It’s April and that means it’s North Carolina Beer Month! The Tar Heel State is recognized for its growing craft beer industry, and to celebrate that, events are going on right here in Orange County and across the state.
As of 2014, North Carolina has about 100 breweries which is considerably more than any other state in the South, according to Suzanne Brown, of the North Carolina Division of Tourism. She helped to organize the event, which is celebrating its second year.
“The craft brewing industry in North Carolina is not that old, so for it to have grown the way it has is really remarkable,” Brown said. “North Carolina has more craft breweries than any other state south of Pennsylvania and east of Texas. There is a lot to appreciate. We would claim that we are ‘The State of Southern Beer,’ and I think that holds up.”
Locally, the festivities kicked off Monday at Top of the Hill. The day was dubbed “Blueberry Day,” and the selection of choice was the brewery’s “BlueRidge Blueberry Wheat.” It was named best fruit beer in the World at the 2010 World Beer Championships in Chicago.
On April 10th, The Carolina Inn’s Carolina Crossroads restaurant is pairing local craft brews by the Aviator Beer Company with a 3-course meal.
The activities continue on April 22 as the Lantern Restaurant will host two Southern brewers in an evening of food and drink.
“Beer Month also gives us an opportunity to bring our dining and drinking culture together where you can appreciate both what you eat and what you drink. And this is especially true [for] the Triangle area and Chapel Hill,” Brown said.
Other local Beer Month participants include Tyler’s Restaurant & Taproom, Steel String Craft Brewery, Starpoint, Spanky’s Restaurant, Mystery Brewing Company and the Carolina Brewery.
For beer enthusiasts who want to venture outside of Orange County, Brown said there are events happening in beer destinations from Blowing Rock near the Blue Ridge Mountains to Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks and everywhere in between.
“It was not just that we wanted people to drive across North Carolina drinking beer, but we wanted to use beer as a way to get them to experience the whole wealth of travel offerings that North Carolina has,” she said.
For more information on events happening locally click here.