Craft Beer Lovers Rejoice: North Carolina Beer Month Returns for Third Year in April
"North Carolina pairs the best in beer with appealing experiences," said Wit Tuttell, executive director of Visit North Carolina. "Just as our award-winning brew masters cover the spectrum of styles, our menu of activities covers prime choices for outdoor adventure, exceptional dining and lively culture."
The rewards of North Carolina beer travel reach new heights in 2015. Trips to celebrated craft beer destinations are being offered as sweepstakes prizes. A new Pint Hound Brewery Challenge invites travelers to download a passport and collect stamps at participating breweries to claim prizes such as keychains, T-shirts and customized Freakers, the ultimate beer accessory from Wilmington-based Freaker USA.
The inaugural Burly Beers and Barleywines Festivals jump-starts NC Beer Month on March 28 at Sierra Nevada Brewing in Mills River, home of the craft beer titan's newly opened East Coast operation. Sierra Nevada and the Craft Brewers Guild have invited more than 50 breweries to pour their heartiest beers at the daylong event.
The Beer Month celebration continues throughout April, inviting consumers to revel in regional beer culture with festivals and events, special-edition beers, lodging packages, beer dinners and educational panels. Highlights include:
- Meet the Maker: Event hosted by Our State magazine features a panel of six brewers plus food and beer pairings (April 2 in Chapel Hill).
- Beards & Beers: A pop-up dinner featuring six James Beard-recognized chefs paired with their favorite local brewers to create unique beer and food pairings (April 4 in Raleigh).
- Frontstretch Fest: The Stoneybrook Steeplechase adds an infield festival celebrating beer, bourbon and bites (April 4 in Raeford).
- World Beer Festival Raleigh and Brewgaloo: An international beer fest with more than 250 brews to sample (April 11) and a locally focused event featuring North Carolina craft brews, food trucks and entertainment (April 25 in Raleigh).
- Kinston Beer Weekend: Weekend features a beer dinner pairing of Vivian Howard (PBS's "A Chef's Life") with award-winning Mother Earth Brewing, a Brews Cruise and a downtown Barbecue, Oysters and Beer Bash (April 17-18 in Kinston).
- Hickory Hops: Festival featuring handcrafted North Carolina beer from more than 50 microbreweries and the Carolinas Championship of Beer (April 25 in Hickory).
- Mountain lodging packages: Travel deals sweeten stays at hotels, vacation rentals and storied inns such as Jarrett House and Balsam Mountain Inn.
- Sweet sweepstakes: Three separate sweepstakes offer a chance at exceptional prizes: the Kinston Beer Lovers' Getaway, with a stay at the The O'Neil, a VIP experience at Mother Earth Brewing, dinner at Vivian Howard's Chef & The Farmer; the Raleigh Brewmasters Sweepstakes featuring a weekend of food, music and crafting a 900-gallon batch of beer; and Sierra Nevada Beer Camp, a beer lover's dream come true.
March 2, 2015