[Spotlight] Carolina Brewsfest
Junction 311’s Carolina Brewsfest returns for its fifth year on May 11 in downtown High Point at the Mendenhall Transportation Terminal, 220 E. Commerce Ave. This festival brings together runners and local craft beer enthusiasts for a day of endurance, beer tasting, and community. Junction 311 owner Mike Clark created the Carolina Brewsfest. Junction 311 is an event production agency with a focus on endurance and running events that incorporates craft beer. “[The Carolina Brewsfest] joins running, the appreciation for craft beer, and [the] void in the High Point market,” said Junction 311 brand developer Nikki Popovich. “It focuses on giving a platform for North Carolina beer to be introduced to people and bringing people to the area.” Popovich said starting at 9 a.m. on May 11 there would be 5k, 10k, and 15k races followed by the craft beer festival starting at 11 a.m. She said registration is open until the day of the race and includes entry to the craft beer festival.
“You do not have to participate in the running portion to join the craft beer festival, but all the runners are invited to the festival,” Popovich said. “We have people that are pacing (running at the specific pace the entire time), and no matter which race you are doing, you can lean on someone that’s running a certain time.”
Popovich said runners have a “work hard, play hard” mentality, so a race followed by a beer festival goes hand-in-hand. There are presently 44 North Carolina breweries scheduled to attend and offer their craft brews, including Triad favorites such as Brown Truck Brewery (High Point), Fiddlin’ Fish Brewing Company (Winston-Salem), and Leveneleven Brewing (Greensboro). Unlike most craft beer tasting festivals, where admission is bundled in with the cost of tasting, the Carolina Brewsfest offers different ticket options.
“Say, somebody knows they are not a huge craft beer-drinker, but they want to go enjoy (or maybe their girlfriend or boyfriend wants to go); they pay general admission, and they can buy beer tickets that are redeemable at any booth,” she said. “Those that buy the unlimited taster, they get a keepsake taster cup that they carry around and refill as many times as their heart desires from wherever they like.”
Popovich said that there would be live music by local Triad bands Stereo Doll and Southern Ends as well as six food trucks (Umami, Wired, PorterHouse Burger Company, Zeko’s To Go, Frank’s Chicken and Waffles, and Crispy Gyoza) for attendees to enjoy while they sip on some of the finest craft beers in the state.
“Anybody can go out and walk or run a 5k and have a great experience, and you get admission to the festival, so it is a great time,” she said.
Tickets for general admission are $7 online, $10 at the gate, and unlimited taster passes are $35 online and $40 at the gate. Tickets for the 5k are $40, tickets for the 10k are $50, and tickets for the 15k are $55 through April 30, and includes two free beers, two admission tickets into the festival, a T-shirt and a finisher medal.
For a full list of attending breweries, a map of the race route and to buy tickets or view ticket prices, visit the Carolina Brewsfest website.