Hops Festival Brings Brewers and Beer Fans to Downtown Hickory - myfoxcarolinas.com

Hops Festival Brings Brewers and Beer Fans to Downtown Hickory

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Hickory, NC - The 12th annual Hickory Hops Festival brought nearly 2500 people to downtown Hickory this weekend.

“We celebrate the beer scene and beer culture, particularly in North Carolina,” said Steven Lyerly, one of Hickory Hops Festival organizers. “As there are about 100 craft brewers now in North Carolina and you’ll find about 50-some at this one festival.”

The festival is popular with beer lovers and with brewers.

“The majority of the tables are being served by brewers or people from the brewery because they want to educate the consumer,” said Lyerly.

Dieter Kuhn of Heinzelmännchen Brewery, said, “It’s one of the better beer festivals in the southeast, actually. The crowd is multi-generational, dimensional but they all love good beer.”

North Carolina breweries, from as far east as Wilmington and as far west as Sylva, and a few others from outside the state were present and doling out samples to eager consumers. According to Lyerly, festivalgoers are largely from from outside the region.

“Historically, better than 60 percent of the tickets that were purchased for Hickory Hops, people drive in from great than three hours away,” he said.

Hickory Hops Fest organizers closely monitor the economic impact of the event each year. While the 2014 numbers are not yet available, Hickory Downtown Development Association Executive Director Connie Kincaid said last year’s festival had a $330,000 economic impact on the Catawba County city. The number is based on ticket sales and hotel reservations.

For more information, visit http://www.hickoryhops.com.
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