The taps at Heinzelmannchen. Photo courtesy of N.C. Brewer’s Guild.
In case you’ve been stuck in a tent for the last several years, North Carolina has become the unofficial hub of craft beer in the South. That’s not to speak ill of our neighbors—some of my favorite beers come from other states—but North Cackalacky has beer culture oozing into the street. More than 65 breweries and counting with what seems like a new brewery coming online every week (we’re rapidly approaching one brewery per resident in Asheville). The state has decided to celebrate the vibrant beer scene by declaring April to be NC Beer Month. It’s like Arbor Day, but all month long, and about beer, not trees. Yeah, it’s like that.
What this means for you, dear beer drinkers, is that April is an excellent time to step out and experience what the northern Carolina has to offer beverage-wise. Events are popping up across the state, brewery collaborations are being released willy-nilly, beer makers are exchanging kegs with each other left and right. It’s like a ‘70s key party, but far less skanky.
A couple of things to look for this month from breweries in Western North Carolina: Pisgah (Black Mountain) is re-releasing its Cosmos Baltic Porter, one of the original home brew recipes that got Pisgah started several years ago. Far West breweries Nantahala, Heinzelmannchen, and Headwaters Brewing have worked together to release the collaborative Red Rye Ale, and the new Howard Brewing (Lenoir) is releasing their General William Lenoir Old Ale, based on a handwritten recipe from a Revolutionary War hero that lived in Happy Valley. Finally, we’ll get to know what beer tasted like in 1776.
Check out what’s happening at a brewery near you at ncbeermonth.com.
Follow Graham Averill’s adventures in drinking and Dad-hood at daddy-drinks.com