Ah, the taste of hops on your tongue, live bands and the delicious aroma from countless food trucks. It’s an experience only found at Brewgaloo, and it’s firing up again April 22 and 23.
More than 50 food vendors will line Fayetteville Street in Downtown Raleigh with 85 breweries to quench your thirst. Whether it’s by the pint or the taste, Brewgaloo offers beer enthusiasts the chance to try beers from all over the state.
The event, held by Shop Local Raleigh, has become the centerpiece of NC Beer Month in the Triangle.
“When we had 4,500 people show up right out of the gate the first year we knew we had something huge,” Shop Local Raleigh Executive Director Jennifer Martin said. “One thing we’ve kept true the entire time is to only have brewers that are 100 percent NC owned. We also only allow Triangle-based food trucks to support the local scene.
“We are very exclusive in who we let in, but it creates an environment that feels more like a community than any other event.”
This year marks the fifth anniversary of Brewgaloo in Raleigh and the largest thus far. Given the massive growth, there will be an additional Friday night event called the Block Party to give brewers and vendors another avenue to reach beer lovers.
The Block Party is a sampling event from 6-10 p.m. for $45 per person added for the first time this year. The event, held at Raleigh’s City Plaza, will be an all-you-can sample for one flat price, which is slightly different from the a la carte festival on Saturday.
While it won’t have as many variety of beers as Saturday, the Friday night event will have higher ABV beers. Some of the beers available on Friday won’t be found on Saturday due to the high volume of alcohol content.
Suffice to say, scheduling a designated driver or Uber might be the best plan.
“Friday night will definitely have a more exclusive and specialized feel,” Martin said. “I say beer lovers should really just make a weekend out of it. On Friday you get to really experience the beer while Saturday is a huge party.
“Both are experiences that only come around once a year.”
Along with darker beers, Friday night will also cater to homebrewers looking to get started. Several brewers will be on hand to talk about green, sustainable brewing practices and be able to have one-on-one conversations with participants.
Brewgaloo is a chance for breweries to shine, rolling out rare beers for public consumption. Big Boss will have Starduster, a single-hop pale ale with Polaris hops, on tap throughout the event. Wicked Weed will have a tap takeover on Friday to bring out Brettaberry, a tart farmhouse ale with strawberries, blackberries and blueberries.
“It’s a really unique opportunity for people to experience all of the great beers in this state,” Big Boss Director of Marketing and Distribution Dave Rogers said. “It gives us, as brewers, a chance to connect, hang out and try some of their new beers. This is one of the best states for beer and Brewgaloo gives us a chance to prove it.”