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Cheers! It's Minnesota Craft Beer Week

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Beer drinkers, it's your week. The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild is putting on special beer-related events around the state from Monday through Sunday, May 5-11. The group is calling it 10,000 Minutes of Minnesota Craft Beer, because there are about 10,000 minutes in a week, and course, because Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Craft beer makers are holding lots of different events, from tastings to tappings to tours, in hopes of attracting new customers. The complete schedule is available on the guild's website.

According to MNBeer.com, another craft beer group, there are about 65 breweries and brew pubs in Minnesota, and it seems new ones are opening all the time.

Michael Agnew, a member of the Craft Brewers Guild and a beer author, told MPR News Minnesota's beer culture has a ways to go to catch up with places like Denver and the West Coast, where craft brewing has been around for much longer.

But he notes that Minnesota brews have done quite well in national competitions. In fact, five breweries from the state won awards at the World Beer Cup last month.

Agnew also gives some advice on how to "introduce a Grain Belt drinker" to craft beer, and makes some suggestions for beer and food pairings that go beyond burgers and brats. Hint: Think dessert.

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