BEAUFORT’S BREWIN’

Edward Stanhope Johnson of Beaufort samples a North Carolina craft beer at Beer, Bubbles & BBQ during 2018’s Beaufort’s Brewin’ festival. (Dylan Ray photo) 

Beaufort Wine & Food’s fourth annual craft beer festival, Beaufort’s Brewin’, is on the horizon, and organizers are looking forward to a great event.

“We are gearing up for what we know will be our best beer festival to date,” BWF Executive Director Lindsay Parker said in an email statement. “We’ve added events to this year’s schedule and have a spectacular line up of participating breweries and culinary talent.”

This year, the festival has been expanded to three days. The fun starts Thursday and runs through Sunday.

Starting the festival is a beer dinner at Fishtowne Brew House.

The three-day festival will feature a variety of events held in Beaufort and will range in size from beer dinners and seminars, to the headline event, Beer, Bubbles & BBQ, which is held in downtown Beaufort.

Ms. Parker said there are more than 175 breweries and brewpubs across the state, and North Carolina boasts the largest number of brewers in the American South.

“Beaufort Wine and Food is thrilled to have the opportunity to spotlight the Crystal Coast as a beer destination for our state,” she said.

Partnering with regional distributors and more than two dozen breweries from across the state and beyond, BWF created a lineup of events to generate exposure for the organization and the Crystal Coast. Over the course of three days, guests will be immersed in a number of beer-focused festivities.

The next event after Thursday’s beer dinner will be a beer seminar Friday at Backstreet Pub, followed by a second beer dinner at Beaufort Grocery Co.

A fan favorite event is returning to this year’s lineup. From 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, the Pub Crawl will take place, featuring nine bars and restaurants throughout downtown Beaufort. A full list of participating stops can be found on BWF’s website.

Saturday is the headline event for the festival – Beer, Bubbles & BBQ – which will be held in the west parking lot on the 400 block of Front Street in downtown Beaufort from 3-7 p.m.

The event will feature more than 20 craft breweries and brew pubs, with samplings from across the state and beyond.

Guests will have the chance to vote for their favorite brewery during the event, and the winner will be announced at the event.

In addition to tasting dozens of beers at Beer, Bubbles & BBQ, guests will be treated to a variety of barbecue and side dishes as a number of regional pitmasters put their best dish forward in a People’s Choice Barbecue competition.

Live music will round out the entertainment for the afternoon event.

“The Beer, Bubbles and BBQ event was moved last minute to downtown in 2018 due to Hurricane Florence, which took place about 10 days before the festival,” Ms. Parker said. “With the support of our event sponsor, 34° North Restaurant and the Beaufort Hotel, we were able to push ahead and hold the festival, which ended up being our most successful Beer Fest to date.

“Our brewers came together, even though many had suffered damage of their own, and helped us put on and great event that allowed us to donate $15,000 back to hurricane relief which the area so desperately needed. The response we received from guests and vendors alike prompted us to continue to host this amazing event in the heart of downtown Beaufort,” she said.

Last year’s proceeds from the festival went to hurricane repair efforts, and Ms. Parker said this year’s proceeds will do the same.

“As in 2018, proceeds from this year’s festival will go towards hurricane relief in Eastern NC,” she said. “Many of us in Carteret County were fortunate to avoid major damage from Hurricane Dorian, however there are still a lot of folks that were not so lucky. We are proud to hold our events to raise funds for those who need it most.”

BWF’s ongoing mission is to support local charities and nonprofits that strive to improve life in Carteret County. Since its first festival in 2004, BWF has donated more than $790,000 to area nonprofits.

Tickets to Beer, Bubbles & BBQ are $65 and there will be limited tickets available at the door. Advanced ticket purchases are suggested.

Tickets to all other events vary and must be purchased in advance, as some events are expected to sell out. Tickets are available now.

More information is available online at beaufortwineandfood.com, by calling 252-515-0708 or stopping by the BWF office at 129 Middle Lane in Beaufort.

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