By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Baltimore is getting ready to recognize all things beer. It’s the sixth year for this big Charm City celebration.

Ron Matz has more on what’s brewing for Baltimore Beer Week, which starts Friday.

Beer in Baltimore is a celebration for the next 10 days.

“We’ve got over a hundred venues and sponsors. We have a lot of events. People are really going out of their way this year to create something unique for the attendees, and we have people coming from all over. It’s really a fun time for us, and we hope people have as much fun as we do,” said Dominic Cantalupo, beer week co-founder.

The fun began with a luncheon at the Horseshoe Casino. Max’s Taphouse is event headquarters.

“We’ve got the opening tap ceremony, which will be held at Rash Field on Saturday. We have a big wheel race in Fells Point. There are numerous beer dinners. We’ve got pint nights and meet the brewers and more,” said Joe Gold, co-founder beer week.

National Beer is just part of Baltimore’s rich brewing history. So is the “star-spangled banger,” made of wood from the wye oak.

“People in general have always been into beer, especially in a town like Baltimore, which is blue-collar based,” Cantalupo said. “Our deal with Baltimore Beer Week was basically to raise the level of awareness of craft beer with the general public, and I think to a large degree we’ve succeeded with that.”

Beer week is also about the growth of Maryland’s craft beer industry.

“The craft brewers in Maryland have really sprung up. We probably had 20 craft brewers six years ago. We’re talking about 40 now,” Gold said.

“Times have changed. The palates have changed. It’s like anything else. The restaurants were pretty bland back in the day but look what we have now in the landscape of restaurants. I think the same with beer drinkers, they demand more and they’re getting more from our local brewers,” Cantalupo said.

Beer week includes more than 300 events in neighborhoods all over the Baltimore area.

“Beer week started six years ago. In the next 10 days we’re going to have more than 340 events. It’s happening all over town, celebrating all things beer in the land of pleasant living,” Gold said.

For more information about all the activities during Baltimore Beer Week, click here.

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