Raleigh, N.C. — More than 200 people flocked to Raleigh's Moore Square Saturday morning for the love of beer. The catch: These volunteers at the annual World Beer Festival can't sample the wares.
The festival, in its seventh straight sell-out year, is a milestone of spring for Triangle beer drinkers, and Saturday's sunny, 75-degree weather made the 2012 edition just about perfect. Raleigh World Beer Festival
For Brian McCann and the rest of the beer volunteers, the day starts at about 8 a.m. and lasts until midnight. Those who will help serve the 2-ounce samples to thousands of thirsty tasters start the day with an introduction to their product.
They get to taste it, McCann said, so they understand and can converse intelligently about the beer they are pouring. After that, it is abstinence. Beer volunteers haul ice, pull taps and direct traffic all while assuring the 16,000 in attendance over two sessions have a safe and fun time.
McCann, a physics major at North Carolina State University, is a volunteer captain in his fifth year working at the event. He said relationships bring him back time after time. "I work with a lot of the same people year after year, and some people will attend every year, so it is good to see them as well."
McCann said the volunteer crew is a mix of those in their late-20s and those about a decade older. All share a love of beer and what to understand it better.
All About Beer Magazine, the organization behind the festival and others in Durham, South Carolina and Virginia, shares profits from each event with a local charity. In Raleigh, that beneficiary is Artsplosure.