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2021 Beer Holidays

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From Super Bowl Sunday to National Homebrew Day, here’s a list of the most noteworthy and esoteric 2021 Beer Holidays. Plan your brewery events and house parties accordingly.

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National walk your dog backwards day? Who cares?

International have a beer with a taco on a day other than Tuesday-day? Woof. Now we’re talking! Here are a list of 2021 beer holidays to help you get your year planned out properly.

While 2020 was a doozie that eliminated the capability of some events, many others pivoted to doing online events as well as other creative solutions. No pandemic can stop us from wanting to share a beer with friends and family, so this 2021 beer holidays list can provide you with some great excuses to “gather” even if it is on Zoom.

January

1 New Year’s Day
Celebrating the start of another year with another beer.

16 Baltic Porter Day
Under the influence of such events as Stout Day, IPA Day and the Polish Grodzisk Beer Festival, Marcin Chmierlarz created the Baltic Porter Day event to promote the Baltic porter, both in Poland and abroad.

18 Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Held on the third Monday of every January, the entire nation pauses in remembrance of a civil rights hero, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.

24 Beer Can Appreciation Day
Celebrating our favorite form of packaging, and the one we love to design labels for the most, this is the day the first canned beer went on sale in 1935. Krueger’s Cream Ale and Krueger Brewing Company’s Finest Beer hit shelves in tin, flat-top, cans made by the American Can Company. Krueger’s saw some success with their cans, so other breweries hopped aboard on the can train. Can sales continued increasing over time, most notably during World War II. Due to their lightweight, durability, and being able to stack them higher, cans could be shipped more easily overseas to soldiers during WWII.

12 Chinese New Year, Year of the Ox
Pronounced Xīn nián kuài lè, Chinese New Year is the Chinese festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional Chinese calendar. The festival is usually referred to as the Spring Festival in mainland China, and is one of several Lunar New Years in Asia. We learned from Fefe Ho & Chloe Chiao that, “In Chinese culture, the Ox is a valued animal. Because of its role in agriculture, positive characteristics, such as being hardworking and honest, are attributed to it. Oxen are the hard workers in the background, intelligent and reliable, but never demanding praise.”

February

7 Super Bowl Sunday
Bust out the approachable craft options, so you can use this opportunity to introduce your friends to independent beer without looking like a snob about it. Cream Ales, Blondes, Heffeweizens, and Mexican Lagers are always a good option for the lighter side, and Bocks, Marzens, and Dunkelweizens do well on the darker side. Good luck!

14 Valentine’s Day
The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.

16 Mardi Gras
Fat Tuesday is the last day of the Carnival season as it always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

22 George Washington’s Birthday
Drink one for the man on the $1. George Washington was an American political leader, military general, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He wasn’t a perfect first president, but he’s the one we got.

24 World Bartender Day
Man or woman, your bartender (or beertender) is keeping the libations flowing. Give them an extra fat tip today and thank them for their knowledge and dedication to the craft.

March

2 Texas Independence Day
Texas Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. This event marked Texas’ independence from Mexico. Sam Houston Day is also observed on March 2, marking the birthday of the man who led the Texans to victory over Mexican troops at the battle of San Jacinto.

8 International Women’s Collab Brew Day
International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day (IWCBD) is an annual event held on 8 March, to coincide with International Women’s Day. The event was first started in 2014, when 60 women brewmasters around the world simultaneously brewed the same recipe of craft beer.

17 St. Patrick’s Day
St Patrick’s Day is a global celebration of Irish culture on or around March 17. It particularly remembers St Patrick, one of Ireland’s patron saints, who ministered Christianity in Ireland during the fifth century. St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in countries with people of Irish descent.

20 Bock Beer Day
A celebration of the legendary Bock style of beer and the offshoots, Maibock, Eisbock, and Dopplebock. Grab a Shiner, and teach your friends about the difference between a lager and an ale with this sweet, strong German Lager.

29 National Vietnam War Veteran’s Day
Not to be confused with Veteran’s Day, National Vietnam War Veteran’s Day celebrates vets that served specifically during the hard-fought and controversial Vietnam War. Grab a beer with your favorite veteran and thank them for their courage.

April

4 Easter Sunday
Easter, also called Pascha or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. This is another great holiday to celebrate with friends and loved ones and open their eyes to the world of beer.

7 National Beer Day/Session Beer Day/Little Repeal Day
National Beer Day marks the day that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Cullen-Harrison Act, which allowed the legalization of beer sales in the U.S. with an alcohol content of 3.2 percent, putting an end to Prohibition. The first 24 hours of the end of the prohibition saw an estimated 1.5 million gallons of beer consumed, and it’s rumored that Roosevelt shouted at 12:01AM, “THIS WOULD BE A PERFECT TIME FOR A BEER”. This is referred to as little repeal day because it was the day that <3.2% beer was legalized.

11 King Gambrinus Day
Shrouded in myth and legend, Gambrinus has become the personification of beer for brewers and beer lovers across the world. April 11 is designated as King Gambrinus’ birthday, and although the accuracy of this date can be challenged, it is a call for celebration nonetheless.

? Craft Brewers Conference
The Craft Brewers Conference® is the number one environment in North America for concentrated, affordable brewing education and idea sharing to improve brewery quality and performance. Attendees can choose from fourteen educational tracks led by the top minds in the beer and business worlds. As of October 2020, this was the official announcement, “Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, registration for the 2021 Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® has been temporarily postponed until early Q1 2021. Registration opening dates for 2021 will be announced across all outlets as soon as possible. We are working hard, having ongoing conversations with the host city of San Diego and paying close attention to information regarding the evolving nature of this pandemic, and how it affects live events such as ours. We stand ready to host the event if it can be done in a safe manner.”

21 San Jacinto Day
San Jacinto Day is the celebration of the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. It was the final battle of the Texas Revolution where Texas won its independence from Mexico.

23 German Beer Day
On April 23 every year, German breweries traditionally celebrate “German Beer Day”. It was on this day in 1516 that the country’s famous “Reinheitsgebot” or “beer purity law” was enacted. The law, which is still applied today, means that only specific ingredients can be used in beer, specifically water, hops, yeast and barley.

26 National Pretzel Day
There are several different tales of the origin of pretzels. Most people agree that it has a Christian background, and they were developed by the monks, although the origin of the monks is what’s usually in question. According to The History of Science and Technology, in 610 AD, “an Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children who learn their prayers. Regardless of the disagreements about origin, one fact remains, pretzels are to beer as Robin is to Batman.

May

1 Big Brew Day
Homebrewers Association (AHA) created Big Brew as an annual event to celebrate National Homebrew Day around the world. Big Brew is held each year on the first Saturday in May. Anyone can host a Big Brew event, so invite your friends and family, gather around the brew kettle and join in the global celebration of the greatest hobby there is—homebrewing! 

5 Cinco de Mayo
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for ‘Fifth of May’ and commemorates the unlikely victory of the Mexican Army over superior French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Cinco de Mayo is not, as sometimes mistakenly assumed, Mexico’s Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16. It’s a great day for a Mexican Lager.

7 National Homebrew Day
In 1988, May 7 was announced before Congress as National Homebrew Day to celebrate the time-honored American tradition of homebrewing.

15 Armed Forces Day
It’s celebrated in the United States as a day to appreciate all active duty servicemen and women. This day isn’t to be confused with Veterans Day or Memorial Day.

10-16 American Craft Beer Week
American Craft Beer Week® is the nationwide celebration of U.S. small and independent craft brewers. The weeklong salute provides an opportunity for craft brewers to share their creativity and passion for the beverage they love.

31 Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering and honoring the military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday is now observed on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day having been observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970.

June

6 D Day
The Normandy landings were the landing operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the Allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War II. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history.

14 National Bourbon Day
National Bourbon Heritage Month is an observance in the United States that calls for a celebration of bourbon as America’s “Native Spirit”. While we’re more interested in beer than bourbon, bourbon barrels make up for a vast amount of barrel-aged beers because it’s America’s native spirit, therefore more barrels are available!

14 Army Day
Additionally, The U.S. Army was founded on June 14, 1775, when the Continental Congress authorized the enlistment of riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year.

15 Beer Day Britain
June 15th is important because it’s the date that Magna Carta was sealed in 1215. The great charter mentions Ale in Article 35. ‘Let there be throughout our kingdom a single measure for wine and a single measure for ale and a single measure for corn…’ Ale was so integral to England in 1215 that it was cited in one of the most significant legal documents in documented history. Today, ales and lagers alike (AKA all beer) are central to English culture, and public houses, or pubs, are still central to British life. Seven out of 10 drinks sold in a pub are beer.

19 Juneteenth
Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas, and more generally the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the former Confederate States of America, outside American-Indian lands. Texas was the most remote of the slave states, and the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, was not enforced there until after the Confederacy collapsed. The name of the observance is a portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth”, the date of its celebration.

17-19 National Homebrewers Conference
The American Homebrewers Association’s annual Homebrew Con is the ultimate experience for the greatest hobby there is—homebrewing!

July

4 Independence Day
Independence Day (colloquially the Fourth of July or July 4th) is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States from Britain, on July 4, 1776.

12 Michelada Day
Made by mixing a light beer, typically a Mexican Lager, with spices and hot sauce, a splash of lime, and sometimes even tomato juice, this beer-cocktail is a spicy, refreshing twist on a cold beer. It’s a love/hate kinda thing, and our team is split on the subject. No Label’s Don Jalapeno is a terrific beer to put a little spin on this Mexican classic.

18 St. Arnold’s Day
One legend tells of Saint Arnold providing infinite beer: one hot day, Arnold’s former parishioners were trekking to recover his remains and bring them back to Metz for his burial ceremony. They were hot, thirsty, and didn’t have enough water to keep them refreshed in the heat. They prayed to their late bishop to “give them what they lack,” and, miraculously, their near-empty barrel of beer was refilled enough for that journey. The legend has it that there was even enough left over to enjoy the next evening. We love Saint Arnold and everything they’ve done for Houston beer, so Brent put together a little write up on the holiday.

August

6 First Thursday National IPA Day
The style that is synonymous with craft beer, IPAs top the charts in every way imaginable. They’re the most entered style in beer festivals, typically 4 to 1 with any other style, and many breweries have planted a flag in the ground focusing almost exclusively on the style. Something about hops just rock our socks. From the Haze Craze to aging IPAs for over a year, IPAs are a subject we’ve dug into pretty extensively since it’s so ubiquitous to craft.

6 International Beer Day
Backyards, breweries, restaurants and bars alike will all be celebrating around the world. This is the day we raise a glass, no matter the style, to beer around the world. We do it almost every other day, but today it’s official.

7 Purple Heart Day
Purple Heart Day commemorates the creation of the oldest American military decoration for military merit. The Purple Heart honors the men and women that have been wounded or killed while serving under the U.S. Armed Services. It’s awarded in the name of the current President.

Aug 16 – Sep 4 Great American Beer Festival
The world’s biggest beer competition and festival, 107+ beer-style categories are judged by a panel of professionals meanwhile patrons get a chance to sample as many as they like. It’s a blast, and it’s a terrific excuse to visit Colorado’s majesty in Denver. Take a hike while you’re there. You won’t regret it.

September

5 National Tailgating Day
A celebration of beer, meat cooked over an open flame, football, and another beer. Tailgating is the time-honored tradition of gathering in the parking lot before a game to eat, drink, and socialize with friends and rivals before a game, and the first Saturday of every September is the day to do it while watching your favorite team on the gridiron.

6 Labor Day
Labor Day in the United States of America is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and honors the power of collective action by hardworking men and women, who are essential for the workings of society. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend.

8 National Sour Beer Day
Sour beer is beer which has an intentionally acidic, tart, or sour taste. Traditional sour beer styles include Belgian lambics, gueuze, and Flanders red ale. Brent dug in and wrote a gem for y’all. Check it out.

11 Patriot Day
Patriot Day is a holiday observed in the United States on September 11 to commemorate the lives of those who died in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Virginia and those who perished when the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania. By a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress on Dec. 18, 2001, September 11 was designated as Patriot Day. The resolution calls for the president of the United States to issue a yearly proclamation requesting that all U.S. flags be flown at half-staff. Further, Americans are asked to honor the dead with a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 AM, Eastern Standard Time, the time that the first airplane struck the World Trade Center, and to respect the ceremonies of remembrance when they are conducted. 

12 Grandparent’s Day
Grammy and Gramps, Mimi and Papa, or Honey and BaBa, whatever you call your grandparents, give them a call and see if they’re free for a beer.

18 Air Force Birthday
Air Force Birthday is a holiday celebrated on September 18th annually to commemorate the day when the Air Force was officially separated from the United States Army in 1947.

27 Crush a Can Day
This day was created to help educate people about the benefits of recycling. Recycling aluminum cans saves a considerable amount of energy; it also reduces carbon dioxide emissions and the amount of waste headed into landfills.

28 National Drink Beer Day
Another excuse for a beer holiday. Our moms didn’t accept excuses when we were kids, but we’re all grown up now, and any excuse for a 2020 beer holiday is a good one.

Sep 18 – Oct 3 Oktoberfest
The single biggest beer festival in the world celebrating German heritage through food, beer, dance, and a wide variety of other attractions. Oktoberfest is probably to beer nerds as Mecca is to Muslims, only less about faith and more about festivities. We’re all fans of the biscuity German style, so we did a blind tasting of a handful of them, and it was a lot of fun. Check it out.

October

1 First Friday – BA Beer Day
A day to celebrate the time and effort that goes into barrel-aging beer. As if making good beer wasn’t tough enough to do consistently, adding barrels into the mix creates a litany of new challenges, but the rewards are worth the risk. Raise a glass to a cooper and a brewer.

9 Pizza and Beer Day
Celebrated each year on October 9th, International Beer and Pizza Day pays homage to one of the most iconic food and drink combinations on the planet Earth.

13 Navy Birthday
On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the first American naval force. Thus began the long and prestigious heritage of the United States Navy.

14 Homebrewing Legalized in the US
A day to recognize Jimmy Carter’s 1978 repeal of the ban on homebrewing that was a remnant of prohibition. 2013 marked the date where all 50 states legalized it at the state level with Utah in 2009, Oklahoma in 2010, and Alabama and Mississippi most recently in 2013. It’s a right that many beer drinkers overlook, and it’s essential for the craft to continue, so let somebody know, and share some homebrew in recognition!

27 National American Beer Day
After celebrating German beer and British beer with their own holidays, it only felt right for American beer to have it’s own day. Known for pushing the limits of all things, American beer is no different. Celebrate diversity. Celebrate American beer.

31 Halloween
The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain.

November

4 International Stout Day
Usually celebrated on the first Thursday of November, International Stout Day pays tribute to the stout. Wether it’s a Dry Stout, a Pastry Stout, a Russian Imperial Stout, or a Milk Stout, it’s always Stout szn. Guinness is one of the world’s most well-known stouts, but it’s a style that’s nearly as broadly appreciated as the IPA. The first known use of oysters as part of the brewing process of stout was in 1929 in New Zealand. International Stout Day, whose creator is unknown, was first celebrated in 2011.

6 Learn to homebrew day
Organized by the AHA, Learn to Homebrew Day is an international event held annually on the first Saturday of November. Since 1999, thousands of homebrewers have gathered each year to teach friends and family the basics of the homebrewing hobby.

10 Marines Bday
The United States Marine Corps Birthday is celebrated every year on 10 November with a traditional ball and cake-cutting ceremony. On that day in 1775, the Continental Marines were established.

11 Veteran’s Day
Not to be confused with Memorial Day, Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I. Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave their lives for our country, particularly in battle or from wounds they suffered in battle. Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.

12 Happy Hour Day
November 12 is Happy Hour Day. So, on this unofficial fun holiday take advantage of happy hours at your favorite bar, cafe, or restaurant. Enjoy happy hour with friends. Happy hour is a term used to refer to a period of time during a day when establishments sell drinks and food at a discount.

25 Thanksgiving
On the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated in the United States, Canada, some of the Caribbean islands, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Similarly named festival holidays occur in Germany and Japan.

December

5 Repeal Day
Not to be confused with Little Repeal Day in April, this day marks the 21st Amendment of 1933, ending prohibition entirely, and allowing the brewing and distilling of beer and liquor.

10 International Lager Day
A day to appreciate some of the paradoxically “simpler” styles of beer.

23 Festivus
Jerry Seinfeld and his crazy sitcom generously blessed us with infinite jokes and pop culture references, but possibly none of them are more iconic than Festivus. Festivus is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 as an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season. Bust out the aluminum pole, and gather your list of grievances. And a beer. Can’t forget the beer.

25 Christmas
Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.

27 Louis Pasteur’s Birthday
Louis Pasteur was a French biologist, microbiologist and chemist renowned for his discoveries of the principles of vaccination, microbial fermentation and pasteurization. He is remembered for his remarkable breakthroughs in the causes and prevention of diseases, and his discoveries have saved many lives ever since. We love Pasteur for all of his notable contributions, but none more than his namesake, pasteurization. Pasteurization is the process of heating beer to a temperature that will kill any living microbes. It is used by some brewers to sterilize and stabilize their product without changing the chemistry or flavor. It’s important because it prevents spoilage.

31 New Year’s Eve
In the Gregorian calendar, New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year, is on December 31. In many countries, New Year’s Eve is celebrated at evening social gatherings, where many people dance, eat, drink, and watch or light fireworks. Some Christians attend a watch night service. This is your last chance of the year to introduce your friends and family to good beer, so choose wisely!

We hope this little collection of 2021 beer holidays help you plan your year around your beer. Beers to you, Houston.

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Anthony Gorrity
tony.d@beerchronicle.com

Anthony's a Houston native, a graphic designer, and a UH Coog that loves good beer almost as much as he does his city. He's an ex-oilfield guy that spends his days doing graphic design and marketing projects for one of Houston's fastest growing companies as well as some of the coolest breweries in town. Fueled by sessionable IPAs and gangster rap, he's ticked his way through H-Town, rocking the most unusual Nikes he can find. When he's not writing for us, he's with his family or rooting for the Rockets.

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