Morganton, NC – Several of North Carolina’s premier breweries will showcase beers from NC-sourced ingredients at the State of Origin Beer Festival Saturday, June 11.
This popular event returns to downtown Morganton’s courthouse square for its third year and features approximately two dozen breweries. The festival was created by the owners of Morganton’s Fonta Flora Brewery to spotlight NC breweries making ales from NC ingredients.
All breweries, with the exception of three special “ambassador” breweries, are located in North Carolina. The beers they serve at the festival must use North Carolina ingredients, and many will be special one-time releases made exclusively for the event.
“The entire event is a celebration of local ingredients,” says Fonta Flora co-founder David Bennett. “One of our main focuses at our brewery is local culture and local agriculture. We practice what we preach every single day and the festival is a natural extension of that.”
For example, Fonta Flora, which earned back-to-back gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival in 2014 and 2015, uses grain from Riverbend Malt House in Asheville. And one of its most surprising locally-sourced ingredients is kiwi from Burnsville.
In addition to Fonta Flora, participating breweries are: Appalachian Mountain Brewery in Boone; Birdsong Brewing in Charlotte; Brown Truck Brewing in High Point; Burial Beer in Asheville; Catawba Brewing Company in Morganton; Free Range Brewing in Charlotte; Fullsteam Brewery in Durham; Haw River Farmhouse Ales in Saxapahaw; Highland Brewing Company in Asheville; Lenny Boy Brewing in Charlotte; Mystery Brewing Company in Hillsborough; Newgrass Brewing Company in Shelby; Salud Beer Shop in Charlotte; Steel String Brewery in Carrboro; Triple C Brewing in Charlotte; Trophy Brewing in Raleigh; Wooden Robot Brewery in Charlotte; Wicked Weed Brewing in Asheville; and Zebulon Artisan Ales in Weaverville.
The three out-of-state ambassador breweries are: Arizona Wilderness Brewing in Gilbert, Ariz.; Jester King Brewery in Austin, Texas; and Scratch Brewing in Ava, Illinois. All use ingredients from their areas and represent a nationwide movement to support local farmers and producers.
Mipso, a noted bluegrass quartet based in Chapel Hill with Appalachian influences, returns to the festival this year. Band member Jacob Sharp is a Morganton native. Food will be provided by an assortment of local vendors, including JD’s Smokehouse and Farmhouse BBQ.
Festival hours are 3-7 p.m. Basic tickets are $50. Added value tickets are $86 and include two bottles of Funk Fuzz beer, an Appalachian wild ale. Designated driver tickets will be available at the festival for $25. For details and tickets, visit www.FontaFlora.com/Festival.
The Festival in 2015 Photo: Andy Jay