International Beer Day | Hot days, cold beer on August 5

Craft beer

International Beer Day is a perfect excuse to try out new craft beers. Image: Flickr/ilovebutter

On Aug. 5, when the heat is sweltering and the days are long, it is the perfect time to celebrate International Beer Day. Started in 2007, International Beer Day seeks to celebrate beer, brewers, bartenders, bars and friends. There is a growing number of International Beer Day celebrations, or you can easily start up your own.

Celebrating International Beer Day

International Beer Day started in Santa Cruz, Calif. There is a full list of celebrations coming soon on the International Beer Day website, though it is also worth checking with your local brewery. The easiest way to celebrate the holiday is to get together with your friends and drink beer.

The variability of beer in International Beer Day

Ever since mass distribution of beer started in the United States, most of the beer consumed has been a light lager style. The recent revival of styles and microbreweries, though, has brought craft beers back to the forefront of the industry. In 2009, national beer sales declined by more than 2 percent, but small breweries and craft beers saw an increase of 10 percent in sales, according to the Brewers Association. While you could celebrate with a light lager beer, National Beer Day can be used as an excuse to try out a beer you have never had before. The Brewers Association recognizes more than 150 styles of beer, and more are brewed every day.

Try a beer pairing on International Beer Day

With as many different types, styles and flavors of beer as there are wine, beer pairing is rising in popularity. There are beer sommeliers who can help you choose exactly which beer you should pair with your meal, and serve it in a perfect glass. If you don’t feel like hunting down a beer expert, though, just keep these basic principles in mind. A well-paired beer, just like a well-paired wine, should cut, compliment and contrast your food. Beer tends to run between $2 and $8 a glass — less than one-tenth what some wine costs. So go to your local brew shop, pick up a dozen new beers, and give your palate something new to enjoy on International Beer Day.

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