Way back in 2009 (OK, I guess it wasn't that long ago), three beer-loving New Yorkers decided that craft breweries could use a little help getting their products into the pints of punters across the five boroughs. With that goal in mind, they founded the Good Beer Seal, a convivial group committed to "identifying bars that serve quality craft beer and demonstrate a commitment to the community in which they do business." After defining their mission and creating a snazzy logo, the trio next took the ambitious step of petitioning the city to declare July "Good Beer Month." As it turned out, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was persuaded by their well-written letter, and earlier this summer, offered what has now become an annual proclamation in the Big Apple.
Craft beer has gained thousands of friends in the years since the first Good Beer Month, and the organization now counts more than 40 participating bars in New York City. There's even talk of expanding to Long Island. They also host a number of events, including this week's Beer Book, Blog, and Video Fest at the South Street Seaport Museum in Lower Manhattan. For $15 (or $10 for museum members) you'll get admission to the festival, two hours of beer samples, and food from Coach Farm Cheese, Sigmund's Pretzels, Jimmy's No. 43, and more. I'll be there along with authors and bloggers like John Holl, Christian DeBenedetti, Joshua Bernstein, John Kleinchester, and Niko Krommydas.