By now, most of us are familiar with the brewery boom going on in this country. And, because of this, you’ve possibly even been to one of our local Southwestern Wake County breweries. One local group has taken the craft beer craze to another level by creating a festival that brings beer nerds and novices from all over right into our own backyard. This September, 919 Beer will present the third annual Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival, which will bring more than 70 breweries to Holly Springs. But, the guys at 919 Beer want you to know that Beericana is more than just a match-making service for imbibers and their new favorite flavor. Between its charity partners and its focus on the local economy, the Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival is an event whose impact will be felt long after the last two ounce taste is swallowed this September 10th.
Starting as a daydream between two local beer enthusiasts, Wayne Holt and Adam Eshbaugh, the inaugural Beericana Craft Beer and Music Festival took place September 27th, 2014, and featured about 50 breweries, 10 local food trucks, and a handful of bands playing live music. “From the start, Wayne and I have had a focus on giving back to the community. Charity, whether through fund-raising or volunteering, has always been important to us, so we wanted to make sure we partnered with charities we had a relationship with and those we know have an effective impact in our community,” says Eshbaugh. Charity partners for Beericana 2014 included The North Carolina Brewers Guild (naturally) and Meg’s Smile Foundation. “Obviously, the NC Brewers Guild is important to us in the craft beer community, so we want to make sure we work closely with them. As for Meg’s Smile, we couldn’t think of a more worthy partner that impacts local families in such a tremendous way,” said Eshbaugh of their first-year charities.
Last year’s festival grew to include nearly 70 breweries and 18 food trucks! The 2015 version of the festival continued to support The North Carolina Brewers Guild but added Shop Local Raleigh as its second beneficiary. “We felt Shop Local Raleigh would be an ideal partner for 2015, as they’re a group focused on strengthening local businesses in our community and we’re a local business trying to positively impact our local community,” explains Holt. In addition to the Guild and SLR, 919 Beer partnered with a newly established charity partner named Cause Beer. Cause Beer is a beer-centric charitable organization that looks to directly impact the local community (within 50 miles) in a positive way. In this case, Cause Beer set up a stand to receive canned good donations in exchange for swag (shirts, pint glasses, koozies, etc) from local participating breweries.
In addition to the charity partners, Beericana is also known for its impact on the local economy. Not only is Sugg Farm Park flooded with several thousand people for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon in September, the local restaurants and hotels also feel the effects of the festival. Beericana sold tickets to people from 17 different states last year! They all had to stay somewhere. Plus, as soon as the final song was sung and the festival-goers headed out the gates, local restaurants had their dining rooms packed with folks looking to end their evening with the fare of many of our favorite restaurants. This is in addition to the 2-1/2 dozen local food trucks that served people over the course of six hours!
If you’re looking to enjoy a local festival this year, you’re encouraged to put Beericana at the top of your to-do list! Not only will you get to sample your choice of 200-plus beers, and eat from some of the most popular food trucks in the Triangle, you’ll also be boosting our local economy and contributing to some important local charities! So, mark your calendars this year for September 10th and we’ll see you at Beericana!
If you want to show up to Beericana with a little more knowledge than you already have, we have a place in Holly Springs where you can gain some knowledge. TapLine Growler has opened in Main Street Square. They offer 26 taps of various craft beers from all over the country. Try some different crafts in their tasting room; and on occasion, you may even run into a brewmaster. “The craft beer experience is a journey” says owners Jessica and Justin Libecap. “We set out from day 1 to create an environment where we could share our passion with the community, and anyone at any point in their journey could come in and have a differentiated experience.”