San Antonio Beer Week a reality

San Antonio Beer Week has become a reality. May 15-22, San Antonio will celebrate the beer culture that arisen over the last 15 years for the benefit of locals and thirsty travelers alike.

In the late fall (“Beer me, SA,” November 3, 2010), this column made the case that the time had come for the Alamo City to follow in the footsteps of Philadelphia, San Diego, that East Coast hamlet known as New York, and more than a dozen other cities to celebrate the richness of the beer scene in our own town. What’s more, Houston and Austin launched their own beer weeks last year.

After the column ran, Texas brewing veteran Jason Davis called us up, saying he had entertained similar thoughts, most likely while adding ingredients to one of his creations at Freetail Brewing Co. Meanwhile, Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling’s marketing chief and co-founder Mark McDavid and head brewer Rob Landerman were also leaning in that direction.

So beer lovers can now mark their calendars for mid-May for what promises to be a tantalizing series of events at breweries, beer bars, stores, and fine restaurants every night of the week.

Here’s a quick overview of what’s being discussed in the planning stages.

Each of the five participating breweries will have a night of the week to host a special showcase event. That includes microbrewery Ranger Creek, San Antonio brewpubs Blue Star Brewing Co. and Freetail, Boerne brewpub Dodging Duck, and the soon-to-reopen brewpub at Faust Brewing Co. in New Braunfels.

Opening and closing events will cater to beer enthusiasts and even those just wanting to learn more about the beverage on which civilization was built.

Ranger Creek will host a pro-am brewing competition that could result in a homebrewer creating a beer that would be entered in the Great American Beer Festival. Plans for a collaboration brew also are in the works.

There will also be pub crawl options. A guided bus tour will hit San Antonio and surrounding breweries, offering a self-guided pub crawl through some of the best beer bars in the city.

Now, all San Antonio Beer Week needs is you.

Restaurants, bars, retail outlets, and distributors with a commitment to local and craft beer in general (you know who you are) who would like to participate should contact me through the e-mail address listed at the end of the column.

Beer enthusiasts and supporters of the craft beer scene in San Antonio are also encouraged to let organizers know what kind of things you would like to see, so send an e-mail or, better yet, bend our ear over a beer.

Travis E. Poling writes about beer weekly for the Current and is author of Beer Across Texas: A Guide to Brews and Brewmasters of the Lone Star State. Please send beer news and event information two weeks in advance to [email protected]

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