State of Origin Craft Brew Festival revisited

State of Origin Festival
The first annual State of Origin Craft Brew Festival was held June 14, 2014 in Morganton, NC.

Definitely one of my favorite beer events of the past year was the State of Origin Craft Brew Festival in Morganton, North Carolina. I’m all in when it comes to local ingredients in local beer, and that is where this festival excelled.

Put together by Todd Boera and others at local Fonta Flora Brewery, this festival was unique in that it brought together over 20 breweries, each bringing beers with North Carolina ingredients.  The following video gives you an 8-minute look at the 2014 festival held on June 14.

The variety of beer was tremendous; the local ingredient list was long:

  • Malt
  • Hops
  • Yeast
  • Dandelion flowers
  • Honeysuckle blossoms
  • Sage
  • Basil
  • Jalapeños
  • Ghost peppers,
  • Honey
  • Stinging nettles
  • and on and on and on.

It is so wonderful to see North Carolina brewers leading the effort to develop authentic terrior in their ales. Makes me proud to say I’m an enthusiast member of the North Carolina Brewers Guild.

If you are getting a bit tired of the same old same old—the typical beer festival that include great beers, but ones you can pretty much get anywhere, then you ought to give this festival a try.  It’s one of those with a narrow focus that tends to attract some pretty unusual and some pretty awesome beers. No, the West Coast IPA will not go away anytime soon,  but  State of Origin gives you more creative and unexpected brews. With the help of festivals like State of Origin, North Carolina brewers and ingredient producers are pushing the envelope of local. It’s a lot of fun to see what they come up with next.

Here are some photos from the 2104 festival. Click on the thumbnails for a closer look.

State of Origin Festival
The first annual State of Origin Craft Brew Festival was held June 14, 2014 in Morganton, NC.
Todd Boera of Fonta Flora Brewing
Todd Boera , the head brewer at Fonta Flora Brewery in Morganton was the lead organizer of the festival.
Sean Lilly Wilson, owner of Fullsteam Brewing Co. in Durham
Sean Lilly Wilson, owner of Fullsteam Brewing Co. in Durham and a local ingredient enthusiast.
Mystery Brewing of Hillsborough, NC.
Mystery Brewing Co. of Hillsborough, NC, is a seasonal-only brewery in the Raleigh area.
Foothills Brewing Co. of Winston-Salem
Foothills Brewing Company of Winston-Salem, NC.
Lookout Brewing Co.
Lookout Brewing Company of Black Mountain, NC,
Olde Hickory Brewing Co.
Olde Hickory Brewery of Hickory, NC. has been making beer in the foothills since 1994.
Julie Jensen
Julie Jensen of Echo View Farm, Asheville, NC., is experimenting with growing a variety of brewing hops.

 

Highland Brewing of Asheville
Highland Brewing Company of Asheville is one of North Carolina’s oldest craft breweries.
Catawba Brewing co. of Morganton, NC
Catawba Brewing Company of Morganton, NC has been brewing in Western NC since 1999.

 

Free Range Brewing Co. of Charlotte
Free Range Brewing Co. of Charlotte. Jeff Alexander  sampled some very tasty local concoctions.
Free Range Brewing beer glass
Free Range Brewing Company is a new brewery that focuses on creatively using local ingredients.

 

Granite Falls Brewing Company
Granite Falls Brewing Company of Granite Falls, NC.
A great beer from Granite Falls Brewing.
17 Ghosts Hoppalachia IPA — A great beer from Granite Falls Brewing.
Daniel Hartis
Daniel Hartis hold his book, Beer Lover’s the Carolinas. It’s a great summary of where to find local craft beer in the Carolinas.

 

David Thornton of SouthYeast Labs
David Thornton (left) of SouthYeast Labs, Greenville, SC, with Charles Bockway of BrilliantStream.com. SouthYeast collects, identifies, and propagates local yeasts for the brewing industry.
State of Origin festival grounds.
State of Origin festival grounds.
The State of Origin Festival was held on the grounds of the historic Burke County courthouse in Morganton, NC.
The State of Origin Festival was held on the grounds of the historic Burke County courthouse in Morganton, NC.

 

 

 

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