Best time to go to North Carolina

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival in Cary 2024

A foodie's paradise in a suburb of Raleigh and 30 minutes drive from Durham

Dates: August 2-3, 2024

Cary's Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival is an annual celebration, gathering happy crowds at Koka Booth Amphitheatre for a savory weekend in early August. The festival's name pretty much speaks for itself—the main focus is eating and drinking. The menu features dozens of well-crafted brews, some of the finest bourbons, and BBQ galore, including roasted beasts and pulled pork. Meanwhile, live music can be really helpful if you wish to avoid a meat coma and shake it out.


While treating yourself to a glass of beer or bourbon, you'll have a chance to groove to some of the best blues and rock music in the area. The Tasting Theater stage hosts regular seminars with brewers and artisans, who share their expertise and cooking tips & tricks with the audience.

Visitors can observe fascinating exhibitions and displays, purchase souvenirs, and, of course, taste various brews and meats. If you're up for a challenge, stop by the Cochon Carnival area, which is filled to the brim with thrilling games like giant Jenga and cornhole.


The festivities run on Friday and Saturday. The festival kicks off at 6 pm, opening its door to the first visitors. The beer and barbecue extravaganza lasts until 10 pm, but the last drinks are poured out 15 minutes before closing.


The festival offers VIP and general admission options. The general admission ticket costs $45 and offers a tasting glass and sampling tickets. You can also buy a VIP admission ticket for $65, which gives you access to 2 extra hours of tasting on Saturday and a BBQ dinner platter on Friday.

Other Barbecue Festivals

Cary in North Carolina is actually one of eight US cities hosting annual Beer, Bourbon & BBQ events. North Carolina has two more similar festivals in Charlotte and Wilmington. Other destinations include Brooklyn, NY, Baltimore, MD, Atlanta, GA, Tampa, FL, and Centreville, VA. Back to Cary, the city is located 12 miles (19 km) of Raleigh and 27 miles (44 km) of Durham, so you've got plenty of options for your stay here.

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