It’s October 27th which means it is National American Beer Day. National American Beer Day is a special day in North Carolina, because October is also North Carolina Beer Month. North Carolina, with over 300 breweries, has a booming beer industry. Grab a cold one and celebrate with these facts about the beer industry in North Carolina.
- Weeping Radish, the first modern brewery in Manteo, North Carolina was opened in 1985 by Uli Bennewitz, who relocated from Bavaria. Prior to the 1980s in North Carolina, it was illegal for breweries to sell beer directly to consumers, so Bennewitz worked with N.C. politicians to change the law. Beers brewed at Weeping Radish are made with only hops, malt, yeast, and water, according to the Bavarian Reinheitsgebot Purity Law of 1516. Since Bennewitz helped change the laws of N.C. to allow for beer sales directly to consumers, hundreds of more breweries have opened in North Carolina.
- $2.5 billion is contributed to the state’s economy by the craft beer industry.
- The craft beer industry employees 12,000 North Carolina residents.
- Highland Brewing was Asheville’s first post-prohibition brewery. It opened in December of 1994. Asheville is now home to over 30 breweries.
- In 2019, Governor Cooper signed House Bill 392 allowing breweries to produce up to 100,000 barrels of beer per year.
- According to their website, Raleigh Brewing which is owned by Kristie Nystedt, is the first female-owned brewery in North Carolina.
- North Carolina is home to Brewgaloo, a beer festival which pulls over 40,000 attendees from 44 states. Brewgaloo is the largest beer festival in North Carolina and the 2nd largest beer festival in the United States. For the past two years, Brewgaloo has been #1 on USAToday’s 10Best List for beer festivals.