Beer weeks have sprung up all over the county as a way to focus attention on the craft beer movement that’s changing the way people think about beer. On the Sunday of Bockfest weekend in 2011, a group of beer connoisseurs from all over the city met at a downtown pub to discuss the idea of having a Cincinnati Beer Week. There were owners and employees of bars, restaurants, breweries and beer distributors. There were also home brewers and bloggers. Something that was decided at the first meeting was that Cincinnati Beer Week was going to be a volunteer, grassroots effort. That has carried through to today. Everyone working to make Cincinnati Beer Week happen is an unpaid volunteer. No brewery sponsorships are accepted so breweries of every size can participate without conflict.
So what is Cincinnati Beer Week? The mission statement says it’s “… a grassroots movement aiming to educate, inspire and celebrate well-crafted beer in a welcoming environment.” For the eight days of the “week”, bars, restaurants and stores all over the Greater Cincinnati become Official Cincinnati Beer Week Venues and hold special events like beer tastings, beer-pairing dinners, and brewery nights. Cincinnati Beer Week pint glasses and other merchandise is available at the venues. Information about what’s going is posted here at the Cincinnati Beer Week web site.
After the last night, the week really isn’t over because the annual Cincy Winter Beerfest takes over the Convention Center for two more nights of celebration. While it’s not an accident that Cincinnati Beer Week is the week leading up to the popular Cincy Winter Beerfest, they are separate events.
“Cincinnati Beer Week is a time to recognize the evolution and significance of flavorful beer in America, along with its impact on our region, nation and world,” says Jay Ashmore, Chair of the Cincinnati Beer Week organizing committee, “It’s time our community recognizes this gift, celebrates and encourages its progress. Cincinnati Beer Week is a week to enjoy community, culture, and fun.”
“Cincinnati Beer Week is not just a good thing, it’s a great thing!” says Lindsey Bonadonna, who organized that first Beer Week meeting and is still a committee member today. “We’re hoping to encourage the new, the adventurous and the casual imbiber to try something new and to explore and be entertained in a responsible manner.”
Mark your calendars now: February 7th – 14th, 2013, the Second Annual Cincinnati Beer Week. And keep watching here for more details.