If you do not see this newsletter in glorious HTML, please visit us online: http://www.popthecap.org/news/2007/04


EDITED on 4/12/07 for clarity on vendors and retailers, as well as the special event permit fee.

I got a little mad at the North Carolina wine industry the other day. They're just so, well, organized.

You see, I found out that this year's Moore Square Farmer's Market in Raleigh will feature North Carolina wineries who will provide samples and sell bottles of wine directly to the public.

The North Carolina General Statutes allow wineries to do this. Read the statute (bold mine):

G.S. 18B-1114.1. Authorization of winery special event permit. Fee: $200.00

(a) Authorization. -The holder of an unfortified winery permit, limited winery permit or a wine producer permit may obtain a winery special event permit allowing the winery or wine producer to give free tastings of its wine, and to sell its wine by the glass or in closed containers, at trade shows, conventions, shopping malls, wine festivals, street festivals, holiday festivals, agricultural festivals, balloon races, local fund-raisers, and other similar events approved by the Commission.

Now substitute "brewery" for "winery." Think this would fly? It might...if the North Carolina beer industry actually looked into it. Meanwhile, the NC wine producers -- by tying in agriculture, tourism, and political know-how -- has paved the way for state wineries to sell direct to the public for a mere $200. Kudos to them, and I mean that sincerely.

The Moore Square Farmers Market wants to include NC breweries as well. However, there's no legal provision to allow this. Thankfully, the good people at the NC Wine and Grape Council are looking into ways the state's breweries can share booth space or otherwise get invovled...but it's only because they believe in the greater good of advocating NC-produced beer and wine.

It's time for the best beer state in the South to grow up. Get focused. And fight for the rights NC wine producers have championed for themselves.

Stay tuned. A new cause may be emerging, and you may see some changes with our mission and focus. Balloon races and craft beer in 2008!

Yours for better beer,

Sean Wilson, President
Pop The Cap: North Carolinians for Specialty Beer

This announcement, sent on 4/1/07, was an April Fools Joke:

Pop The Cap does not advocate mixing craft beer and lawn darts. Gin and tonics are much more thematic and appropriate for the sport.


Creative Loafing is kickin' some butt with the Charlotte Beer Week! They're in the midst of eight (nine?) straight days of beer events and festivities. It's impressive, to say the least. Highlights of the remaining events:

Tonight (Monday, April 16)!

Beer Run Bar Tour
We'll board a brew bus and take a 5 hour bar tour that will travel Charlotte to sample fine beers at the most complicated of tap rooms and beer tender's in town. We want to take you to the bars that are making an impact on the Charlotte craft scene.

Brawley's Hop Rod Blind Tasting
SOLD OUT. Check with Brawley's about tickets at the store.
Michael Brawley of Brawley's Beverage has had this one up his sleeve for a while. We will be taking over the upper deck and lower deck of the familiar Moosehead Bar and Grill. The tasting will include a blindfold taste test times two. You taste the brews, give them a grade and we'll crown a winner. Blindfold tastings require you to trust your palate and not your eyes.

Tuesday, April 17

Inaugural Brewers Cruise
A limited number of 70 tickets will be released for this hop head sunset run around the lake. Boat, Serious Beer, Friends yeah, exactly... The weather will be warming up, the brewers are working on special brews for the boat and we will have presentations that can't be missed. .

Wednesday, April 18

Gravity Head Mini Fest
Since the introduction of higher ABV/high gravity beers in the Charlotte market last year, 95% of the beer drinkers have been confused. This event will offer select pourings and education on the new high grav additions in Charlotte and help you navigate the crowd.



Announcing Hop Culture -- a new feature, for as long as I can find content for it. Which may mean this is the only time I run it.

Each month, we'll take a look at popular culture and its attitude toward craft beer. Fresh! celebrates the best of the famous: stars who respect better beer and deserve a little recognition. Skunky highlights pop culture turdlets who don't know what they're talking about.

Surprisingly, it's easier to find skunky stars than fresh. Know a fresh or skunky? Pass it along to Pop The Cap!




Abraham Benrubi.

Annabeth Gish.

Abaraham Benrubi is a star of ABC's Men in Trees. He's also starred ER, Dark Angel, and The X-Files. Perhaps most importantly, Benrubi began his career as "Really Big Kid" in Season 1 of Growing Pains.

Benrubi is a partner in Brugge Brasserie, a Belgian gastropub and brewery in downtown Indianapolis.

The intimate eatery specializes in mussels and fries, handcrafted Belgian-style ales, crepes and mitraillettes (Belgian-style sandwiches). Fresh!

Hurts me to do this, but I've got to pick on a fellow Dookie...Annabeth Gish. Here's an excerpt from her recent Esquire short, "Ten Things You Don't Know About Women:"

6. Drink milk from a glass and beer from a bottle. (For better beer-drinking tips, observe carefully the sexy two-finger hold used by Jeff Bridges in Against All Odds.)

Thanks for the lesson, Annabeth. First you ask me to hold a bottle of beer like a baby suckles milk. Then you tell me to model my beer drinking after this guy? In the spirit of Phil Collins, take a good look at me now! I'm drinking my beer out of a glass. Skunky.



Looks like another great time at the upcoming Hickory Hops festival! It's
this Saturday, the 21st, in (get ready for this insight) Hickory, North Carolina. Based on the Hickory Hops website, I can't tell if the beer list is current or if you can still get $5 off admission for ordering tickets online. But check it out for yourself, and enjoy.

Hickory Hops web site



Pop The Cap is not involved in the upcoming Raleigh World Beer Festival. We hope to have a role in the fall Durham fesitval.

A good number of you are asking PTC about volunteering for the Raleigh version. Please contact volunteer coordinator Ellen Fragola of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. Last I heard, she's still looking for volunteers. It's a fun and easy way to help out...and for you to get one of those sought-after tickets.



The good folks at Natty Greene's are now brewing off-site and plan to bottle their offerings very soon! The team is currently running test batches on a 20 hectoliter German brewhouse and should be bottling by July 4th. Expect public tours, a tasting room, new offerings, and some fun events.

Keep up with the progress on the Natty's web site.




2007 Pop The Cap: North Carolinians for Specialty Beer.