If you think the phrase “craft beer” has been watered down, ask Kelly Taylor about it.
“The term ‘craft beer’ has been used almost to death over the last few years,” says Taylor, president of the NYC Brewers Guild, which promotes the city’s craft breweries. Friday begins his busiest time of the year: New York City Beer Week, which is actually 10 days of events all about the small-batch brews being made around the city.
The message is the same at every one of the 400 or so tastings, talks, dinners, tap takeovers and more taking place through Feb. 28. “To a certain degree, we’re trying to reassert what it means to be a craft beer,” Taylor continues. “It’s made with a certain purpose and a certain degree of character that comes out in the beer, and it’s gotta be presented in a way that elevates the discourse.”
To that end, Beer Week is all about getting beer fans face-to-face with brewers and more knowledgeable about the huge variety of beers being turned out by local producers — the guild has 23 member breweries and several more that don’t have a permanent facility (yet).