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.