Ever notice how there is a holiday for everything these days? Today, for example, is Bunsen Burner Day. March 31 is also Clams On The Half Shell Day and Tater Tots Day.
Friday is April Fool’s Day, but no joke — it’s also Sourdough Bread Day and International Tuba Day. More importantly, though, it’s the beginning of NC Beer Month.
NC Beer Month is more than just some arbitrary holiday: it’s an effort by VisitNC.com to recognize a beer industry that has grown tremendously since the initiative’s first year in 2013.
You’ll find several events on NCBeerMonth.com, and some places are holding events that aren’t listed on the official calendar. Here are a few you’ll want to look out for in Charlotte.
7 p.m. this Friday, April 1
D9 Brewing Co. is kicking off NC Beer Month by releasing two beers in six-packs for the first time: Swell Rider Tangerine Session IPA and Hakuna Matata Tropical IPA. Those beers will be available on draft as well, and Buffalo’s Best food truck will be parked outside while the band Little Sister plays inside. On April 8, they’ll release the Imperialist Red IPA they brewed with Cary’s Fortnight Brewing Co.
Available Friday, April 1
NoDa Brewing and Front Street Brewery out of Wilmington collaborated on an oyster stout for the very first NC Beer Month in 2013, and they have reunited every year since to brew the beer. Front Street brought up the oysters, which were all shucked prior to going into the beer. This year’s Mother Shucker Oyster Stout will be tapped on Friday, April 1. It’s as delicious as it is fun to say. On Monday, April 4, they will tap Girls Gose Wild, a cucumber gose their Rachael Caldwell and brewed with Legion Brewing’s Alexa Long for the Pink Boots Society’s Big Boots Brew Day. The next day they’ll tap the version brewed at Legion Brewing, which features hibiscus.
1 p.m. on Sunday, April 3
Charlotte has a new culinary video series, and it wasted no time in turning its lens toward North Carolina’s beer scene. The fourth episode of the web-based series features Burial Beer Co., Fullsteam Brewery, Fonta Flora Brewery and Free Range Brewing. Free Range will be airing this hour-long episode at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 3, with a pig pickin’ to follow. The event is free, but they are accepting donations to Farm Hands Charlotte. (It’s just one of a number of charitable beer events going on through April.)
6:30-9:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 5
SkillPop has partnered with Legion Brewing to offer a Craft Beer Appreciation Class for NC Beer Month. The class is $35 and led by Legion’s brewers Alexa Long, Patty Lodge and Scott Griffin, who will walk you through everything from beer ingredients to how to pair beer with food. You’ll taste your way through a variety of styles and end with a tour of Legion’s brewery. Tickets are limited and can be purchased here.
7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7
There was a time when Rock Bottom and the now defunct Hops were the only breweries in town. And while those chains serve many of the same beers across their locations, Rock Bottom’s Spring Brewer’s Dinner would be a great way to try some things that aren’t usually on the menu. The dinner pairs four of brewer Robb MacLeod’s beers with dishes like crab cakes, sirloin kebabs, mint-encrusted lamb lollipops and Tiramisu (see the full menu here). Tickets are $40 and can be reserved by calling (704) 334-2739 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
2:25 p.m. on Saturday, April 9
Here’s a style you don’t see often: the braggot. No, Sugar Creek is not being boastfully proud of its latest offering. A braggot is traditionally a mead (i.e. honey wine) made with malt. For Sugar Creek, it meant introducing their white ale to an aged orange blossom honey mead. They’ll tap it at 2:25 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, and the first 100 guests will receive a complimentary sample.
5-9 p.m. on Saturday, April 16
Like the Order/Fire screening mentioned above, this one also made our list of charitable beer events. Drinking beer to benefit Autism Charlotte? Yeah, it’s worth mentioning again.
Saturday, April 23
Every spring, The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery celebrates its Louisiana Springest with crawfish, shrimp and jambalaya. They’ll have live music, and you can purchase food by the plate. The brewery will also release its Hornet’s Nest Hefeweizen that weekend.