CHILLICOTHE — Heads up. With its "A Year of Beer" programming, the Chillicothe library is putting the "pub" back in public library.

"(Given) the popularity of craft beers and increased interest in the science of beer making, we thought it might be a good idea to offer a series of programs exploring the world of beer," said Catherine Barnett of the library staff. "There are a lot of aspects of beer that are worth looking at and learning about."

The current popularity of beer is indisputable. According to The Brewers Association’s 2017 midyear report, in 2017 the number of breweries in the United States climbed to 5562, with another 2700 reported to be in the planning stages.

"A Year of Beer" offers an in-depth exploration of beer, from its historical and social contexts to the cutting-edge craft brew scene to the science of hops farming — with a variety of tastings making the learning process thoroughly experiential.

Presenters for the series are drawn largely from among area brewing professionals. Leading off on Tuesday, Bryan Ballard of White Oak Brewery delves into the history of American beer, from 1612 to the present. Attendees may sample some “historical” American beers along the way.

Coming up April 3, presenters from Tannins & Hops will provide pro advice on what beer you should try if you like wine.

On May 1, Matt Rixner of Fox Pub discusses craft beer in Illinois.

More details are brewing, the library says, but it expects to line up monthly presentations at least through 2018.

“History of American Beer” will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Chillicothe Public Library, 430 N. Bradley Ave., Chillicothe. The program is free and open to ages 21 and older. Register by Sunday. For more information, visit or call (309) 274-2719.

"It's not the kind of program people typically associate with public libraries," Barnett said Thursday. "We're trying to keep patrons engaged by thinking outside the box a little bit."

Scott Hilyard can be reached at 686-3244 or by email at Follow @scotthilyard on Twitter.