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American Craft Beer Week Kicks Off

Multiple locations in Columbia will be celebrating American Craft Beer Week.

American Craft Beer Week is upon us. It's a celebration of the American brewer, small business and a beloved beverage.

At , a haven for local beer enthusiasts, the bar on Monday was filled with people sipping on brews. The special on Monday was sponsored by Sixpoint Brewery, a craft brewery located in Brooklyn, NY. 

Today, the booming business of craft brewing meets a week of celebration. According to statistics provided by the Brewers Association, 250 new breweries opened in 2011 and the industry grew by 13 percent compared to 2010.

Alex Andujar, a sales representative for Six Point Brewery, was at Victoria Gastro Pub on Monday. He said the success of craft beers can be attributed to the expanding pallettes of the general public.

"People started realizing there was more the market than the small number of macro beers," said Andujar. He credited companies like Sierra Nevada and Samuel Adams for their work in bringing craft beers to the general public in the 1980s and 90s.

Their work has ushered in a new era of beer production. In 2011, 1,989 total breweries operated for some or all of the year, the highest total since the 1880s, according to the Brewers Association.

American Craft Beer Week was started in 2006 and runs from May 16-22.

Brian, who declined to give his last name, was seated at the bar at Victoria on Monday evening. He said he enjoyed the variety and variation of craft beers.

"This is my favorite bar in the area," said Brian. "I'm going to come out here and try a few beers this week."

If you're also interested in trying some craft beers this week, here's a list of places in Columbia participating in Craft Beer Week: 

will be hosting events all week.

  • Tuesday - Belgian styles. Featuring: Ommengang, Allagash, Brewer's Art, Jolly Pumpkin, Stillwater, The Bruery, New Belgium
  • Wednesday - California Craft Brewer's. Featuring: Lagunitas, Stone and Sierra Nevada
  • Thursday - Battle of the Double D Casks. Featuring: Fyling Dog "Dry Hopped Double Dog" and Old Dominion "Double D"
  • Friday - Colorado Craft Brewers. Featuring: Oskar Blues, Boulder Great Divide, Breckenridge and New Belgium
  • Saturday - Vermont Craft Brewers. Featuring: Long Trail, Otter Creek and Wolaver's
  • Sunday - Session Sunday. Featuring: America's craft brewed session beers from Sierra Nevada, Oliver's, Sixpoint, Oskar Blues, Breckenridge, New Belgium

2nd Annual Craft Beer Tasting and Festival will take place on Saturday at Clyde's on the lakefront. The event will include over 55 beers from a variety of craft brewers including Flying Dog, Sam Adams and DuClaw Brewing. Tickets are $2.50 for a 4 oz. tasting cup or $30 for 15 tickets. The event will run from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 10221 Wincopin Circle.

will be serving their rotating lineup of 52 drafts and 130 bottles and cans all week. On top of that, Frisco's will have their weekly pint night on Wednesday where they will be featuring Flying Dog Brewery from 7 to 11 p.m. "We have a couple of beer gurus and our staff is very well versed and can talk about all the different craft beers on tap," said Jamie Welsh, the general manager.

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