Prepare to raise a glass Friday-Saturday, Sept. 23-24, to mark Beaufort Wine & Food’s inaugural craft beer festival, Beaufort’s Brewin.
The two-day festival will feature a variety of events held in Beaufort, Morehead City and Atlantic Beach, and will range in size from intimate beer dinners, luncheons and seminars to the 700-person Beer, Bubbles and BBQ tasting event at Front Street Village.
“Beaufort Wine and Food is excited to tap in to this passionate industry and following and offer our first ever craft beer festival late September,” said Lindsay Parker, executive director for Beaufort Wine & Food. “With over 175 breweries and brewpubs across the state, 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.”
Partnering with regional distributors and more than two dozen breweries from across the state and beyond, Beaufort Wine & Food has crafted a stellar line up of events to generate great exposure for the organization and the Crystal Coast.
Beer luncheons will start the two-day event at noon Friday and will be held at Aqua Restaurant featuring Highland Brewing, Beaufort Grocery Co. featuring Tarboro Brewing Co., and Island Grille at Celebration Cottage featuring Natty Greene’s.
All beer luncheons will have the host chef and brewer on site to walk guests through the multi-course menu. Tickets to the beer luncheons are $50.
Various seminars will be offered throughout Friday afternoon. Available seminars will be offered at the following pubs and breweries:
•Promise Land Market: 2 p.m. – Just down the street from Tight Lines, the Promise Land Market’s beer seminar will feature a panel of breweries including White Street Brewing, Natty Greene’s, and Carolina Brewing Co. Tickets are $40.
•Backstreet Pub: 2 p.m. – This beer seminar will be held in Backstreet’s new picturesque beer garden. This seminar will feature an all-star lineup that features a panel of breweries not to be missed, including Highland, Duck Rabbit, Unknown & Mother Earth and Gibb’s Hundred. Tickets are $40.
•Mill Whistle Brewing: 1 p.m., 2p.m., 3p.m. - This seminar is perfect for craft beer aficionados and beginners alike. Make a micrograin mash and release hop aromas in a fashion similar to the boil kettle. Enjoy craft brews, brewery trivia and a nano-brewery tour. These tickets are in high demand so multiple times are being offered. Tickets are $40.
On Friday evening, Beaufort Wine & Food is bringing back the crowd favorite “Walkabout” but with a beer twist.
The Walkabout will offer guests the opportunity to go from stop to stop in private homes and a bed and breakfast in historic Beaufort, tasting different beer and cuisine pairings before finishing off their tour with sparkling wine and dessert.
Featured breweries on the walkabout include Gibb’s Hundred Brewing Co., Highland Brewing Co., The Duck Rabbit Craft Brewery, White Street Brewing and Tarboro Brewing Co.
Dessert and champagne will be enjoyed at the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center on Front Street while taking in the views of Taylor’s Creek. Tickets are $75.
Rounding out the evening are beer dinners starting at 7 p.m. and will be offered in area restaurants.
Similar to the luncheons, these beer dinners will feature the host chef and brewer on site to walk guests through the multi-course menu. Tickets to the beer dinners are $75 and held at the following restaurants:
•Beaufort Grocery Co. – featuring chef Charles Park, CEC and Mark Heath, owner and brewer of Carolina Brewing Co.
•Clawson’s Restaurant & Pub – featuring chefs Jon McGregor and Corrie Robbins paired with Mother Earth Brewing of Kinston.
•Island Grille at Celebration Cottage – featuring cuisine by chefs Jason Scott and Denise Greer paired with The Unknown Brewing Co. with Brad Shell, owner and head brewer.
On Saturday, Beaufort Wine & Food will also be holding its first ever road race, Runnin’ On Empty, in conjunction with the festival.
Registration is available online, and racers of all levels are invited to partake in the 1-Mile Walk/Fun Run, 5K, or 10K.
The 5K and 10K races will be timed using RFID technology from IPICO Sports. T-shirts, commemorative glasses, medals for top runners will all be included for registered runners.
After the race, registered runners are invited to the outdoor beer garden area at the Backstreet Pub for celebratory beer. There will also be root beer available for runners under 21.
After the road race, the headline event for the festival – Beer, Bubbles and BBQ will be held at Front Street Village, 2400 Lennoxville Road in Beaufort, from 2-6 p.m. and will feature more than 20 North Carolina craft breweries and brew pubs, with a sampling from across the state and beyond.
In addition to tasting dozens of beers, guests will be treated to a variety of barbecue and sides, as eight local and regional chefs put their best dish forward in a barbecue competition.
Participating chefs in the barbecue competition include: Jeremy Cannon of Fat Fellas BBQ and Grille in Newport; James Doss of RX Restaurant & Bar and Pembroke Restaurant in Wilmington; James Harrington of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point; Kyongmin Lee and Jose Quiterio of Beaufort Grocery Co. in Beaufort; Stephen Billiar of the Coral Bay Club in Atlantic Beach; Kenny Collins of The Boathouse at Front Street Village in Beaufort; and Jon McGregor and Corrie Robbins of Clawson’s 1905 Restaurant & Pub in Beaufort.
The winner will be announced during the event and will receive $500 to donate to charity.
Live music by The Grand Shell Game will round out the entertainment for the afternoon event. Tickets are $65 and will be available at the door the day of the event.
Featured breweries throughout the weekend include: Aviator Brewing Co., Bold Rock Cider, Boston Beer Co., Carolina Brewery, Carolina Brewing Co., Catawba Brewing, Double Barley, Duck Rabbit, Fullsteam, Gibb’s Hundred, Highland Brewing, Mill Whistle Brewing, Mother Earth, Natty Greene’s Brewing, Sierra Nevada, Tarboro Brewing Co., Tight Lines, Triple C. Brewing, Unknown Brewing Co., White Street Brewery, Yester Years Brewery and more.
“These events are unique in that they allow festivalgoers a chance to interact with the brewers and brewery owners who live and breathe beer,” Ms. Parker said. “These are the folks whose passion, patience and creativity have produced the amazing beer selections we see both locally and on grocery store shelves nationwide. They are the ones to credit for making North Carolina’s beer scene what it is today.”
Proceeds from ticket sales go toward Beaufort Wine & Food’s mission to support local charities and nonprofits that strive to improve life in the county.
Since its first festival in 2004, Beaufort Wine & Food has raised almost $600,000 to donate to area nonprofits – almost $150,000 of that in the last two years.
“Our efforts to give back to organizations that support our community are at the forefront of what we do … it’s why we hold events throughout the year and it’s something our members, volunteers and sponsors and guests can be proud of,” said Ms. Parker.
Tickets and information are available online at beaufortwineandfood.com, by calling 252-515-0708 or stopping by the Beaufort Wine & Food office at 129 Middle Lane in Beaufort.