Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What's the Point of the American Craft Beer Week?

I know when I first heard about the American Craft Beer Week several years ago, I thought, "What's the point?" My mid-20's, beer snob attitude had me thinking that it didn't matter if all those lite beer drinkers knew about craft beer or not. Well I've happily gotten over my beer snobbery and come to embrace beer as one of the glorious pleasures in life that everyone should have a chance to be a part of. I believe that everyone likes beer--if they say they don't, they just haven't found the right one yet.

Case in point: my father in law is a committed Bud Light drinker. He's always open to trying new things, but just doesn't have a taste for the strong flavored crazy beers that I'm always bringing over. Nothing wrong with that. Well one day I brought over a bottle of Boulevard's test gose. He absolutely loved the stuff. Who would have thought that hibiscus gose was a gateway beer? Keeping this in mind, I think we need to do anything and everything to introduce people to and educate them about the wonderful and diverse world of beer. Craft beer week provides a great opportunity to do this.

Even still, are special craft beer weeks even worth all the effort? Check out the chart below showing the Google trends of "craft beer" and "craft beer week." It's pretty obvious that every year for the last several years the American Craft Beer Week has raised the profile of craft beer substantially. I think it's pretty amazing how strong the correlation is. It's also great that each year after ACBW is over the interest wanes somewhat, but stays at a higher level than the year before.
Another cool thing that Google Trends shows is that American interest in craft beer is literally on an exponential rise. Charting out the last several years of search interest data, an exponential curve fits the data very closely. Yes, I know I have a problem...I am an Excel addict. (By the way, you can click on the chart to see it full sized. I realize it's impossible to read.)
We're not going to keep up this exponential growth without getting out there, drinking lots of craft beer, and introducing all of our friends and family to it. ACBW is a great opportunity to take someone out who might not know much about craft beer or be intimidated by the scene. And you've got no shortage of events during this American Craft Beer Week in KC. The KC Star and Recommended Daily both have lists of recommended events. Get going, you've got work to do!

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