RALEIGH April in North Carolina is known as Beer Month. Brewgaloo, one of the largest annual events in N.C. centered around craft beer, happens to fall on the same month in the middle of Downtown Raleigh.This year, the event is growing by leaps and bounds in myriad ways. Whether it’s the brand new sour and barrel-aged beer tent or the addition of at least 10 new breweries from last year, next Saturday’s event has a lot to offer for every beer lover.Brewgaloo is huge for the city of Raleigh and the state, but it’s become an attraction for nearly every state across the country. For an event run by a non-profit company in Shop Local Raleigh that puts the profits back into the community, Brewgaloo has exceeded their expectations every year.”Last year, we saw people from 41 states come to this event,” Jennifer Martin, Shop Local Raleigh’s Executive Director, said. “We see that people are travelling here, booking hotels and making this a destination event. That speaks volumes about not only this event, but the breweries rooted here.”One new addition to this year’s event will be the sours and barrel-aged tasting tent that is set to run from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. The tickets to the private event which is also set up on Fayetteville Street will run from $10 for designated drivers to $25 for those wishing to partake in alcoholic beverages.”We’re hoping to attract beer connoisseurs that are love barrels or sours and want to explore something different,” Martin said. “This gives them a different tasting experience and all for just $25. … It allows people the opportunity that want to do both to really enjoy themselves and not feel like they’re missing out with five hours left after the barrels and sours experience.”While there is plenty to do at Saturday’s “main event,” as Martin calls it, Friday night offers another chance to delve into the world of craft breweries. A Friday night sampling event was started in 2016 and will make a comeback this year for those wanting to enjoy smaller crowds and a more intimate setting in City Plaza.Some of the largest breweries from Raleigh, including Big Boss and Lonerider, are staples of the Downtown Raleigh event. But as it has grown over the years, breweries have flocked to Raleigh in April with the number now at 100 after attracting 90 in 2016, which was the former record.”We now have more than 50 percent of legalized, registered breweries in the state at our event,” Martin said. “And it’s only North Carolina they have to be rooted here so we’re really proud of that. … We started with 4,500 people. Last year we were at 30,000. We’re expecting to exceed that this year. That wouldn’t be possible without the fantastic breweries we have in this state.”Whether you’re looking to make an entire weekend out of it or just head to downtown for the main event, Brewgaloo truly has it all. And with the craft brewery scene still blossoming in North Carolina, there is always something new to explore at next weekend’s event.
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