Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bluegrass, craft beer highlight Saturday festival

The Steep Canyon Rangers have gone from rising stars on the bluegrass music scene to internationally renowned for their work with banjo picking comedian Steve Martin both as his backing band on tour and (with 2011's "Rare Bird Alert") on record. The Western North Carolina-based band returns to its home state Saturday to headline the Second Annual NC Brewers and Music Festival at Historic Rural Hill in Huntersville.

The music lineup isn't entirely bluegrass, but all acts share a base in Americana and roots music. The lineup, which includes a mix of regional and national acts, consists of Big Something, Old Man Markley, Larry Keel, Sol Driven Train, the Black Lilies, Steep Canyon Rangers, and the Ryan Montbleau Band. Music runs from noon to 10 p.m. in that order.

Over twenty breweries are represented including Asheville's Highland Brewing Company, Farmville's Duck-Rabbit Brewery, Raleigh's Big Boss Brewing Company, and locals Four Friends Brewing, NoDa Brewing Company, Bird Song Brewing Co., Kind Beers, and Triple C Brewing. Free tasting sessions begin at 12:45 p.m. and run until 4:15 p.m.

There are a variety of ticket options if you don't want to partake in the tasting or can't block out an entire day for the event. Advanced tasting and music tickets are $30. That price rises to $35 at the gate. Tickets for non-drinkers, designated drivers and those ages 13-18 are $20. Evening only tickets (no tasting) are $15. Children ages 5-12 are $7. Camping options are also available with $10 tent passes and $25 for pop-up campers and pick-ups. RV camping is $35.

For more information on the NC Brewers and Music Festival go to www.ncbrewsmusic.com.