Cheers to NC Beers

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Daniella Udrinlaiz/FLICKR

 

Sarah Swindell
   Staff Writer

 

I was never much of a beer gal. It began at three years old where I mistook some beer for white grape juice, but that was a long time ago. Since then, I have grown to appreciate the value of the frothy fermented beverage.

With my recent epiphany of the value of safely indulging in beer, North Carolina seems to be one of the best locations to be a beer lover. With April being declared as North Carolina’s Beer Month by Governor Roy Cooper for the fifth year in a row, it seems like no better time to raise a pint glass to the beer industry, and acknowledge the value this brings to the Tarheel State.

People all across the state are celebrating with festivals and specials at the breweries and restaurants. It is the perfect time to herald the importance of beer to North Carolinians as it creates a cultural and financial impact in the state.

The beer business itself has a rather wide spread from the mountains to the coast. North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild tell us on their website, “North Carolina boasts the largest number of craft breweries in the American South, with more than 203 breweries and brewpubs.” From the twenty breweries in Asheville to the Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills, there is a brewery for everyone.

The Greensboro area itself is home to Natty Greene’s and Foothills Breweries. Whenever I travel from my hometown to Greensboro, I get the pleasure of seeing Red Oak Brewery on the highway, sparkling and alluring with all its brew pots making the covetable concoction.

Asheville itself has been boasted as topping the “Beer City USA” chart four years running, making it an ideal location for beer-sipping travellers and tourists. This level of attraction to North Carolina cities provides an obvious source of revenue that can benefit every resident regardless of their eligibility to consume the beverage.

Our State magazine (headquartered in Greensboro, NC by the way), released some statistics thanks to several beer expert organizations this year regarding the buzz about beer in the North Carolina economy and the industry’s overall growth. According the the magazine’s findings, the beer in industry in the state has created 10,000 jobs along with $300 million of the $1.2 billion annual economic impact to the state going to annual wages for these workers.

At the same time, the agriculture industry finds benefit from the beer industry in North Carolina. The state’s cultural value on locally sourced ingredients echoes in the crafting choices made by beer makers. Sweet potatoes to blueberries and sorghum to wheat have found a new purpose in crafting the fermented beverages.

And this is just the beginning. Our State also noted that more than fifty breweries are set to be opened in 2017 and the years beyond. It proves the beer industry in North Carolina is a continually growing business that is only destined to get better.

It makes sense that North Carolina is the perfect home for many breweries. Beyond the local ingredient aspect, the community culture of North Carolinians allows for beer to be enjoyed on a mass scale. Food festivals and local celebrations allow for friends and communities to become the perfect places for the beer industry to grow.

When the National Folk Festival came to town in the fall of 2016, local breweries took the opportunity to pour out pints for festival goers, growing their presence with every beverage. North Carolina’s value on the arts and music, particularly the local, blends perfectly with the beer industry. This combination somehow makes both the art experience and the drinking experience just a little bit better.

It only makes sense as the creation of art and music with local community flair pairs with the breweries that have dedicated themselves to using locally sourced ingredients and have put so much back into their surrounding community.

As Governor Cooper noted at his press conference declaring April as Beer Month, “Thanks to North Carolina’s thriving brewing industry, our state’s entrepreneurship and craftsmanship can continue to shine,” Beyond that, breweries allow for the very best of North Carolina to shine in all aspects.

From the agricultural to the social, North Carolina beer makes everything better.  It provides jobs to the many. The beverage gives further purpose to other local culinary staples and agriculture. Beer from North Carolina has a certain magic to it that cannot be compared.

With all of the negative press that North Carolina gets in the national media, it is high time that our state has something positive to get excited about. So here is a toast to the industry, cheers to the beers, and a hope that everyone will one day realize that if you are going to drink a beer that the best option is a North Carolina beer.



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