Its hot. Too hot to stoop over a boiling brew pot in the July heat. And too hot to even think about the State Fair this fall.
But home brewers need to take note: The deadline for entering the State Fair beer-making competition is rapidly approaching. So start brewing.
The N.C. Brewers Cup will accept amateur and professional craft beers Aug. 1-19, and judging will take place in early September. It is only the competitions second year, but its becoming one of the top beer contests in North Carolina because of its ties to the State Fair.
The 2012 contest drew 177 entries from across the state, and this years competition is expected to be even bigger, expanding to 23 categories. The winners will be displayed at a craft beer education booth during the fair in mid-October. Think of it as the liquid version of those pie and sweet potato contests that showcase North Carolinas finest.
World Beer Festival tickets go on sale
One of the areas biggest beer festivals returns Oct. 5 to Durham, and general ticket sales begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Hosted by Durham-based All About Beer magazine, the World Beer Festival is an annual beer bacchanal that draws hundreds of enthusiasts and coveted breweries.
The 2013 event will return to the old Durham Athletic Park. The current Durham Bulls stadium downtown, which has hosted the event in recent years, is undergoing construction.
The event will feature two sessions: an afternoon tasting from noon to 4 p.m. and an evening tasting from 6 to 10 p.m. Festival veterans pick the afternoon session to make sure they taste the rare craft beer offerings, though some breweries are beginning to reserve kegs for the evening event.
General admission tickets are $45, and VIP tickets which typically sell out early are $75.
This years venue comes with one perk: Its around the corner from Fullsteam Brewery and the food trucks that congregate nearby just in case festival-goers dont get enough unlimited 2-ounce samples of more than 300 different beers.
Crank Arm Brewing to open soon in Raleigh
Another new craft brewery is opening in Raleigh next week the ninth inside the Beltline.
As a colleague recently reported, Crank Arm Brewing is an extension of the rickshaw company by the same name. It opens 4 p.m. Monday in the citys Warehouse District, southwest from the Capitol. The owners say they will use rickshaws to deliver beer and make food runs.
The brewerys starting lineup includes five offerings: White Wall Wit, Rickshaw Rye India Pale Ale, Unicycle Single Hop Pale Ale, Holy Mole Smoke Porter and Eat Sleep Bike E.S.B. The single-hop ale will rotate with a different hop featured in the batch. For newcomers to craft beers hop craze, its a great way to see how these little green cones can alter a beers flavor.
What Im tasting
Beer Study bottle shop in Chapel Hill is introducing a new Charlotte craft brewer to the Triangles beer scene.
Triple C Brewery took its name from the three owners, whose names all start with the same letter. The brewerys Baby Maker Double India Pale Ale caught my eye on the shelf, and it may have one of the best beer taglines: Enjoy responsibly, this ones aptly named.
At 8.5 percent ABV and 80 IBU, its a big beer that comes in a big, 22-ounce bottle. Despite the numbers, the amber-hued double IPA is not too overpowering, balanced by a prominent malt flavor. About $12.
Contact John at 919-829-4698 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @ByJohnFrank.