EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a part of our continuing series for NC Beer Month, asking guest bloggers to tell us what’s collectively great about our beer and our state. This week we welcome Dave Tollefson and Glenn Cutler – better known as the NCBeerGuys – to our blogspace.
April is NC Beer Month, and it also just happens to be our third anniversary working as the NCBeerGuys. Understatement alert: a lot has changed on the beer scene in North Carolina since we first started promoting NC craft beer. The growth in the number of breweries has been explosive, doubling in those three short years. Apparently there’s no sign of that slowing down, as the number of breweries in planning stages will attest.
Breweries are popping up all over the state, introducing craft beer to locations that have been relatively craft beer-free. Our coast especially has seen a jump in breweries in the past year; for twenty years it was only Front Street Brewery, now seven breweries call the Wilmington area home — with still more to come! Rural areas are becoming craft beer destinations and we all know enthusiasts will make the drive for great local beer.
Even with all the growth in craft beer, NC Beer Month is still the time to encourage those who haven’t experienced craft beer to give it a try – and those folks are out there! Remember, as much as people think craft beer is huge, it is still just a small percentage of beer produced and consumed when compared to the big national-brand beers. The challenge for us in the promotion business is to break drinking habits and patterns that have been ingrained and to encourage people to ‘free their palate’. It’s an epiphany when people realize that craft beer is creative and diverse, with an unlimited flavor range. That first sip of a beer that’s not mega-produced is enlightenment to the non-craft drinker.
There are a plethora of events this month to help promote breweries and their craft beer creations. Breweries are holding their own events and there are festivals every week. All these events showcase the amazing creativity of the brewers, and will hopefully lure more and more people to NC craft beer. Part of the luxury of having a whole month to promote NC craft beer is that it lets all NC breweries take advantage of statewide momentum, sharing in marketing and promotion to rally around a central theme — celebrating craft beer produced in North Carolina!
Dave Tollefsen and Glenn Cutler are regular guys living in central North Carolina with their families who share a love for craft beer and homebrewing. They work together as the NCBeerGuys. They can be found online promoting North Carolina craft beer, providing information about the folks who produce local beer and writing about beer adventures, activities and events across North Carolina.