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It's probably just a coincidence that this shares a date with our American Futures kick-off day. Probably. But I would be remiss in letting much more of August 1 go by without noting that this is the Third Annual IPA Day. Yes, I know, you could argue that every day is IPA Day. But we're talking official status at the moment.

If you click on the CraftBeer.com calendar page before the day ends, you will see listings of (approximate count) one zillion events at brewpubs and brew houses around the country in honor of this occasion. Other research resources for you:

- A very nice appreciation by Jim Galligan on the Today.com site. That is also the source of the illustration above, originally from featurepics.com. Galligan's column has this wonderful and obviously true lead:

I hate the way people will pick a random date on the calendar and proclaim it a special day, unless it's celebrating something I enjoy. Then it's a great idea.

- A list of celebratory events in Connecticut, for you Nutmeg State people. Similarly in Florida. Similarly in Northern California. Ten seconds' immersion in Google News suggests to me that you can find these events wherever you happen to be.

- While I'm at it, it's worth checking out this story on the indispensable role craft brewing is playing in American economic recovery. I'm not sure I'm convinced, but for today I'll assume it is true. Here's a similar economic-vitality item recently from HuffPo.

The heartening spread of craft breweries across the nation is naturally one of the trends we plan to explore in our upcoming project. For now, celebrate August first in the appropriate way.