Upcoming area beer festivals
As the weather turns to spring/summer (finally!), there’s no better way to spend a beautiful Saturday than enjoying local craft beer outside. And over the next two weekends, the Charlotte area is offering up two festivals for you to attend.
This Saturday (May 3) is the first annual Lake Norman Bags and Brewfest, which will take place in the central greenway at Mooresville Town Square. The “bags” refer to the ever-popular game of cornhole, as there will be a cornhole tournament with $500 going to the first-place team, $300 for second and $150 for third. (Registration for the tournament is from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., wherein the games will then begin.)
The beer festival goes from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will feature more than 20 breweries, including local ones in Ass Clown, Lake Norman, Olde Mecklenburg, NoDa, Unknown and the debut of OMMI Brewing Company, which hopes to open in the Mooresville area this year (you can read more about OMMI in this Lake Norman News article).
OooWee BBQ, StreetDogs, Salty Caper and Fun-Oh-Cakes will be on site selling food, and live musical acts include Noah Guthrie, High Wire and Olivia Albertson. There’s also a raffle with two tickets to Sunday’s final round of the Wells Fargo Championship, two tickets to the U.S. Open and two country mega tickets as featured prizes.
Tickets can be purchased online at this site. The beer festival by itself is $35, or you can pay $55 for a VIP ticket which gains you access an hour early to the tasting. A combo ticket (beer tasting and cornhole team entry) is $50. All proceeds will be donated to charity, as this event benefits the Captain Mark McDowell Memorial Foundation, Welcome Home Vets Living Museum and the Adaptive Sports and Adventure Program.
A week later (May 10) marks the fourth annual North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival at Rural Hill in Huntersville. I’ve said/written this before, but the NCBMF is the most underrated craft beer festival in the area. Camping, great beer and music – what more could you ask for?
This year will feature more than 30 breweries, highlighted by area ones in Ass Clown, Birdsong, District 9, Four Friends, Free Range, Heist, Lenny Boy, NoDa, Triple C and Unknown. (Also, here’s a tip for any first-timers: The homebrewers’ tent is not to be missed, especially if lines get long at the other breweries.)
While you’re enjoying beer, several musical acts will be playing throughout the day, headlined by Greensky Bluegrass and Big Daddy Love in the evening. Note that the beer tasting itself lasts from 12:45 p.m. to 4 p.m., but some breweries will remain on site and sell beer for the rest of the festival.
And as I mentioned before, this is a festival where you can camp overnight. New to this year is Friday camping, as the NCBMF is also putting on a concert that night featuring Hit or Miss and The Reckoning. The campground opens at 3 p.m. on Friday and for those coming Saturday, at 8:30 a.m.
There are a variety of tickets for sale and can be purchased here. If you want to go to the beer tasting, it’s $35. Camping is an additional $17 for one night, or you can do both nights for $30. (Note that those prices are if you’re in a tent. If you bring an RV, which is allowed, it’s $35 and $60, respectively).
More information about the NC Brewers and Music Festival, including a complete music schedule, can be found here.