April is the time of the year where beer-drinkers around Orange County are excited for tastings and festivals that occur during NC Beer Month. The month’s weekend-long festivals offer the chance for customers to try new beers while brew-masters connect with old friends.
Steel String Brewery
Steel String Brewery Co-owner Andrew Scharfenberg said the brewery focuses most on holding beer tastings during April, which can drive future sales by exposing customers to new beers. Steel String recently unveiled “Up On the Hill,” a new IPA that Scharfenberg said will be in six packs later this year.
Scharfenberg said April is a well-timed beer month because warmer weather encourages people to go to bars and drink outside, boosting Steel String’s off-site sales.
Steel String Brewery will also host their five-year anniversary at Cat’s Cradle on April 21. One week later is Brewgaloo in Raleigh, a two-day event featuring beer sampling from over one hundred local breweries.
Scharfenberg said Steel String integrates local ingredients in many of their beers, but especially in their sour beers, mixed culture saisons and beers brewed during only special times of year. The bartenders even grow some of their own local ingredients.
Mystery Brewing Company
Mystery Brewing Company Owner Erik Lars Myers said the brewery puts out a new beer almost every week, and they try to source as many of the ingredients as possible from local farms, including wheat, barley, herbs and fruit.
“We consider ourselves an all-seasonal brewery, which means we rotate beers all year long,” he said. “We only have a couple of beers that we make year-round.”
Myers said the final days of beer month will coincide with Mystery Brewing Company’s annual release of Queen Anne’s Revenge, a Carolina dark ale.
The owner said he's particularly excited for Hickory Hops, a North Carolina beer festival that includes a state-wide competition for brewers called the Carolina Championship of Beer.
“We typically tend to try to attend a bunch of North Carolina beer months out and about, and April is the beginning of beer sales season, so we always see an uptick from April on,” he said.
Owner of Starpoint Brewing Tim Harper said he attended a brewery event at Ponysaurus Brewing where Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed April as North Carolina Beer Month.
Harper said the brewery will attend Pints for Paws at Northgate Plaza on April 14. He added that Starpoint Brewing will also be present at Brewgaloo in addition to many events throughout May.
Starpoint Brewing is also releasing several new collaborations with other breweries in the coming months, Harper said.
“We’re brewing later in this month with Pisgah from up in Asheville,” he said. “We’re calling it '12 Parsecs.' It’s going to be released on May 4th, and that one in particular will be a lot of fun because we’re using millenuium and falconer’s hops.”
Dingo Dog Brewing Company
Tim Schwarzauer, owner of Dingo Dog Brewing Company, said he's excited that they're offering tours as part of the annual Piedmont Farm Tour on April 28th and 29th.
Dingo Dog Brewing Company is owned by a nonprofit foundation that gives grants to North Carolina no-kill animal shelters, Schwarzauer said. Many of the events in which he said the brewery participates are animal themed, such as animal rescues.
This location enables Dingo Dog Brewing Company to use cooling and waste water for irrigation as well as to source many of their beers’ ingredients from the farm itself.
Because they're a small brewery, he said planning for large festivals starts in February in order to ensure they have enough beer to meet demands of the large crowds.
“Even rain or shine there’s still large crowds, and we usually have pretty long lines,” he said. “We don’t normally distribute to Raleigh, and so that’s about the only time we’re really interacting with people in Raleigh.”
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.