by Buck Reed
The Year of Beer
When people would ask me where I am from, I usually responded with Frederick County, where brewers walk like gods on earth. It would have been difficult to argue my statement about our county in the past, but now it would be almost impossible. As the United States grew into the brewing revolution, our county can brag that we were right there at the forefront. We have a number of craft breweries, where you can get delicious craft beer made practically in your own neighborhood: a Brew On Premise shop, which was one of the first to offer anyone over twenty-one the opportunity to walk in off the streets and learn the art of brewing your own beer; a homebrew club with over one hundred members; and more than a few restaurants with a beer-centric theme. What better way to celebrate our love of brew than to have a glass of well-crafted beer. The only dilemma is what to drink and when. So, in 2019, if you want to know what to drink, here is a guide to international, American, and local beer celebration days.
Starting off the list is International Beer Day, which is celebrated on September 28, and which also coincides with Sir Arthur Guinness’s birthday. Perhaps the world’s favorite stout should be in your glass.
International Stout Day is observed on the first Thursday of November.
International India Pale Ale day can see you drinking a glass of hoppy goodness on August first.
In Belgium, where beer is a way of life, they celebrate beer with a weekend of drinking, music, and shows. Held in Brussels on September 6-8, and with over four hundred beers in the mix, is it any wonder there is a movement to extend the festivities to a two-week event?
Not to be outdone, British Beer Day is June 15 and boasts the motto “Cheers for Beers!” And of course, they too would like to extend the affair to a one-week celebration. My thought is that there is someone on the tourist board pushing these initiatives.
In the United States, National American Beer Day is celebrated on October 27, but National Beer Month is in July. If you drink a beer sometime in this timeframe, I am certain you can consider yourself covered, but in case you miss those, National Drink a Beer Day is September 28. Funny, I thought every day was National Drink a Beer Day.
On the homebrew front, we have National Homebrew Day, which is observed the first Saturday of May. If more than one homebrewer gets together to make a beer, it is called a Big Brew Event. Our local club, Frederick’s Original Ale Makers (FOAM), gets together for the event, and if you ask nice, you might be allowed to crash the event.
Finally, we have the Big Kahuna of all beer drinking events: Oktoberfest. In Munich, they hold the mother of all beer bashes from September 26 through October 6, where copious amounts of food are washed down with oversized steins of German beer, all while singing drinking songs at the top of your lungs. Can’t make it to Munich? Frederick has more than a few of our own Oktoberfest celebrations. The Rotary Club holds theirs the weekend of September 27-28, and really shouldn’t be missed by anyone. And, better late than never, the Oktoberfest at Schifferstadt is held on October 19-20.
If you really need an excuse to enjoy a beer, by all means use these or any other beer-inspired holidays to enjoy a glass of craft beer goodness. And maybe you can say a little prayer in the name of St. Arnold, the patron saint of beer who we celebrate on July 18.
Need a recipe or an idea for any of these Beer Day Celebrations, drop me an e-mail at RGuyintheKitchen@aol.com.