In 1978, there were only 89 breweries in the U.S. Today, there are almost 6,400.
That gives you a lot of places to celebrate National Beer Day – and it doesn’t even count the restaurants and bars that will be taking part in the festivities.
What sounds like holiday trumped up by industry marketers (it definitely is) actually has some historical significance. On April 7, 1933, the Cullen-Harrison Act went into effect, making it legal for people to buy, sell, and drink beer containing up to 3.2% alcohol by weight (or 4.05% by volume). That helped set the stage for the repeal of Prohibition.
Looking to celebrate this year? There are plenty of places offering specials—entirely too many to list, in fact. But here’s how to find observations near you—and some ideas on how to celebrate it yourself.
Restaurants and bars
National Beer Day isn’t a big event for national restaurants, rather curiously. But there are a few who have plans to mark the occasion.
On the Border – The Mexican chain restaurant will offer $3 domestic drafts and $6 Coronaritas (a margarita with a Corona stuck in it) all day long.
Pour Brothers Community Tavern – Plan on being in the Fort Colins, CO area? Pour Brothers Community Tavern is offering free pints from 4-8pm. Customers will have 20 taps to chose from, including offerings fro: Horse & Dragon Brewing, Odell Brewing, Funkwerks, Snowbank Brewing, Loveland Aleworks, New Belgium Brewing, and Elevation Beer Company among others.
Find Local Events Near You
The real celebrations are likely to come at local breweries, which will roll out new beers and offer discounts to mark the day. Looking to find the ones in your area? There are three good ways to make sure you don’t miss any.
Taphunter – This app (which also has a Web presence) helps you see which beers are on tap at select locations near you. It also lets you quickly search for any beer-themed events in your area.
Untappd – The must-have app for beer lovers also has a listing of nearby events, one that could be more thorough than Taphunter (though it’s best to check both to ensure you don’t miss anything). You’ll also earn a special badge for checking in with a beer on Saturday – and it can help you find a ride home if your celebrating gets a bit out of hand.
State Brewer’s Guilds – Breweries work closely with their state guilds and it’s often the best repository of upcoming release events and special samplings. Click here to find the guild for your state.
Celebrate at Home
Don’t want to bother with crowds or don’t see any festivities near you that look appealing? The great thing about National Beer Day is it’s easy to celebrate at home. Need a recommendation for a good beer to crack open to mark the occasion? Try one of the below…
pFriem Mosaic Single-Hop Pale Ale – This ale uses the Mosaic hop in near perfect fashion, resulting in a light and fruity ale that dances on your tongue.
Pinthouse Pizza Electric Jellyfish – A hazy, but light, IPA that’s loaded with juicy flavors and has just the right amount of bitterness.
Stone Exalted IPA – If you like big, hoppy IPAs that aren’t afraid to hit you with bitterness, this is the choice for you. Citra hops dominate the taste profile.
Southern Star Buried Hatchet Stout – Runner-up for best of show honors at Canfest 2014, this thick, rich stout has a chocolate/espresso aroma and taste (and maybe a hint of licorice), with a heavy emphasis on malt. The carbonation is light (and you immediately wonder how it would taste on a nitro tap), but it has a smooth, warm finish.
21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon – Wheat beers go down especially well in warm weather. So does watermelon. Not surprisingly, they work well together. This is a light-bodied brew that isn’t overly fruity, but has a nice watermelon note that hits the spot for backyard BBQs.