There are many pilgrimages available to craft beer lovers in the United States. If you only have a couple of days to indulge, you might seek out a day-long beer tasting party like the Fresh Hop Ale Festival in Washington state. Or you could dedicate a weekend to the cause with an excursion like the San Diego International Beer Festival.
If you’ve been banking those vacation days for a lengthier beer experience, there are dozens of week-long events like Tampa Bay Beer Week and SF Beer Week. These brew celebrations offer a great opportunity for a deep dive into the beer culture of a specific geographic location. But let’s be honest — compared to how the Tar Heel state celebrates its beer industry, everywhere else is just plain sad.
North Carolina goes all in supporting its local craft brewers in April with the state-wide North Carolina Beer Month. With over 250 breweries within its borders, you’d need a whole month to experience the breadth and depth of the North Carolina beer scene. Your guide to the festivities is the North Carolina Beer Month website, which has divided the state into 33 regions and cities — from Asheville to Winston-Salem — to make exploration easier. There are currently more than 50 events on the schedule, so a thorough exploration of the website is a must.
If you only make it to one city during North Carolina Beer Month, make it Asheville. Frequently cited as the best beer city in the country, there are 28 breweries in the greater Asheville area. From local favorites like Green Man Brewery and Hi-Wire Brewing to innovative smaller facilities like Bhramari Brewing Co., there’s a perfect beer for everyone in Asheville. Don’t miss the re-opening of Highland Brewing Co.’s Meadow and Rooftop at its gorgeous brewery campus on April 6, complete with live music and (of course) delicious beer.
If you’re committed to doing as much as you can during NC Beer Month, be sure to follow the official social channels and collect Untappd badges documenting your excursions. Many hotels are offering incentives for beer tourists, including the O. Henry Hotel, which will have two local North Carolina brews waiting for you on check-in. All of those details are at the North Carolina Beer Month official website.
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