A Look Back at the 2015 Beericana Craft Beer Festival in Holly Springs


I had to miss the inaugural Beericana festival in 2014 so I was pretty excited to make it out to this year’s event back in September. Actually this was my very first true beer festival experience. I’ve volunteered at several other festivals but I’ve never attended one as a guest. This was just the second year Beericana was held, but from the looks of things I expect it to be a “go to” craft beer event in the Triangle for many years to come.

The men an women behind 919 Beer are the masterminds behind Beericana. It took place back on September 12th at Sugg Farm Park in Holly Springs. It’s a BIG event. There were tons of great breweries, food trucks and music with 70 craft breweries, 22 local trucks, and three bands. The festival started at 12pm with VIP ticket holders getting early access from 12-2pm, followed by general admission attendees from 2-6pm.


There was a great turnout (estimated at 3,200 people) but it doesn’t get ridiculously crowded like some other beer festivals can. Still, I think getting the VIP ticket and the early access it provides is a great way to go. I was able to hit up the list of breweries I wanted to try in short order. Several of my favorite local breweries were there in addition to breweries from across NC and behond. I hadn’t tried many of them before so it was a great chance to branch out and try something new. Most of the breweries had at least three of their beers to try and many brought along special brews that you can’t normally get your hands on.


In addition to the brewery lineup I really liked the well thought layout of they event. A winding row of tents were set up for the breweries on one side of the field with food trucks spaced along the opposite side with plenty of open space in the middle. This gave the event a very open feel allowing attendees the chance to mingle and relax while jumping in and out of the short lines to grab a beer sample and order food.


I like to eat when I drink so I hit up the food trucks early on. One of my favorites is the Bulkogi truck. They make some of the best Korean BBQ I’ve ever had. I’m also a big fan of their Goon Mandoo flash fried pork dumplings. There were several other great local trucks with a wide variety of menu offerings. I think having the trucks adds a lot to an event like this because you get the best of both worlds – great beer and food.


There was live music throughout the afternoon that gave the event a party like atmosphere. The first band up had a great horn section so I stuck around for a while listening to them while enjoying my beer and food. I noticed many people brought lawn chairs and blankets and staked out spots in the middle of the field in front of the stage. A good idea for me to remember next year.


I left Beericana very impressed with the event. There was a great selection of breweries and food trucks and it was all very well organized. Everything was covered from start to finish. On my way out I even noticed a line of Taxi Taxi cars lined up ready to shuttle guests back home after the event. They were offering a special discounted rate which I thought was excellent and a very smart idea by the event organizers. If you missed the Beericana this year I recommend checking it out in 2016. You can stay up to date on their future plans by following 919 Beer on facebook and twitter or by visiting the festival website at Beericana.com.




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Ponysaurus Brewing Co. Hosts Free Grand Opening Event at New Brewing Facility and Taproom Oct 24th

Ponysaurus Brewing Company, 219 Hood Street, Durham, North Carolina.

Ponysaurus Brewing Company, 219 Hood Street, Durham, North Carolina.

After over a year of brewing in the unique nanobrewery housed above The Cookery’s Front Room entrance, the Ponysaurus Brewing Co. brewery and taproom is opening its garage doors at 219 Hood Street. A Grand Opening celebration, featuring food trucks, live music, and local breweries will take place on October 24th from 4 to 8pm. The event is free and open to the public.

To commemorate the generous 1000% increase in beer production, the Ponysaurus Brewing Co. taps will pour the initial line of beers that were once in short supply. In addition, brewery tours, hosted by Keil Jansen, brewmaster and owner, will offer attendees a closer look at how the beer is made and the philosophy that influences the company’s various beer styles.

Not only can event-goers catch a first look at the new taproom, which opens to a large gathering space spanning an outdoor two-story patio and beer garden, they can also enjoy a multitude of craft beer offered by local breweries. Bull City Burger and Brewery, Bull City Ciderworks, Crank Arm Brewing, Fullsteam, Haw River Farmhouse Ales, and Mystery Brewing Company will also be at the event vending their brews.

“This Grand Opening is intended to celebrate the tremendous community of local breweries, the local food scene, and, of course, loyal beer drinkers in the Triangle,” said Keil Jansen, who owns Ponysaurus Brewing Co. with David Baldwin of Raleigh advertising agency Baldwin& and Nick Hawthorne-Johnson, owner and partner of Durham establishments The Cookery and Dashi. “Our new brewery is built on the shoulders of giants who helped build the community we have today that values good beer and good food.”

From a main outdoor stage, there will be live music sponsored by Yep Roc Records and American Party Rentals from local bands The Chris Stamey Band, Loamlands and Girls Rock NC.  Guests will also enjoy music from the personal vinyl collections of DJ Ephasis (Justin Vernon of Bon Iver), DJ Website (Matt McCaughan of Bon Iver), DJ Wow (M.C. Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger), and DJ Kenny Login (Brad Cook). A host of local food trucks will also be in attendance, including Chirba Chirba Dumpling, Pie Pushers, Sympathy for the Deli, and Two Roosters Ice Cream.

For more information about the food, drink and music offered at the Grand Opening event, visit www.ponysaurusbrewing.com.

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Three Chances to Celebrate Oktoberfest in Durham this Saturday!


This Saturday you will have three chances to celebrate Oktoberfest in the Bull City. All of these events are family friendly and will involve great food, live music, and of course plenty of beer. Event details provided below:

Motorco Music Hall – Saturday 12-5pm

Motorco Music Hall invites the community to don their lederhosen or drindl and raise a Paulaner mug to Dtown Oktoberfest. The free, family-friendly event begins at noon. Good beer and celebrations will be the order of the day with Motorco dressed as a traditional beer hall, inside and out. It wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without a little Oompah, so expect to hear music from The Little German Band accompanied by traditional dancers from 1-4pm.

Guglhupf Rocktoberfest – Saturday 4-10pm

Guglhupf’s traditional, family-friendly “Oktoberfest-with-a-twist” features live music, delicious German street food and specialty beer on tap. This year with more seating, more food stations and a larger selection of beer!Three bands will perform live on the patio: The Oompah Trio (traditional Bavarian tunes) 5-7pm, D-Town Brass 7-9pm, and Pipe 9-10pm

Bull City Burger 4th Annual Oktoberfest – Saturday  4-11pm

The folks at Bull City Burger will close off Parrish street and offer music, kids activities, Stierstadt Octoberfest Lager, Brats and Burgers. Music by Bill West, The Lids, and Daddy’s Alright. Event supports Durham’s Habitat for Humanity.

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8th Annual Pepper Festival Sunday Sept 27th!


If you’re a voracious local foodie, a supporter of North Carolina’s sustainable agriculture or just enjoy good music and a cold beer, don’t miss the 8th Annual Pepper Festival this Sunday, September 27th, 2015 from 3-7pm at Briar Chapel Community Park in Chapel Hill.

The 2015 Pepper Festival challenges approximately 45 of the state’s top chefs to create one-of-a-kind recipes, from pepper chocolate to pepper vodka, using the locally grown and bred North Carolina pepper. The roster features culinary heavy hitters, such as Herons at The Umstead, The Fearrington Granary, TOPO, Harvest 18 and Gravy with craft brews from Carolina Brewery, Fullsteam, Crude Bitters, Yesteryears and more.


Photo courtesy of Abundance NC

For the first time, the Pepper Festival will feature Pepperpalooza, kid-friendly activities to provide hands-on education about local agriculture. The schedule features creative workshops such as “Food Fonts,” a chance to play and write with food, and “The Insane Science of Fairyland,” a storytelling experience that combines science with fairy-tale characters like the Big Bad Wolf. Festival goers can also enjoy artisan booths, acrobatic entertainment and music.


Photo courtesy of Abundance NC

Adult admission is $25-35 based on a cascading registration schedule. Drinks are cash bar. Children under the age of 12 attend free. Tickets may be purchased at www.pepperfestnc.org or by calling 919-533-5181. The festival will be held at the Great Meadow Park at Briar Chapel located at 185 Granite Mill Blvd. in Chapel Hill, N.C. Festivalgoers can enter Granite Mill Boulevard from Andrews Store Road near Margaret Pollard Middle School and follow signs to the festival.


Photo courtesy of Abundance NC

All proceeds benefit Abundance NC (formerly Abundance Foundation), a nonprofit that cultivates and celebrates resilient communities by strengthening food systems, increasing renewable energy education and developing robust local economies. Abundance NC partners with Piedmont Biofarm and other Chatham County farms to supply local peppers for the festival. Piedmont Biofarm produces sustainably grown, high-quality food year-round while improving soil fertility. A full list of partnering farms is available at pepperfestnc.org.


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Rusted Roots Fall Junk Market in Hillsborough Sept. 19-20th

Rusted Roots

This is something I have had on my radar since earlier this summer. I’ve never been before, but I am really looking forward to checking out the Rusted Roots Fall Junk Market in Hillsborough later this month. The market features some of the best junkers, antique collectors, upcyclers, and vintage lovers around. Admission is just $2 (or $4 if you want to get in early) and runs Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20th from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. outside Rusted Roots at 135 Daniel Boone Street, Hillsborough, N.C. In addition to the vendors, this two day event will also have live music, food truck, and demos.  There will also be a pony and miniature horses from Shaky Tail Farm for kids to enjoy.

To check out the full list of vendors, musicians and demos planned visit the event website here. Also to get a sense of the types of products vendors bring  you can check out the video above from one of the previous junk markets. I’m really looking forward to making the short trip to Hillsborough (under and hour from Raleigh) to check this out. I’m also looking forward to finally trying the ice cream from the Two Roosters ice cream truck. Below is the truck schedule for the weekend. Happy exploring!

Food Trucks Scheduled – Fall Junk Market

  • Saturday September 19th
    • Stuft – Gourmet stuffed potato truck
    • Two Roosters – Locally made ice cream
    • Jay’s Italian Ice – Hand-scooped Italian ices
  • Sunday September 20th
    • Soom Soom Pita – Middle Eastern inspired pita sandwiches
    • Cock-A-Doodle-Moo – BBQ & gourmet sandwiches
    • Old South Kettle Corn – Hand-scooped Italian ices

Rusted Roots
135 Daniel Boone Street
Hillsborough, N.C (map)
website: http://www.rustedroots.com/
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RustedRoots
twitter: @RustedRootsBlog
Instagram: https://instagram.com/rustedrootsblog/


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