World Beer Fest
Durham , NC
This year, as we were not going to Denver, we decided
to once again make the trip South to the World Beer Fest. This is certainly
not the craft brewing hub of the nation. Until 2005, you couldn't even
sell beer greater than 6% as beer. The "Pop the Cap" initiative gave brewers
license to make popular styles like doppelbocks, barleywines, old ales,
etc and allowed distributors to bring in the great beers of Belgium and
Oddly enough, the Raleigh/Durham area has lost many of
its breweries and brewpubs, while many other areas of the Carolinas have
flourished. Instead, they've increased marketing of out of state beers
many of which are not available in the Northeast!
We attended this festival in 2003 and it has more than
doubled in size since then. Even in the land of NASCAR, good beer has caught
on. The list of attending breweries and distributors was definitely impressive:
Mash House, Sweetwater, Moon River, Natty Greene's, Charleston, Asheville,
Azalea Coast, Green Man, Red Oak, Carolina, Thomas Creek, St George's,
Edenton, Highland, King and some out-of-towners, Victory, Dogfish Head,
Weyerbacher, Avery, Fort Collins, Kuhnhenn, Lakefront, Clipper City, Otter
Creek, Anderson Valley, etc.
There are only about 2 places in town to go for good beer
while visiting. Mellow Mushroom is a pizza chain that serves a limited
menu of good bottles though their pizza is quite good. Tyler's Tap Room
is more like a beer haven in the midst of an oasis. They have a wonderful
beer bar in the back of the building and an outstanding restaurant up front.
The tap selection was excellent and the cuisine phenomenal. While we were
there, who walks in but Ed and Carol Stoudt!! They were attending a kick-off
party for the Fest and looking for a distributor in the area to enter the
Having the fest outside under tents is chancy, but the
rain held off and the sun barely peeked through keeping it temperate. A
perfect festival day!!! The lines were long and both sessions sold out.
We attended the 12-4 show and enjoyed it thoroughly. I'm sure the 6-10
event is crazy!!
I would recommend this fest to anyone who would like
to taste the best the South has to offer all in one place. They now have
added a spring festival in Raleigh to give people a chance to enjoy the
area twice a year.
Check out www.allaboutbeer.com
for info about the fests and lots of other beer-related facts.