The North Carolina Governor’s Inaugural Ball, scheduled to take place Jan. 7, after Sidebar went to press, is traditionally a celebration not just of politicians, but of the charms of the Old North State itself. In keeping up with the times, the frills planned for this year’s ball included a delightful innovation—a biergarten spotlighting 11 of the state’s craft breweries.
Among the local potables on tap for the local notables were tipples from Koi Pond Brewing, which counts two attorneys, Matt and Deborah Sperati, among its four founding partners. Koi Pond began pouring in 2014 and is based in Nash County, home of new governor Roy Cooper. In October it took first place in the fruit beer category in the annual N.C. Brewer’s Cup.
The Inaugural Ball is planned and presented every four years by the Junior League of Raleigh.
“They reached out to us and invited us to participate, and we were obviously honored and thrilled to do that,” said Deborah, a partner in the financial services section at Poyner Spruill who also chairs the firm’s brewery, winery and distillery law group. “I was particularly excited to see they were using this opportunity to showcase the North Carolina craft brewing industry, and I believe that’s a source of pride for people across the state.”
Sperati’s law practice should have no shortage of work for the next four years, and beyond—craft breweries are rising up like yeast across the state. So too are craft distilleries, in case the Junior League is looking for ideas for 2020.