Sunday is the start of Raleigh Beer Week, an eight-day celebration toasting the city’s bottle shops, breweries and most importantly, all its delicious beer.
The week-long beer fest, organized by the owners of Trophy Brewing, features dinners, tap takeovers, fried chicken, doughnuts, rare beers and just about every excuse one needs to raise a glass from Sept. 29-Oct. 6.
For a schedule of all of the events, go to raleighbeerweek.com.
It may be hard to make them all, but here is our list for can’t-miss events during this year’s Raleigh Beer Week:
The kickoff event for Raleigh Beer Week is an Octoberfest party at Clouds Brewing, 126 N. West St., Raleigh. A number of local breweries will compete in a fall beer competition, with drinkers picking the winners, getting three hours of tastings and a glass for $5. Other festivities include ax-throwing, a stein-holding contest, German Shepherd adoptions and live music. cloudsbrewing.com
4. IPA School
Fans of IPAs can be relentless in the quest to convert non-believers. And for good reason. The IPA world is so vast and varied, so much more than the bitter and boozy world of a decade ago, that it seems like there’s something for everyone. Session, fruited, double, imperial, New England or milkshake, it might be time to revisit IPAs.
The recently opened House of Hops, 2340 Bale St., Suite 112, in McNeil Pointe (off Wake Forest Road) is hosting “I Thought I Hated IPAs: An Educational Sampling” on Wednesday, Oct. 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The free event includes a tasting of a half-dozen IPAs. houseofhopsnc.com
3. Cellar beers, grilled cheese and vinyl
An awful lot of great beer comes and goes at State of Beer, but some of it sticks around and hangs out for awhile. The folks at the bottle shop are reaching into their cellar and bringing up past vintages that have been taking some age and developing flavor. On Tuesday, Oct. 2, the chefs of Trophy Tap & Table and Trophy Brewing on Morgan will also have a grilled cheese throwdown, while mobile record store Record Krate sells vinyl at a pop-up record shop. The shop is at 401a Hillsborough St. stateof.beer
2. Trophy Octoberfest
Starting at Noon, Oct. 6, Trophy Brewing & Taproom on Maywood will host a backyard Octoberfest party. Capital Club 16 will grill sausages, Trophy will pour its seasonal Octrophyfest Bier, plus one-offs of other German styles. The taproom is at 656 Maywood Ave., Raleigh. trophybrewing.com
1. Bojangles-New Belgium beer pairing dinner
The correct pairing for Bojangles’ is sweet tea, but beer is also a perfect companion to North Carolina’s favorite fried chicken. For the fourth year, bottle shop Tasty Beverage is hosting a six-course beer dinner of dishes created from the Bojangles menu, paired with different beers from New Belgium. The dishes are concocted by New Belgium rep Chris Allen using menu items like gravy, fried chicken and Bo-Berry biscuits as ingredients, not the end result.
Tickets to the 7 p.m. event are $40 and sold out last year. Tasty is at 327 W. Davie St. Go to tastybev.net.
Big Boss Brewing’s event is separate from Raleigh Beer Week, but is still a must for beer lovers.
Here, cask ale, otherwise known as real ale, is the star of the eighth annual Casktoberfest, which is Thursday, Oct. 4.
Cask ale is a style of beer largely unchanged over several hundreds of years, but hard to find outside of England. These beers are poured or pumped straight from the cask, without additional carbonation. The results are smooth and flavorful, barely carbonated and perfect for fall sipping.
Guest breweries at this year’s Casktoberfest include Durty Bull, Fullsteam and The Glass Jug from Durham, Crank Arm in Raleigh, Double Barley in Smithfield, Salty Turtle from Surf City and the venerable Heavy Seas from Baltimore.
Big Boss itself is planning at least nine different casks, including a dry-hopped Bad Penny, oak-aged double stout, wine barrel-aged gose, a pecan pie variant of pumpkin beer Harvest Time and a coffee lager on Sumatra and Honduran beans.
The event is free and pay-as-you go. Organizers encourage guests to bring cash to keep the lines moving.
Big Boss is at 1249 Wicker Drive in Raleigh. Casktoberfest begins when doors open at 3 p.m. The brewery’s beer garden opens at 5 p.m.