Another year, another Beericana. Though I feared a bigger, brighter event in year two might spoil the fun of the original, I was pleasantly surprised that the 919 Beer crew seemed to pull it off yet again. I hesitated when I saw the long line to get in, but the line moved quickly and gave me and my co-pilot time to plan our attack. Even the drearier weather forecast couldn’t dampen the mood. The threat of rain never amounted to much and the overcast day helped keep the slightly warmer day a bit more bearable than if this year’s event managed to replicate last year’s sunshine and clear blue skies.
Speaking of that first year, it’s impossible to proclaim one particular festival a standard-bearer after one year, but Beericana made me a believer after year one. Now with two successful years in the bag, it’s clear that the organizers have managed to hit on a winning formula and I really hope they can keep it going and that the late summer / early fall North Carolina weather continues to give them the perfect arena for a memorable experience.
I’ll spare you my rundown of the festival itself, the fine folks over at Raleigh & Co can help you with a couple of different perspectives for that. But, if you’re interested, here are the notable brews I tried along with a couple of first time food truck experiences from this year’s event:
Sweet Baby Jesus (Porter from DuClaw): My favorite brew, but not one that I could probably double down on in a single sitting.
Copper (Altbier from OMB): The first one we tried and my favorite potential “every day” or drink 3 or 4 of these in a night brew. Full disclosure: I’m partial to coppers1.
Kind of a Big Deal (Fruit/Vegetable from Triple C Brewing Company): Most notable not for the peaches but because it’s aged in bourbon barrels.
I’ve also been itching to try Belgian Waffle Crafters (nee Belgian Waffology) and Arepa Culture, so I rounded out my day with a Cinnawaffle (speculoos!) and La Tica. Normally I would have had these in a proper sequence, but I started out with the Cinnawaffle and it was incredible. Next time I’ll ask them to hold the whip, I’m not a whip cream guy and that made it a little over the top, but other than that, the waffle was basically perfect. The “chicken on sauteed peppers” La Tica was my mid-event snack and it was also a very good showing. I still have a slight preference for Guasaca’s arepas, but the La Tica was a nice change of pace.
I’m not generally an effusive person, but mention Beericana around me and you’ll be met with a rare excitement that few outside of my close inner circle ever get to see. The best compliment I can bestow upon Beericana is that it is one of a very small handful of festivals or events that I genuinely look forward to every year. So tell me, when is Beericana 2016?
Beers, I mean. ↩