It's a special week for craft brewers in our area -- American Craft Beer Week, May 12-18. Great Raft Brewing is celebrating with its participation in the nationwide event.

Co-founder Andrew Nations says Great Raft is hosting and participating in several events this week, featuring its year-round offerings as well as a number of special release beers.

"By participating in this nationwide celebration of the art of craft beer, Great Raft is offering the Shreveport area a unique opportunity to join in enjoying craft beer and learning more about its appeal," Nations said. "Great Raft Brewing's mission is to create fresh craft beer that complements the lifestyles and cultures of Louisiana and that’s something we built our week’s activities around."

The week’s events include a variety of opportunities to taste exclusive Great Raft beers and enjoy delicious local food. Here's the schedule:

Monday, May 12:

The Great Raft Brewing team kicks off ACBW with a “tap invasion” at Frank’s Pizza Napoletana in Shreveport. As part of this event, Great Raft will be releasing its first two collaboration beers that were brewed with Bluejacket Brewery, based in Washington, DC, in March. The collaboration beers are an imperial schwarzbier called Nobody’s DarlingTM and a session rye lager called Disaster ProofTM. These one-off releases will be poured at Frank’s alongside four other Great Raft Brewing beers, including its latest release, Make BelieverTM , a session IPA.

Wednesday, May 14:

Great Raft teams up with renowned chef Cory Bahr of Restaurant Cotton in Monroe, La., for a six-course beer dinner. This dinner includes the two new collaboration beers, along with four other Great Raft Brewing beers, that pairs perfectly with Bahr’s signature North Delta cuisine.

Wednesday, May 14:

Great Raft beers will be featured in a craft beer and cheese pairing at Tonore’s Wine Cellar in Monroe.

Thursday, May 15:

Great Raft hosts Ki’Mexico at the Great Raft Brewing tasting room, where they will debut creative Mexican soul food pairings. Beers on tap will include the two new collaboration beers, along with five other Great Raft Brewing offerings.

Thursday, May 15:

Great Raft will participate in “Pick a Pair Craft Beer Tasting” at Tiger Market in Monroe. Participants will have the chance to win Great Raft merchandise, as well as sample a variety of Great Raft Brewing beers available in the Monroe market.

Friday, May 16:

Great Raft Brewing beers will be featured at Pickle Barrel in Monroe, including its latest release, Make BelieverTM, a session IPA. 2-for-1 craft beer specials and Great Raft merchandise will be available.

More information about these and yet-to-be-announced events can be found at the Great Raft website.