North Carolina’s brewery scene shows no signs of slowing down, with 300 of them bringing in $2 million annually to the state, according to the NC Craft Brewers Guild.
That makes it a top contender for the number of breweries per state in the South, according to Forbes, who note that Virginia and Kentucky also have risen in brewery population at similar rates.
That also makes it worthy of a monthlong celebration — NC Beer Month — one that even Gov. Roy Cooper deems worthy of declaring. For the month of April, breweries celebrate with new beer releases, tap takeovers, beer festivals and more.
There’s plenty going on, but here are some of our top picks.
Durham 150th Tap Takeover at Fullsteam
April 12, 2 p.m. to 1 am., Fullsteam Brewery, 726 Rigsbee Ave. Durham.
North Carolina Beer Month and Durham’s 150th anniversary are going to be celebrated together. Seven Durham breweries paired up with other Durham restaurants and distilleries to craft a special brew. Breweries include Fullsteam Brewery (with Goorsha Durham), Ponysaurus Brewing (with Dashi), Starpont Brewing (with NuvoTaco), The Glass Jug Beer Lab (with Durham Distillery’s Conniption Gins), Bull City Burger & Brewery (with the city) and Barrel Culture Brewing and Blending (partner TBD). fullsteam.ag/event/durham-150th-tap-takeover/2019-04-12
Oaklyn Springs Brewery grand opening
April 13, 12 noon to 11 p.m.
Oaklyn Springs Brewery, 2912 N. Main St. Fuquay-Varina
Oaklyn Springs Brewery just opened in Fuquay-Varina, perhaps waiting until NC Beer Month to host a grand opening. A dozen brews run the beer spectrum, including IPAs, a Farmhouse Ale, porters, Kolsch, a witbier, scotch ale and red ale. The event has cornhole, ring tosses, darts and live music from The Rehabaneros. Carolina Braised and Hale Yeah Kitchen food trucks will be on site. oaklynsprings.com/events
2019 Raleigh Tour de Brew
April 13, 10:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. departures from Crank Arm Brewing, 319 W Davie St. Raleigh
This 18.9-mile bike trip stops at seven breweries along the way: Trophy Brewing Co., Raleigh Brewing Co., Nickelpoint Brewing Co., Big Boss Brewing Co., Crank Arm Brewing, Neuse River Brewing Co. and Little City Brewing Co. Tour de Brew partners with Water for Good, an organization striving to provide reliable water access for the Central African Republic. Registration opens 1 hour before departure, and there is a maximum of 150 riders pre group. A shorter route of 11.9 miles leaves at 12 noon and 12:30 p.m. from Crank Arm, heading to Little City, Raleigh Brewing, Trophy on Maywood and then back to Crank Arm. See website for fundraising instructions. donate.waterforgood.org/campaign/2019-raleigh-tour-de-brew/c219427 . Also, Crank Arm has free brewery tours the third Saturday of the month at 2 p.m.
SpringFest at Mason Jar Lager Co
April 13, noon to 8 p.m.
Mason Jar Lager Co., 341 Broad St. Fuquay-Varina.
This German-style festival includes lagers and the release of Lager Day Saints, a brew made in collaboration with Four Saints Brewing Co. Plus, there will be games (think pretzel tossing and flip cups) and dancing. facebook.com/masonjarlagers/
Live & Local: Spring Fest
April 13, 12 noon to 7 p.m.
Hillsborough Street, between Chamberlain and Enterprise streets, Raleigh
This event by Artsplosure is kid-friendly and a way to celebrate NC Beer Month. There will be six stages of performances, a kids zone, an art market, food vendors and beer from Raleigh Brewing Co. liveandlocalhillsboroughst.com
Mid-Town Square Spring Festival
April 13, 12 noon to 10 p.m.
East Cedar Street, Downtown Cary
The fourth annual festival in downtown Cary is thrown by Bond Brothers Beer Co. and features new beer releases, crafts, food trucks, live music, a DJ and children’s activities (bounce house and face painting in a kids zone from noon to 4 p.m.). bondbrothersbeer.com/general-info
Lonerider Brewing Co. 10th anniversary celebration
April 14, 1 to 8 p.m.
The Hideout, 8816 Gulf Court, Suite 100, Raleigh
Not only is it North Carolina Beer Month, it’s the 10th anniversary of one Raleigh’s longtime breweries, so it’s time to have a birthday bash. Even better than the live music and special beers? Beagles! The event benefits the Triangle Beagle Rescue, so yes, there will be beagles (and any leashed dogs you might bring) at the event. (For every pour of Peanut Butter Sweet Josie, $1 goes to the rescue group.) There also will be food trucks, who will donate 20% of proceeds to Triangle Beagle Rescue. Admission is free. VIP packages are $50. The event is rain or shine. loneriderbeer.com/event/10th-anniversary-celebration/
April 26, 6 to 10 p.m. and April 27, 2 to 10 p.m.
The beer event of spring is back, and it’s got some national attention now. The beer festival just snagged the No. 1 spot in USA Today’s Best Beer Festival competition, part of the 10Best contests that use reader votes to determine winners. The two-day event starts Friday with the Brewgaloo Block Party at Raleigh’s City Plaza (the southern part of Fayetteville Street) with breweries serving beer samples that won’t be at Saturday’s main event as well as food trucks and DJs. The cost is $45. On Saturday, the footprint expands the length of Fayetteville Street with 100 breweries and 50 food trucks. Admission is free but drink tickets are required for pints or samples pours. A ticket bundle of 25 tickets is $30 and can be bought in advance. shoplocalraleigh.org/brewgaloo/