April in NC: Excitement is brewing

April is NC Beer Month, celebrating the myriad craft breweries that help make dining and drinking in NC such a pleasure. Every great brewery reflects its place — all add their flavor to North Carolina craft beer. They also create an experience beyond the tap room for travelers during NC Beer Month and beyond.

RALEIGH – From a brewery that started in an airport hangar to the state’s only female-owned brewery, the Capital City area is home to 15 micro-breweries and counting. Any month is a great time to experience the region’s passion for craft brews, but April is especially inviting, with World Beer Festival (Sat., April 5 in downtown’s Moore Square)— Raleigh, which welcomes 120-plus breweries from around the country, and Brewgaloo (Sat., April 26 in Raleigh City Plaza), which celebrates regional craft breweries.

DURHAM – Like Durham, craft beers are unique, diverse and interesting. The city is home to three microbreweries — Bull City Burger and Brewery, Fullsteam Brewery and Triangle Brewing— plus Ponysaurus, a new nano. All are helmed by experienced brew masters producing distinct beers with local flavor and style that are each uniquely Durham in their own right.

CHAPEL HILL AREA – You don’t have to walk far in Chapel Hill to find craft beer. Less than half a mile of sidewalk separates a pair of blue-blooded brewpubs, Top of the Hill Restaurant & Brewery and Carolina Brewery, both on the lively Franklin Street artery. But pace yourself. In a destination billed as “the edge of the Triangle,” there are plenty of stops for shopping, dining and art gazing — plus the adjacent town of Carrboro, home to Steel String Craft Brewery and Starpoint Brewing. Nearby Hillsborough, with Mystery Brewing and its new Public House, provides a heady sense of intrigue.

CHARLOTTE – The Queen City shines as a destination that pairs a cosmopolitan vibe with a down-home feel. NC Beer Month spotlights Charlotte’s arrival as a beer destination, leveled up to critical mass by new breweries such as Unknown, Lenny Boy Kombucha and Heist with bottle shops and beer pubs enhancing the scene. And the Charlotte Knights’ new Center City Ballpark, hosting its first game April 11, adds yet another craft beer experience. Play ball!

GREENSBORO – Connoisseurs and people who just enjoy a cold one will want to sample beer culture in the Gate City. With this month’s Hops Around Greensboro, travelers can enjoy a cold local brew at downtown’s Natty Greene’s,  tap into the Red Oak Brewery Beer School at Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, line up for the 4K Tap ’N’ Run and enjoy month-long specials on North Carolina beer — all while exploring a city where visionaries, history-makers and forward-thinkers have left their mark.

WINSTON-SALEM – NC’s City of Arts, has evolved from its traditional tobacco and textile roots into a thriving city with a lively downtown, a Southern-fresh way of life and an inspired beer scene. Start at Foothills Brewing with its award-winning beers and Old Salem, whose illustrious history covers the state’s first brewery (from 1774), then check out the newcomers, Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Co. and Small Batch Beer.

Happy brewpub hopping!  For more information, start here: http://www.ncbeermonth.com/

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