The Brewers Association is introducing a special day for beer lovers to support their local craft brewery.
Pints of beer
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Thanksgiving weekend is five-day marathon of consumption, both physical and financial. Wednesday, hit the bars with hometown friends. Thursday: family, food, beer, wine (and maybe try some cider!). Then Black Friday is for shopping, while Small Business Saturday asks us to remember the little guys. Now, the craft brewing trade group the Brewers Association (BA) is looking to claim Sunday for a fitting summation of all that's come before it: supporting local businesses by spending money on one last opportunity to socialize with family and friends over a drink. Sunday, December 1 will be the first "Small Brewery Sunday."

Small, local, independent breweries have been one of the bright spots in the beer industry, with taprooms emerging as the modern equivalent of the pubs of yore—a community space where people can hang out and have a delicious brew that's usually been crafted right on the premises. Meanwhile, as the BA first pointed out last year, 85 percent of drinking-age Americans now live within 10 miles of one of America's more than 7,500 craft brewers. As a result, heading to your local brewery has never been more alluring—and for beer lovers, grabbing one final relaxing brew at the end of what will likely have been an enjoyable but intense five days is probably a solid suggestion.

"A delicious craft beer is always the perfect complement to a busy, long holiday weekend," Julia Herz, the BA's craft beer program director, told me via email. "It is also the first day of December which is the perfect holiday time to stock up on delicious independent craft beer."

However, she also points out the event is about more than just drinking. "Small Brewery Sunday also aims to highlight U.S. craft brewery contributions to our country and our culture. When beer lovers visit a craft brewery, and buy their beer at a store or restaurant, they are supporting both an amazing sensory beverage and a small business who contributes to their local communities," she continues. Craft brewers also support tens of thousands of nonprofits and charitable organizations, Herz explains, giving an estimated $92.6 million to charitable organizations in 2018—something that's also in line with the spirit of the holidays.

As for whether Small Brewery Sunday will become an annual excuse for beer lovers to grab a final Thanksgiving tipple, Herz said the BA is taking things one step at a time, looking at how this year goes before deciding on the future. But that just sounds like one more reason to support this year's event if you ask me.

This Story Originally Appeared On Food & Wine