Carly Simon must have had a premonition about the last few hours before Beericana way back in 1971. The countdown’s been on for a week now, and not much time is left until the taps start flowing, music starts playing and food trucks start cranking out really, really good food.

Beericana is the Triangle’s can’t-miss craft beer and music festival in Holly Springs Sept. 10. Third time’s the charm; this year’s event promises to be even bigger, better and beer-ier than ever before.

With more than 70 breweries, 15 food trucks, cool stuff to buy and cornhole to play it’s impossible to do all of Beericana.1

So with help from some pretty knowledgeable sources,2 here’s the top 5 Beericana absolute can’t-miss list:

1) Beer3
• Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, named Virginia’s top-rated brewery in 2015 by, is bringing Foolery, a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout.
• Asheville’s Wicked Weed Brewing is pouring Batch 1000, their 1000th batch they made that won’t be brewed again.
• Olde Hickory Brewery’s Lindley Park will be available “and this year’s batch is awesome!”
• Lynnwood Brewing Concern will have a brand new batch of Full Nelson, their imperial red, “that Bill Gerds, head brewer, says is better than ever.” Plus, Gerds himself will be there pouring and answering questions.

2) And more beer
“Super excited to have these breweries join us this year for the first time.”
• Charlotte’s Heist Brewery
• Rocky Mount’s Koi Pond Brewing Company
• Raleigh’s Trophy Brewing

3) Music
Fill up your glass and go listen (or dance, depending on how many glasses you’ve filled already) to Town Mountain out of Asheville, headlining the music scene starting at 4. Their website says it all:

The 2013 winners of IBMA Momentum Awards for Performance Band and Vocalist of the Year (Robert Greer), Town Mountain has earned raves for their hard-driving sound, their in-house songwriting and the honky-tonk edge that permeates their exhilarating live performances, whether in a packed club or at a sold-out festival. The hearty base of Town Mountain’s music is the bluegrass triumvirate of Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, but it’s what else goes into the mix that brings it all to life. The group’s wide-ranging influences range from the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia and the ethereal lyrics of Robert Hunter, to the honest, vintage country of Willie, Waylon and Merle.

4) Food trucks
imageYes, you’ve got your own beer tasting glass (thankfully) but CockADoodleMoo has three items on the menu perfect for sharing: Crispy Ribs Char-Sui (five-spice smoked St. Louis style ribs cut into one-bone sections and tossed in a sticky sweet Hawaiian style BBQ sauce), Smoked Chicken Wings and Malted Vinegar Pork Rinds. Plus the first three customers at the top of the hour get a free CockADoodleMoo tote or t-shirt, and during VIP hour they’re doing five.

VIP time (the extra two hours before everyone else gets in) has another huge perk besides the special taps many breweries offer: short lines for Cousins Maine Lobster. Gluten-free? Skip the roll and just dip the lobster in butter. Nothing better.

5) There’s an app for that
Track your tastings and find out where your favorite brewery is in the long, long line of tents with the Beericana app. Your brain will appreciate it next time you’re standing in the bottle shop trying to remember your favorites. Plus if you enable push notifications you’ll know all the latest and greatest updates during the festival.

imageHonorable mention:
Nautigulls Soap, with 10 beersoaps and Bull City Cidery cidersoap on tap.4

A last (but definitely not least) note:
Tasting all that beer and having that much festival fun can take a physical toll. Lucky for us, Happy + Hale is filling Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh with “bring your own” yoga mats for another hour of their Sunrise Yoga Friday, Sept. 9 starting at 6:30 a.m. They’re partnering with Hopscotch Music Festival and KIND Snacks for the first-ever City Plaza event, free and open to the public, with a “healthy morning pick-me-up” from KIND and their own menu afterward.

Happy + Hale said to “ask anyone who regularly attends the Sunrise Series and you’ll hear there is no better way to start your weekend, and on this special occasion, no better way to relax and unwind during the festival.”

Or in Beericana’s case, stretch your muscles to make it easier to stride out and hit up all the beer tents.5

  1. No matter how hard you try:

  2. Adam Eshbaugh and Wayne Holt are co-founders and Beericana partners; I won’t say who told me what but let’s just leave it at Holt must be the strong, silent type.
  3. DUH
  4. I might buy all the cidersoap before you get there, fair warning, it’s in short supply.
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