Beer Week. No cost to enter. Just visit the Boardroom FB page and vote!
  • Thursday, May 14 – Dunbar Brewing presents “Nor Cal vs So Cal – The Rematch”. Seven breweries from Northern California square off against seven breweries from Southern California in this epic rematch to claim the right to boast: Who has the best beer?
  • Thursday, May 14 – Kennedy Club Fitness in SLO is hosting a Sierra Nevada Tap Takeover. Instead of your typical “Pint Glass giveaway”, Kennedy Club Fitness and Sierra Nevada are setting you up with a Sierra Nevada Water Bottle.
  • Friday, May 15 – MoTav is hosting the “San Diego Beer Invasion” featuring a San Diego Tap Takeover. Special release beers from Alpine, AleSmith, Stone, Pizza Port along with favorites from Modern Times, Green Flash, Coronado and new breweries to the Central Coast like Belching Beaver.
  • Saturday, May 16 – Eureka! SLO presents the 4th Annual Sour Fest. Wild and funky beers will be featured here for this much anticipated event.
  • Saturday, May 16 – Creekside Brewing is hosting “Ten-Fest” featuring 10 beers with ABV of 10% and above. Buy a raffle ticket to win a vintage bottle of Stone Double Bastard.
  • Sunday, May 17 – The Libertine Pub presents “Tap the Rockies Colorado Takeover” featuring Colorado Craft Breweries.

For more information on craft beer and all of the events taking place this week, visit www.craftbeer.com.