Story by Matt Young. Photo by Paul Joseph.
Cary, NC – Not just free beer and live music – which is an attention-getter in my mind…but great local free beer, and great local live music.
Saturday we cruised over to Whole Foods in New Waverly Place and were greeted by the smell of Butt Rubbed ribs (sorry folks, I just report, I don’t make the names up). Five dollars bought you a great lunch with the proceeds going to Zach’s Toy Chest.
Eating tables and canopy tents were set up. Beer was sold by the bottle. Little tasting mugs were available for free, and tasting tables were set up in a circle with local brewers’ wares there to the pleasure of the beer-lovers’ palates. Smiling faces were everywhere.
North Carolina has come on strong over the past few years with some great local micro-brews. It began years ago in Wilmington and Asheville, but has spread to the Triangle with plenty of great beer being made right around the corner from Cary-ites.
Present were Lone Rider, Aviator, R.J. Rocker, Carolina Brewery, Red Oak, French Broad, Duck Rabbit, Carolina Brewing Company and Foggy Ridge Cider. I tried them all (yes, I had a designated driver). I’m a “hop head”, so my favorite was Asheville’s French Broad Rye Hopper Ale, about 5.9% alcohol by volume, pleasantly hoppy, and not over-ryed. In close second was Holly Spring’s Carolina Brewing Company’s Carolina India Pale, about 5.4% alcohol, with its piney hop taste and great mouthfeel. But they were all great in their own way.
Special thanks go out to Whole Foods’ “Christine” who was pouring beer samples and wrote down the list of breweries and beers that were present for me.
Live music was provided by MikeMickXer, a 3-piece local band that plays a wide array of music styles absolutely nailing Elvis Presley tunes and Reggae music. The lead singer, dreadlocked Mike Davis, has a powerful voice with a wide range of keys and genres that he pulls off effortlessly. The band’s background riffs were spot on.
This was the 3rd Beer and BBQ Festival hosted by Whole Foods.
A great time, right here in Cary.