Did you know that this Friday is more than a regular Friday, but is in fact a holiday? If not, you better swing by and grab a few beers so you can properly celebrate! Microbrew, imported, domestic — there are so many options when it comes to beer, and later this week is the perfect chance to celebrate your love of the beverage. Grab a frosty mug and enjoy the ice cold beer of your choice as you celebrate National Beer Day on April 7! You didn’t know there was a holiday dedicated to celebrating your favorite water, grain, hops and yeast beverage? Well, it’s not an official holiday, but don’t let that stop you from having fun!

Beer is big business, and beerinstitute.org estimates that 43,900 people in America work for large and small breweries and importers. Add to that fact that another 129,500 are employed by distributors and 900,000 people work for retailers that sell beer.

It has been 82 years since Prohibition was repealed, and in that time, brewers have been busy creating more varieties that you can count, and the American public has, in turn, become excellent consumers. According to brewersassociation.org, overall beer sales are up 0.5 percent in the U.S., and imports are up 6.9 percent, while craft sales have risen by 17.6 percent. While sales increase, so does the number of breweries. The Brewers Association calculates a total of 3,464 breweries in the United States.

The craft beer scene is quickly expanding throughout Minnesota. Locally, you can enjoy F-Town Brewing Co. in Faribault, Mantorville Brewing Co. in Mantorville, and Montgomery Brewing Co. in Montgomery. Mankato is home to Mankato Brewing, Rochester has Grand Rounds Brewpub, Forager Brewing Co., Kinney Creek Brewery and LTS Brewing Co., and there are many more throughout the state. Additionally, you can try your hand at making your own beer with kits offered through Know-How Brew-shop and Faribault Community Education.

Craft, light or import, there is something for everyone. What is your favorite beer?

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