Beericana brings together many of the great things about a North Carolina summer Saturday in one, day-long indulgence.
Ostensibly a beer festival focused on the craft beers of the Tar Heel State and its neighbors, in its third year, Beericana has found its niche, drawing thousands to Holly Springs' Sugg Farm park.
The food truck side of the field could be considered an all-star lineup: American Meltdown, Cousins Maine Lobster, Bukogi and dozens more local favorites serve up a special menu of accompaniments to complement the beer. The cupcake truck Not Just Icing even offered the popular pretzel necklace favored by beer drinkers to cleanse the palate between tastes.
The day begins with two hours of VIP time, when beer nerds get access to special pours and single-batch brews from the 70 participating breweries.
At 2 p.m., the gates open for general admission. For $45, guests got unlimited 2 oz. tastes, live music, shopping and food trucks. The concept is simple. Sun, beer, live music. Repeat.
The focus is on the beer, with many brewers on hand to explain their offerings. Beericana doesn't try to be a family festival – no one under the age of 21 is allowed – pets and smoking are also prohibited on the grounds.
From the overcast skies that greeted volunteers in the morning, to the relentless sun that made the free bottled water a sought-after beer alternative, Saturday's event was a roaring success.
By late afternoon, thousands of sweaty but smiling patrons had sampled to their hearts delight.