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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington’s new convention center is supposed to be a home for all sorts of events. But it won’t be the home of the Cape Fear Beer Fest scheduled for next month.

According to the festivals web site, the event has been postponed because of a liquor permit problem. It says the state Alcohol Beverage Control Commission notified organizers that the convention center’s liquor permit does not allow for a beer festival.

The Cape Fear Beer Fest originally scheduled for June 18 was supposed to feature more than 60 kinds of international beers along with live music. But according to the festival’s Facebook page and website the event has been postponed saying, “Although we are contracted with the convention center, the legal department of the North Carolina ABC has notified us that the convention center liquor permit does not allow for a beer festival under the terms that were specified in our mutual agreement.”

We reached out to Beer Fest organizer John Horton numerous times today to find out more about the mutual agreement, but we were told by text message to refer to the statement on the website. Horton added that bumps in the road happen in business.

In an e-mail later. Horton explained that the permitting would have to shift from the Wilmington Convention Center to the show promoter.

According to the ABC the event would involve ticket sales that would allow a ticket holder access to beer vendors. This kind of arrangement requires a special, one-time permit and the participation of a non-profit organization requesting the permit. The ABC said the current agreement would be a so-called “happy hour” violation of the convention center’s retail permits. The breweries would also need special prior approval from the a-b-c commission to participate.

We tried to learn more about the specifics about the permit confusion, but the convention center only refereed us to the e-mail sent out by the festival’s promoter.

Organizers say the cape fear beer fest has now been moved to September 17 hopefully at the convention center.


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