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Looking for an excuse to drink lots of fresh, local craft beer? Yes? Good news: NYC Craft Beer Week bubbles into town this Friday and lasts until the 25th. It’s a sprawling, crawling carnival of an event that happens kind of all over the place, so we’ve tried to boil things down to the basics. Here’s how it works:

NYC Craft Beer Week 2011 kicks off on Friday, September 16

1. Get your passport. The passports ($10) are available at any of the participating venues, and they’re full of coupons for $3 NYC Craft Beer Week pours at all the participating venues. Totally over paper? Download the NYC Beer Week app on your smartphone.

(For the math challenged or already-drunk: If you assume your average pint of good beer is $6, that would mean you’ve gotten more than your money’s worth out of your passport after four beers.)

2. Go drink beer. There are 30 participating bars, restaurants, and stores in Brooklyn alone, including Gowanus Yacht Club, bar great harry, Sycamore, Banter, Huckleberry Bar, Mission Dolores, Applewood, Brooklyn Homebrew, and many more. Each one is offering a featured brewery selection for $3 with the passport you just procured. 4th Avenue Pub and Washington Commons are “hosting venues,” so they’re good bets for meeting up with other Brooklyn craft beer seekers.

Note: The Passport gets you a single draft beer at each participating location at the special $3 price. So wear your bar-hopping spandex and trainers.

3. Go to events. Check out the Freaktoberfest opening night party at Southpaw, the Fermented NY Craft Beer Crawl in Williamsburg, or Ommegang beer and cheese pairings at Green Grape Provisions. There are a sort-of-unbelievable number of beer-related events of all stripes happening in Brooklyn and beyond as part of the celebration –start filling up your calendar here.

In conclusion, beer beer beer, beer beer beer beer. Good beer.

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