North Carolina breweries made a showing at The Great American Beer Festival.

By Candace and Jim Hobbs, Owners – The Grape & Ale, Oak Island, NC



If you don’t have The Great American Beer Festival on your personal bucket list, think about making it a priority.  This year’s 2015 event in Denver, Colorado was an epic event that included 746 breweries and brewpubs, of those, 12 were from North Carolina.

Needless to say, one night will not allow you to make even a dent in visiting participating brewers, and imagine that each one has three to five different recipes to taste.  It was quite overwhelming.  Ushers were handing out maps of the convention center upon entry and we immediately formed our plan of attack.  After all, we had just a one day pass and we had a lot of beer to taste in a mere 4-1/2 hours.

We made sure that we visited all of the North Carolina entries, even though only three of the 12 distribute to Eastern North Carolina.  It was fun seeing our niece, Liz Nance, Vice President of Marketing at Nantahala Brewing Company in Bryson City, North Carolina.  Our son had not met his cousin-in-law so it was a double treat for them to finally make acquaintance.

High on our list of must do’s while there was to visit those companies represented whose product we sell at The Grape & Ale.  We wanted to meet the faces behind the beers as well as pick up a little beer swag (and we did) along the way.


We couldn’t pass up checking out the booths of consistent award and medal winners whose production capacity has not grown to stretch to NC such as Russian River (Pliney the Elder), Firestone Walker, Odell Brewing, Deschutes, and Clown Shoes just to name a few.  There was typically a line in front of each of these booths waiting to get a taste of the golden nectar.

All of these medal winners were tasted at The Grape & Ale’s TBT (Thursday Brats and Tastes) during the month of October.  Stop in every Thursday evening from 5-7 p.m. to taste the latest and greatest new selections on our beer menu.

Medal Brewery Trade Name Style Price
Gold Allagash Alagash White Belgian Style Wit 3.50
Silver Allagash Alagash Tripel Belgian Style Tripel 4.25
Silver Avery White Rascal Belgian Style Wit 3.00
Silver Blackberry Farm Summer Saison Amer-Belgo Ale 15.05
Gold Devil’s Backbone Vienna Lager Vienna Style Lager 3.00
Bronze Duck Rabbit Duck Rabbit Marzen German Style Marzen 3.50
Gold Founders ReDANKulous* Imperial Red Ale 10.79
Gold Greenflash Le Freak American Belgo ipa 10.00
Silver Port City Monumental IPA* English Style IPA 3.00
Silver Port City Robust Porter Robust Porter 3.00
Bronze Port City Optimal Wit* Belgian Style Wit 3.00
Silver Stoudts Oktoberfest Vienna Style Lager 3.00


Port City Brewing – Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year


Mix and Match 6 packs of these wonderful selections and receive a 10% discount on this group only.

The festival lasts seven days in total with tap takeovers, food pairing demonstrations, and other parties throughout the Denver area.  As tickets for the three day expo are usually sold out immediately upon going on sale, these events leading up to the grand finale weekend give the unfortunate non-ticket holders an opportunity to  get a taste from other locations.  The 2016 dates are October 6-8.  If you would like more information, so you can make your plans early for next year, visit www.greatamericanbeerfestival.com.



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