I had an interesting discussion with some friends at the Press Room in Portsmouth during Portsmouth Beer Week. Whats the difference between a local beer week (Portsmouth Beer Week, NYC Beer Week, San Diego Beer Week, etc) and CraftBeer.com‘s dubbed American Craft Beer Week? The answer is, for Portsmouth, there is no difference.
When Sean, Ryan and Ian of 2Beerguys decided to put on Portsmouth Beer Week in 2010 it was to highlight Portsmouth’s beer scene. When I was pulled into it last year to co-host we saw many breweries from outside the state coming into town to host events, while still highlighting the local breweries and bars. American Craft Beer Week is no different in the sense that we are celebrating beer for beer’s sake. You will see very similar events. What it means to Portsmouth’s establishments is that they may have to do twice the amount of beer themed events in a year if they want to participate.
What I like about Portsmouth Beer Week is that it currently falls on a time of year where tourism is light and the locals are in town. This gives locals the time to come out of hiding and catch up with neighbors and friends. I look at it as a gift to the town of Portsmouth. American Craft Beer Week falls in May, when tourism is ramping up in town. However, American Craft Beer Week does give the opportunity for small towns to celebrate beer under a designated week.
Beer weeks are never a bad thing unless it becomes too much to handle. Having too many beer-centric weeks, unfortunately, would hurt a town like Portsmouth by exhausting a lot of the distributors/brewers who are out trying to reach other locations. Many beer enthusiasts who read my posts can and will celebrate beer 365 days a year which isn’t a bad thing but don’t need a week to celebrate.
Conclusion, raise a glass to your local beer scene whenever possible and organize an event in your town, during a beer week or not.
For more information on Portsmouth Beer Week click here. For more information on American Craft Beer Week click here.