The World Beer Festival is an annual event in Raleigh sponsored by Durham-based All About Beer Magazine. More than 200 brewers from North Carolina and around the country participate in the festival. The event includes live music, food and demonstrations. Organizers will host their 10th festival in 2015.
The most recent World Beer Festival was held at Moore Square Park on April 5, 2014. General admission tickets cost $45. Tickets include a glass and unlimited 2 oz. tastings from more than 250 beers. VIP admission tickets include access to a private hospitality area and a traveling dinner by local chefs who pair their dishes with beer. VIP tickets cost $90. There are two sessions: One from noon-4 p.m. and the other from 6-10 p.m. The festival will be held in Raleigh in April 2015. A specific date has not yet been announced.
Craft Beer History and Growth
The popularity of the World Beer Festival can be party attributed to the growth of the craft beer industry. Craft beer is defined as a brewery that produces 6 million barrels or less annually. In 2010 while annual beer sales were down 2.7% by volume, the craft beer industry grew by 9%. By 2020, it is projected that craft beer will account for 15% of all beer sales.
North Carolina is ranked 14th nationally for its production of craft beer. In 2012 the North Carolina craft beer industry brought in $791 million in revenue for the state and employed 10,200 workers. There are currently 110 craft breweries in North Carolina, boasting a 65 percent increase from 2006. Although Asheville was named “Beer City USA” from 2009-2012 it is projected that Raleigh and the Triangle will surpass Asheville as the capital of craft beer in North Carolina.
Although you cannot guarantee that any brewery will be at the World Beer Festival every year, you can rest assured that you will have more than enough to sample. With 200+ breweries offering between 1 and 4 options, you might have to pinpoint a theme. North Carolina breweries are a great place to start with recent representation from local favorites such as Hi-Wire Brewing (Asheville, NC), Foothills Brewing (Winston-Salem, NC), and Lonerider Brewing Company (Raleigh, NC).
Sources used in this article: AllAboutBeer.com, Tickets to the 9th Annual World Beer Festival Raleigh on Sale Now; Blog at VisitRaleigh.com; State of the Craft Beer Industry; CNBNC Tobacco, tar heels and tulip glasses – NC’s craft beer boom; Pintful: Craft beer in North Carolina is $791 million market