North Carolina celebrates first beer month

Mar 27, 2013

April is the first-ever North Carolina Beer Month recognized by the N.C. Division of Tourism and many western North Carolina breweries are participating.

North Carolina Beer Month was created to showcase the state's burgeoning craft beer scene, which now includes more than 75 breweries. Margo Metzger, public relations manager for the NC Division of Tourism, said the idea has been fermenting for some time.

"We have been promoting craft beer for several years now and saw this great momentum building," Metzger explained. "We definitely thought craft beer was hot."

Sylva's Heinzelmännchen Brewery taps into the fun with four initiatives for beer lovers.

Heinzelmännchen Brewery, where brewmaster Dieter Kuhn crafts wonderful ales, is a highlight of the mountain beer scene. Open since 2004, the brewery specializes in alt beer made in the warmer regions of Germany since the early days of beer. And, TripAdvisor.com recently ranked Heinzelmännchen sixth among the Top 10 brewery tours in the nation, just behind Samuel Adams and Sierra Nevada.

During beer month, Heinzelmännchen offers the following initiatives:

Beer Dinner at City Lights Café in Sylva on April 11. Enjoy a six-course meal paired with Heinzelmännchen beers. The meal begins at 6 p.m. and cost is $50 per person. For further details or to purchase tickets, go toCityLightsCafe.com.

Mountain Beer Vacations: book an April getaway with SunDog Vacation Rentals or Sunset Farms Cabins and ask for the beer month package. For $95 extra, participants receive: two engraved glass mugs, a brewery tour, Heinzelmännchen cookbook, and a dinner for two at City Lights Café, complete with Heinzelmännchen ales.

Western North Carolina Collaborative Beer: Heinzelmännchen teamed with four area breweries to create a special ale crafted in the red rye style. The ale is available in April at all five breweries: Heinzelmännchen; Bearwaters Brewing Co. in Waynesville; Nantahala Brewing Co. in Bryson City; Tipping Point Tavern in Waynesville; and Waynesville's Frog Level Brewing.

Tuesday Bike Ride & Beer Night: Every Tuesday evening in April, join a bike ride sponsored by Motion Makers Bicycle Shop in Sylva, then head to the brewery for Pint Night. One dollar from every pint sold goes to support a local off-road cycling association.

Several of the Asheville breweries will be offering special discounts and tours of the breweries. Charlie Hunter and Scott Amendola will play live from 8-10 p.m. April 3 at Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain and The Ragbirds with If Birds Could Fly will play April 5. The brewery also will be releasing Cosmos Baltic Porter in April 11.

Asheville Brewing Company will be releasing a new Firkin (cask-conditioned) every Friday.

Foothills Brewing in Winston-Salen will be offering the public an opportunity to attend beer school. Become a certified beer connoisseur at Foothills' nationally recognized beer school by learning the ins and outs of all the pales, ales, stouts and IPAs you could imagine.

Spend a day with the brew masters discovering the secrets to creating some of best beers in North Carolina. With plenty of deliciousness being sampled throughout your afternoon, attendants should have reliable transportation arranged. To register, send an email to sarah@foothillsbrewing.com. The cost is $15/individual plus tax and gratuity.
Visit www.visitwinstonsalem.com/nc-beer-month to learn how you could be entered to win a pair of complimentary Beer School admission passes.

Altamont Brewing Company is partnering with Asheville Adventure Rentals to create the Altamont Brewing French Broad Float, Beer Tasting and Brewery Tour April 20-27. Participants will be picked up at Altamont Brewing at 2 p.m. and will float the French Broad River. All equipment will be provided. They will be returned to Altamont Brewing for a beer tasting and brewery tour. Total cost is $50. Booking will be provided through Asheville Adventure Rentals by phone. Contact Derek Turno at 828-505-7371. There is a 12-person maximum on the trip.

For information on these and other Beer Month activities, visit NCBeerMonth.com. Like Tipping Point, Bearwaters and Frog Level breweries on Facebook for upcoming events.

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