Dear Craft Beer,
Hi! North Carolina here. Perhaps you’ve heard of us? We’re famous for basketball. And barbecue. And letting school out for snow days without actual snow.
We’re also good at lots of stuff that we’re not as well known for. North Carolina is this country’s largest producer of sweet potatoes. And the first miniature golf course was built here. Next time you knock a ball through a clown’s mouth, thank us.
So here’s our point – do you realize North Carolina now proudly boasts more than 100 craft breweries? That’s right – we have joined that elite fraternity of states that can claim triple digits when it comes to craft beer purveyors.
That number outpaces any other state in the region. North Carolina has more craft brewers than Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama. COMBINED. When Foothills came on the scene in 2005, there were only a handful of craft brewers in the state. Less than a decade later that number has increased five fold.
So here’s our question, craft beer. Why haven’t you noticed?
Yeah, I know, Asheville was named Beer City USA three years running. We’re extremely proud of that – and they deserved it. We also showed sufficient chops (or is that hops?) to become the eastern headquarters of three rather prominent beer makers.
Still, globally and nationally North Carolina craft beer is lacking in attention. Ratebeer.com recently came out with their list of the Top 100 beers and Top 100 brewers in the world. There are 27 U.S. states represented on those lists. North Carolina isn’t one of them.
We’re talking about a state that boasts astounding diversity of selection and quality in craft beer. There’s a brewery in North Carolina that makes nothing but dark beers – and does so brilliantly. Another is brewing sour ales that rival anything Belgium can come up with. And as for the most popular craft beer style, IPA . . . let’s just say North Carolina is holding its own.
So tell us what we need to do to get you to like us, craft beer. Shout from the social media mountain tops? Make puppy commercials? Pass you a note in social studies?
Better yet, why not just join us for a pint? At one of the over 100 establishments that offer such a service here in our fine state.