Sunshine and suds — that’s what’s on tap in Santa Barbara next week, as beer enthusiasts across the nation head to their favorite watering holes to celebrate the eighth annual American Craft Beer Week (ACBW). More than 1000 celebrations will be held nationwide to honor the 2,400 small, independent brewers that are changing the way Americans think about beer.
Here in Santa Barbara, the seven-day celebration includes tasting events, rare keg tappings, and daily specials at a number of restaurants, gastropubs, and breweries. The hop-soaked revelry will hit its climax with a nationwide ACBW Coast-to-Coast Toast to the beer gods on Thursday, May 16, at 5 p.m. PST.
Monday, May 13
ACBW Kickoff Event: Keg tapping of Old Rasputin XV Anniversary Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout and Beer Trivia by brewmaster Pete Johnson and Certified Cicerone Zachary Rosen. The Brewhouse, 229 W Montecito St., 6 p.m.
Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament: You think you’re the best? Show your stuff while quaffing fine ales in Carpinteria. Island Brewing Company, 5049 Sixth Street, Carpinteria, 6-9 p.m., 805-745-8272, islandbrewingcompany.com
Tuesday, May 14
Beer Trivia Night: What do you know about Samuel Adams, Belgian monks, or Egyptian agriculture? Island Brewing Company, 5049 Sixth Street, Carpinteria, 7-9 p.m., 805-745-8272, islandbrewingcompany.com
Wednesday, May 15
American Ale Pre-Opening Event: A preview of this new gastropub with the lecture, “The American Brewing Revival in California,” presented by Chuck Hiigel with food pairings by Zachary Rosen. American Ale, 14 E Cota St., 6:30 p.m., $40. limited to 25 people, americanale.eventbrite.com
Toast-Off: Guest toaster John Palminteri leads the crowd in toasting with the mosting. Island Brewing Company, 5049 Sixth Street, Carpinteria, 6-9 p.m., 805-745-8272, islandbrewingcompany.com
Thursday, May 16
National Coast-to-Coast Toast: Join the nation in celebrating. Eureka! Burger, 601 Paseo Nuevo, 5 p.m.
Meet the Local Brewers Night: Featuring Telegarph Brewing Co. and Surf Brewing Co. Eureka! Burger, 601 Paseo Nuevo, 6 p.m.
Brewers Appreciation Night: A blending competition (from 6 to 9 p.m.) with food from Georgia’s Smoke House Food Truck (starting at 5 p.m.). Island Brewing Company, 5049 Sixth Street, Carpinteria, 805-745-8272, islandbrewingcompany.com
Friday, May 17
VIP Vertical Tasting: Brewer Paul Wright will show off two flights ($15 each flight) of Island Brewing’s most prized and award-winning beers, including the Bourbon Barrel Aged IPA and 2011 Starry Night Stout, both gold medal winners at the Great American Beer Festival, and the almost-gone 2012 Barrel Aged Kriek, a blend of two different ales aged in bourbon barrels for two and three years, with sour cherries added. Island Brewing Company, 5049 Sixth Street, Carpinteria, 805-745-8272, islandbrewingcompany.com
Saturday, May 18
Live Music: The Youngsters play to go along with your beers. Island Brewing Company, 5049 Sixth Street, Carpinteria, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 805-745-8272, islandbrewingcompany.com
Sunday, May 19
Island Brewing Land Shark Cruise: Meeting in Santa Barbara and cruising in and out of the water while drinking Island beers in a super fun party atmosphere. Island Brewing Company, 5049 Sixth Street, Carpinteria, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 805-745-8272, islandbrewingcompany.com
Hoffmann Brat Haus:$2 off Our Haus to Your Haus bratwurst & a draft beer, 801 State St.
Eureka! Burger: $5 off daily burger & beer pairings designed by Sarah Huska, Certified Cicerone, 601 Paseo Nuevo.
Island Brewing Company: Casks of Motueka Dry-hopped Paradise Pale Ale, Mole Jubilee, IPA aged on French Oak Chips, and Citra Dry-hopped Paradise Pale Ale. 5049 Sixth Street, Carpinteria.
Santa Ynez Valley Craft Beer Month
This second annual month-long extension of ACBW in Santa Barbara wine country features a number of events, including:
* Solvang Brewing Company Brewmaster Dinner, May 15
* Firestone Walker Brewing Co. dinner at the Ballard Inn & Restaurant, May 19
* Beer vs. Wine dinner at the Los Olivos Café and Wine Merchant, May 30
* Food and beer pairings at Wandering Dog Wine Bar and The Good Life with meats, cheeses and even dessert pairings.
* Beer-themed classes at Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company, Valley Brewers, Wandering Dog Wine Bar, and Bin 2860.
See syvbeer.com for details.