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Welcome to American Craft Beer Week in the Pikes Peak region 

If it seems like around every corner there's a new brewery or tap house popping up these days, well, that's because there is. When the Independent was born in 1993, there were just two breweries barely open in town: Judge Baldwin's and Phantom Canyon. Fast forward to today and we have 22, with five more that we know of on the way soon.

If you have yet to delve into the world of craft beer, the time really is now. And that is why we offer you this guide. In our coverage you will find as comprehensive a list as we could gather from our local breweries and tap houses on the special events and tappings they have planned for American Craft Beer Week, May 11 through 17.

Additionally, 13 downtown restaurants have partnered with a dozen of these breweries to offer unique local craft-beer-and-dish combos available only from May 12 through 14 in the Pints & Plates showcase. The pairings will highlight how food and beer can work together to give you a rockin' culinary experience.

There's also the Independent's alternative bus tour, Hops & Stops. Choose one of eight rides on Sunday, May 17, and you'll get hosted bus transportation — including water and snacks — from the Indy to three breweries. Each will offer a guided tour and tastings of at least three beers. We're venturing out in all directions at noon and 3 p.m.,so get your tickets now.

Finally, if you can't make any events this week, check out our local beer scene when you have time. To aid you with that, we've included a listing of all our current breweries, and at least the names of incoming establishments, here.

If you look at all of our breweries, craft tap houses and mindful liquor stores, it's clear that we truly do boast a prolific and awesome beer scene. No matter how you choose to experience it, get out there, be safe, and drink up!

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