Keep an eye out for the man on the left. That would be Guiness master brewer Fergal Murray, and he will be making the rounds of pubs in Charlotte on March 1, as part of his nationwide tour in advance of St. Patrick's Day on March 17. His representative can't reveal which pubs he will be visiting, but he should be easy to spot: Listen for an Irish accent and watch for the Guiness glass in his hand. The plan is for him to "mingle," according to his representative.
Elsewhere in beer news: Watch for May 14-20, American Craft Beer Week. The Brewers Association is hoping to repeat last year's feat of having brewing events in all 50 states, including brewery tours, special beer releases and food and beer pairing dinners. So far, the calendar doesn't show anything yet for North Carolina, but with all the brewheads around here, surely something will come up. Keep an eye on the calendar at www.craftbeer.com.
It's not just craft beers, but there is one event already on the books that week: The Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival is 2-6 p.m. May 12 at Symphony Park in SouthPark. Tickets range from $25 to $45 and include samples, tastings and music. Details: www.beerandbourbon.com.
Need something sooner than May? The 2012 edition of the Beertopia Beer Festival is on for 2-6 p.m. March 10 in the parking lot behind the Grapevine, 1012 Market St. in Fort Mill. That's 5 miles south of Charlotte off I-77, exit 85 (Baxter Village). VIP tickets have already sold out, and regular admission has sold out early in the past. To get a ticket now, go to www.mygrapevine.com. $1 from each ticket is donated to Pints for Prostates.
And finally, Charlotte Craft Beer Week is March 16-25 (yes, that's more than a week, but we won't quibble -- they're already hard enough to find through Google, so changing the name to Charlotte Craft Beer Fortnight would just make it worse). It starts March 16 at the Visulite, with the Brawley's Beverage Black & Blue Show and continues all over town, including Freak Fest at Common Market SouthEnd on March 22. Details: Charlottecraftbeerweek.org.