Every town with dignity in America have a beer festival. More and more beer festivals are popping up and there are many to choose from in my region. With in a 2 hour drive from my house I have about 10 festivals that I can attend. Here, in

World Beer Festival at it's home venue in 2009 in Durham, NC. (Curtsy of All About Beer Magazine)

Durham we have the World Beer Festival that has been in the city since 1996.  The festival was started by Daniel Bradford, the owner of All About Beer MagazineAll About Beer Magazine is the oldest beer magazine in America and celebrated it’s 30th anniversary in 2009. The home venue for the World Beer Festival has been the Durham Athletic Park for many years. In 2008 the Durham Athletic Park was under renovation so the festival was held at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the home of the minor league base ball team Durham Bulls.

There are many different festival models. Most commonly in North Carolina you pay a fee and you can sample as many beer as you want during the 4-5 hour session. At other festivals choose to have an entrance fee

The park atmosphere at Moore Square Park in downtown Raleigh, NC. (Curtsy of All About Beer Magazine)

and you pay for each sample. Many festivals are fund-raisers for some charity event where all the proceeds are donated to a charity. The World Beer Festival stands out from most other festivals in North Carolina and the rest of America. It’s not like many other festivals a street party with no mission other than “beer to the people”. World Beer Festival is all about beer. It’s about education and learning about the world of beer in a great atmosphere, about connecting the breweries with their fans and talking about beer. The festival mission is to build the local beer community, to create a better beer town with a more educated community. The World Beer Festival is a speed dating with beer where you get to sample many different kind of beers. At the festival you can sample beers that you never had tried before and never wanted to waste $5 to $10 with the risk that you wouldn’t like it.  After the festival you have a list of beer that you liked and didn’t like and you can go out an buy them at your favorite bar or beer store. Before the festival started in 1996 Durham was a desert when it comes to beer. There were no interesting beer bars or retail store here. That has changed and Durham have a great beer community and beer scene thanks to the World Beer Festival. The World Beer Festival does not only build a thriving beer community in a city. The festival also gives back to the city by donating to a local charity. So fare the festival have donated $150,000.

Enjoying Moore Square Park in Raleigh, NC. (Curtsy of All About Beer Magazine)

The World Beer Festival have two sessions, 12-4 pm and 6-10 pm. You get  6 cl (2 ounce) sample in a tasting cup. Included in the ticket price is also a festival Beer Guide. The festival have about 300+ different kind of beers from 150 breweries. If you want to attend you have to be fast. The about 7,000 tickets sell out in 24-36 hours. There are many opportunities to learn about beer by reading the Beer Guide or listening to the seminars. Many of the brewers or brewery representatives are there and you can talk about their beers with them.

The World Beer Festival is held in four cities, my town Durham in October and about 35 km from Durham, Raleigh (Capital of North Carolina) in April. Since 2009 the World Beer Festival is held in Columbia, SC in January and for the first time in June this year in

World Beer Festival at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. (Curtsy of All About Beer Magazine)

Richmond, VA. The festival in Raleigh and Durham are in many ways different from each other. The Durham festival is held at a ballpark.  Having a beer festival at a ballpark gives the festival a great atmosphere. Being out on the field where normally a baseball game is plaid just makes it special. Having it at the historic Durham Athletic Park or at the home of the Durham Bulls makes it even better. The World Beer Festival put a lot of effort i to creating a great atmosphere. The festival is all about beer and beer should be enjoyed in great a atmosphere. A beer is just not at it’s best if the atmosphere is not good. The Raleigh festival is also at a great venue. It’s held at Moore Square Park in downtown Raleigh.  People can sit in the grass, enjoy good food an good beers. It’s just a relaxed atmosphere. Having the festival under tenets makes a great atmosphere to enjoy beer in.

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The festivals always have the latest in beer and the  most exiting beers. This is the festival you need to attend if you want to sample the best beers in that market. The North Carolina laws allow the festival to have beers that are not distributed in that state. North Carolina is one of the most interesting beer states in America and so is the beer selection at the World Beer Festival.   Download the Beer Guide to have a look at the many different beers that the festivals can offer.