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This Friday, September 12, is the start of NYC Craft Beer Week. The ten-day celebration of great craft brews kicks off with the third annual NY Brewfest. For the first time, the festival will feature international brewers, particularly a large number of Bavarian breweries—some dating back to the 17th century, if not farther, like Miltenberger and Zötler Bier. Participants will also include standout American brewers like Allagash and Otter Creek as well as organic brewers like Peak. The organizers are also going green this year—part of the festival is being powered by 15 megawatts of wind energy donated by Community Energy.

Josh Schaffner, director of NYC Craft Beer Week, described Friday’s beer festival as a good introduction to beer novices who want to try different styles (they’ll be able to choose from more than 300). But Schaffner developed Craft Beer Week, which is in its first year, for more serious beer drinkers. In addition to events and dinners, Schaffner has organized neighborhood pub crawls that reinvent the frat tradition into a more sophisticated, educational experience. “The goal is not to get as drunk as possible but to explore new neighborhoods, bars and beers,” he says. Schaffner has 52 bars signed on to pour a total of 97 beers from 37 breweries. Unlike NY Brewfest, Schaffner’s events focus on beers that come from the Northeast, between Maine and Maryland.

The beer extravaganza ends with the second annual Manhattan Cask Ale Festival, September 19–21, which gives people a chance to taste 45 different craft-brewed, cask-conditioned ales.

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