American Craft Beer Week doesn't officially start until Monday, May 13, but Due South Brewing Co., in Boynton Beach is hustling to celebrate its first anniversary the day before. By doing so, it hopes to avoid getting lost in the mess of events taking place at local bars and restaurants through May 19.
The brewery, one of three in South Florida, will bring two food trucks to its warehouse parking lot from 2 to 7 p.m. The tap room will sell drink tickets for flagship ales such as the Caramel Cream brown and Category 3 IPA, but one-time offerings of cask-conditioned beers will also be available.
But you won't need to visit Boynton for Due South brews. A six-course pairing at Mr. Bistro in Lauderhill will be one of the meetups kicking off Beer Week on Monday, and it will feature Due South along WITH fellow local brewery Holy Mackerel.
Unlike South Florida Beer Week this past January, ACBW highlights homegrown and nationwide brands equally. JG McGuinness in Weston has scheduled a tap takeover with limited-edition Dogfish Head ales for Wednesday. On Thursday, Tap 42 will pour strictly Florida-made brews for its Drink Like a Local night.
ACBW, known as "the mother of all beer weeks" in industry circles, is a congressionally sanctioned consumer holiday designed to boost business for small breweries. The Brewers Association, a trade group that lobbies for business owners, links to House resolutions supporting Beer Week, along with the week's manifesto, at CraftBeer.com.
But there's nothing congressional about local celebrations. Also on Wednesday, America's Backyard will start pouring free beers from Sweetwater Brewing at 4:20 p.m. The Georgia-based brewery recently began distributing to South Florida, and its flagship beverage is the 420 extra pale ale.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday at American Social, the trendy Las Olas spot will be the first Florida bar to serve four styles from Colorado's Breckenridge Brewery, owner Paul Greenberg says. And on Friday, the Riverside Market will invite drinkers to challenge their tolerance for hops with highly bitter IPAs from across the country.
Thanks to aggressive marketing by beer distributors, there are too many Beer Week events to mention here. Find a guide to each day's best events, with a link to a full list, at SouthFlorida.com/ACBW13.