All About Beer Magazine’s World Beer Festival 2012 – Recap W/ Pics
Since I have been living in Durham, All About Beer Magazine’s World Beer Festival has been the largest event I have come in to contact with. Over 80 breweries were represented, with a little more than 20 of them being from North Carolina. Of the few beer festivals I have attended World Beer Festival’s event has been my favorite. Even though it takes place in the outfield of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, home of the famed Durham Bull’s minor league baseball team, it doesn’t feel overwhelming or too sprawled. Brewers were organized into three different areas: one tent in the outfield filled with North Carolina beers, a second packed with stellar national/regional brewers, and there was an area on the stadium’s concourse with stations for even more national/international brewers. The festival could also not have been held on a more perfect North Carolina day.
First up was the “North Carolina Beer Garden.” I was very glad to see that my favorite local breweries were present. Natty Greene’s was pouring two of their seasonals: the Freedom American IPA and Red Nose Winter Ale. The Freedom IPA is one of my favorites, being a little more on the fruity side of bitter, and I was glad to get something of a teaser taste of the Red Nose Winter Ale before I get it at the brewery’s Raleigh location. Foothills Brewing was pouring some good ol’ stand-bys alongside their recent acquisition from Carolina Beer & Beverage, Cottonwood Ales. Boone Brewing Company brought several of their Blowing Rock beers. This was my first time sipping any kind Blowing Rock beer, the High Country Ale and the IPA. I was very pleased with what I tasted, the IPA has a secure place on my ‘Top 10 IPAs’ list. NoDa Brewing Company is almost one year old and doing very well for itself in Charlotte, NC. They brought Monk’s Trunks Belgian Pale Ale, Hop Drop ‘n Roll IPA, and Ramble on Red. I’m a sucker for Belgian IPAs/pale ales, and the Monk’s Trunks has probably become my favorite drink, even though I don’t think I can find it as far east as Raleigh/Durham. White Street Brewing opened in September in downtown Wake Forest, NC. They showed up with their Black IPA, Pale Ale, Kolsch style, and Scottish Ale. Starpoint Brewing also opened a few weeks ago 20-minutes away in Carrboro. I haven’t gotten a chance to pick up any of their growlers in local grocery stores, so I was happy to try the three brews that they produce: Booghi Sativa American Pale Ale, Surfin’ Buddha IPA, and the Mornin’ Wood Double IPA. The Booghi Sativa was smooth, slightly fruity, and definitely easily drinkable.
The “Art of Beer Village,” was a very interesting aspect of this festival. The ‘village’ celebrated the art of pairing beer with different foods. The beers supplied were several varieties of Sam Adams, which were then paired with several types of cheese from Reliable Cheese Co. in Durham, and chocolates from the Videri Chocolate Factory in Raleigh. I find it amazing what a good beer will do to bring out different flavors of things like barbecue, chicken, or burgers, and I’ve struggled with pairing my beers with foods so I feel that this was a great learning experience. There was also a tent that was home to a rack of cask conditioned beers. There were a number of local favorites, so I chose to sample Sub Noir Brewing Company’s Stiff Upper Lip. Dry hopped with golding hops, it was crisp but still full bodied. After the ‘village’ I headed over to the second beer garden. This was filled with national/regional breweries. Great Lakes was represented well, New Holland and Peak Organic as well. Great Lakes Brewing surprised me. I’ve been very on the fence as to if I like Great Lakes, and I feel like they won me over with their Oktoberfest (amber lager, rich and malty) and Nosferatu (imperial red ale, sweet an smooth). I was also reminded that hard ciders exist. I was pleased with how flavorful Blackthorn, Crispin, and Original Sin’s offerings were, and I think I’ll be exploring ciders a bit more in the future. This tent was finished up with visits to booths belonging to Oskar Blues, Anchor Steam, Full Sail, 21st Amendment, and Uinta.
A visit to All About Beer Magazine’s World Beer Fest was a great way to spend a beautiful North Carolina Saturday. I’d like to thank Win Bassett, in charge of Social Media & Beer Education at All About Beer Magaizine and Executive Director of the North Carolina Brewers Guild, for making this visit possible for me. I think it’s awesome that beer has such a large presence in North Carolina, enough to inspire a string of festivals across the state from the Appalachian Mountains to the Outer Banks. I was also very happy I was able to make it to Raleigh in order to cheer on my North Carolina State Wolfpack in their upset over the Florida State Seminoles later that night!!