I don’t know what idiot made this “week” nine days, but he either deserves a stern talking-to or a hearty pat on the back. The 2012 St. Louis Craft Beer Week has officially come to a close.

While I’m sure our bodies, our families, and our livers are a bit wore out, it was a hell of a time. As with all things such as this, it takes an entire village to put something this big together. My first thank you goes out to all of the retailers, restaurants and bars that put forth the effort to put over 70 events on these past nine days.

Beer isn’t free, labor isn’t free, and stress can easily wear you down. But these events could never happen if all of these venues didn’t believe in the power of craft beer and the power of the St. Louis beer community. So, I want to thank them for making this possible. It’s important that we continue to patronize each and every location that participated. It’s not enough that we support them for nine days, we need to support them all year long.

Next I want to thank all of the distributors and breweries for making this as stress free as possible. As with all things business, this could easily have turned into a mess of back-fighting and pettiness. Instead, we had all of our local distributors and breweries working together to put this on. That was a huge help in making everything run smoothly. So, thank you to all of them.

Thank you also to all of the sponsors for helping to promote STLCBW.  We had glassware, ad space, Untappd badges, and artwork all donated to make this the best promoted year yet. So, thank you to Feast Magazine, Boulevard Brewing, Schlafly, and Gama Ray.

I also can’t forget to thank those media types out there that helped to promote craft beer. Catherine Neville, George Mahe, and Evan Benn (and I’m sure I’m missing some more people) did all us a huge favor by getting the word out about STLCBW. Thanks to all of you.

A big thanks also needs to go to Eric Hildebrandt and Carl Niermann for helping to make sure this week went off without a hitch. Eric and Carl are two of the best advocates for craft beer in St. Louis and this event couldn’t have been done nearly as well without them. I’m lucky to call both of them my friends.

Lastly, thank you to all of you. These event wouldn’t keep getting bigger if we didn’t have people coming out and attending the events. Everything event I visited seemed very well attended, so that’s great to see. If you keep coming out to these events, we’ll keep putting it on.

Which brings us to the last item. I’ll officially announce right now that the 2013 St. Louis Craft Beer Week will be taking place July 27th through August 4th. This will be the 5th anniversary of STLCBW so we’re already starting to plan ahead on ways to blow it out. I can’t wait.