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BA75Destinations .pdf


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Illustration by Sam Brewster

BEER DESTINATIONS

BY WIN BASSETT

Raleigh
When beer
enthusiasts hear
“North Carolina”
these days, they
probably think
“Asheville,” the
country’s reigning
BeerCity USA
(along with Grand
Rapids, Mich., this
year), according to
Charlie Papazian.

42 Beeradvocate

But only barely behind the mountain town in its
number of breweries inside the city limits, the more
urban capital city of Raleigh plays host to a vast
array of quality beer bars, specialty bottle shops and
down-home homebrew stores that also belong on
any serious beer lover’s itinerary when visiting the
Tar Heel State.
Raleigh stands as one of the three legs that make
up the “Research Triangle,” along with its neighbors,
Durham and Chapel Hill. As part of the home to
major research universities North Carolina State
University, Duke and the University of North CarolinaChapel Hill, Raleigh has one of the highest concentrations of PhD’s per capita in the world.
Most of Raleigh’s prime places to grab a proper pint
lie within a 5-mile radius of downtown, which has
seen tremendous development in the past decade,
starting with The Saucer, which broke craft beer
ground in Raleigh in 2000. Recently, the beer commu-

nity has grown even faster in the second largest city
in North Carolina, with three bottle shops opening
in the past two years, a handful of new beer-focused
eateries and three new breweries set to open in the
first half of 2013.
Raleigh may not have the mountain culture or
drum circles of Asheville, but the Southern city that
boasts biotechnology centers and
backyard chicken coops, metropolWin Bassett is a
itan contemporary art museums,
freelance writer and
editor, and serves
and scenic running and biking
as secretary of the
trails, provides a setting for every
North American
Guild of Beer Writers.
type of beer lover. From awardHe is also executive
winning upscale restaurants with
director of the North
cellar-reserve beer lists to small
Carolina Brewers
Guild and is based in
breweries with outdoor patios
Raleigh, N.C.
and live bluegrass bands, Raleigh
easily holds its own as a don’tmiss East Coast beer destination.
> next page

Big Boss
Brewing Co.
1249 Wicker Drive
bigbossbrewing.com

Don’t be fooled by Big
Boss’ location a few miles
outside of downtown in
a nondescript industrial
park. With its dark wood
paneling, worn couches
and airplane memorabilia,
the brewery’s taproom is
a fun, comfortable space
to enjoy Big Boss’ Germanand Belgian-leaning
year-round and seasonal
beers on draft, along with
weekly cask specials and
idling food trucks to feed
the masses. [3.77]

Bottle Revolution
4025 Lake Boone Trail, #105
bottlerevolution.com

Just over a year old,
Bottle Revolution solved
the desperate need for
a bottle shop to service
the outside-the-Beltline
crowd of Raleigh. Choose
from an impressive selection of North Carolinabrewed beer, or mix your
own six-pack with beers
from around the world.
You can even enjoy a pint
from the four in-store
taps while perusing
the rows of handmade
wooden shelving. [4.71]

Busy Bee Cafe
225 S. Wilmington Street
busybeeraleigh.com

Eighteen draft lines, a cask
engine and a rather long
bottle list make Busy Bee
Cafe in downtown Raleigh
one of the best beer spots
in the state. Sunday beer
brunches that include
its famous “crack tots”—
tater tots tossed in herbs,
white truffle oil and
Parmesan, topped with
cheesy scrambled eggs—
along with monthly beer
dinners that often feature

44 Beeradvocate

the brewers themselves,
make the beer geeks drool
even more. [4.26]

Lonerider
Brewing Co.
8816 Gulf Court, #100
loneriderbeer.com

One of the few North
Carolina breweries to earn
two recent GABF medals,
Lonerider is located on the
outskirts of the city near
the quickly growing Brier
Creek section of town. The
brewery opened its new
outdoor tasting area this
past winter, and along with
its popular Sweet Josie
Brown Ale and Shotgun
Betty Hefe on draft,
Lonerider has a weekly
“Tap with No Name” release of a small or one-off
batch of beer. [3.92]

Natty Greene’s Pub
& Brewing Co.
505 W. Jones Street
nattygreenes.com

Founded in Greensboro,
Natty Greene’s is one of
the state’s oldest and
best-known brewpubs.
The Raleigh location
opened in March of
2010, and both locations
brought in a new brewing
staff and a revamped food
menu in the past year.
Twelve of Natty’s brews
are always on tap, including seven beers from their
Pubcraft line, a series of
creative beers brewed
exclusively at the Raleigh
location. [4.03]

Raleigh Brewing Co.
3709 Neil Street
raleighbrewingcompany.com

The section of
Hillsborough Street
that runs from North
Carolina State University
to the all-girls Meredith
College is popular with
the college crowd, but

has always seen a dearth
of quality beer. Raleigh
Brewing, which fired up
its 20-barrel brewhouse
this month (March 2013),
has come to the rescue.
Grab one of its six debut
beers, including a Rye IPA,
Scottish Ale and English
Bitter. The brewery’s
homebrew shop, Atlantic
Brew Supply, is also just
next door.

Tasty Beverage Co.
327 W. Davie Street, #106
tastybeverageco.com

Prior to Tasty Beverage
openings its doors in
August of 2011, the closest
thing to a dedicated beer
store in Raleigh was an
old gas station-turnedbeer, wine and grocery
store. Needless to say,
the city welcomed this
long-awaited bottle shop,
located in the historic
downtown Depot District.
Its “Trappist Tuesdays” and
Thursday tastings from
the six-tap in-store lineup
make this shop extremely
popular among Raleigh’s
downtown crowd and
creative class. [4.85]

Trophy Brewing Co.
827 W. Morgan Street
trophybrewing.com

The latest project from
the partners of Busy Bee
Cafe, Trophy Brewing is
a 3-barrel nanobrewery
and downtown Raleigh’s
newest brewery to open.
The nano more than
makes up for its lack
of space with exciting
offerings like their Iron
Man Simcoe Double IPA,
Slingshot Coffee Porter
made with locally coldbrewed coffee, and a rum
barrel-aged Scotch Ale.
Look for an outdoor patio
and pizza to come soon.
[3.96]

The Flying Saucer
Draught Emporium

Tyler’s Restaurant
& Taproom

328 W. Morgan Street
beerknurd.com/stores/
raleigh

18 Seaboard Avenue, #150
tylerstaproom.com

Eighty-one tap handles
and a 250-bottle beer list
speak for themselves. The
Raleigh location of the
multi-tap chain based in
Dallas was one of the first
businesses to introduce
craft beer to the City of
Oaks, and it hasn’t lost its
touch in the past decade.
Weekly rare beer specials
for “knurds” in its U.F.O.
Club and one of the best
outdoor patios in Raleigh
consistently draw a diverse crowd—from novice
drinkers to the geeks.
Drink 200 different beers,
and you’ll earn a plate on
the wall. [4.23]

The Raleigh
Times Bar
14 E. Hargett Street
raleightimesbar.com

Then-presidentialcandidate Barack Obama
visited the packed Raleigh
Times for a pint of Pabst
Blue Ribbon in 2008, and
the downtown restaurant
and bar hasn’t lost its
hipster cred since. Housed
in the 100-year-old former
building of The Raleigh
Times newspaper, Stone’s
“Most Arrogant Bar”
winner of 2011 is known
for its shrimp burger and
guacamole, along with its
extensive Belgian bottle
list and of course, its $2
PBR special. [3.98]

The latest and largest of
Tyler’s four Triangle-area
locations, the Raleigh
restaurant and bar commands 80 taps and a
13,000-square-foot space.
Painted murals of North
Carolina brewery logos
adorn the exposed-brick
walls, and the food
menu includes a bowl
of popcorn topped with
Parmesan and bacon
crumbles. Don’t miss the
annual Raleigh Rare and
Vintage Beer Tasting, one
of the best beer festivals
in the Southeast, hosted
at this location. [3.53]

World of Beer
4208 Six Forks Road
wobusa.com

The Florida-based chain
opened its first franchise
outside of the Sunshine
State in Raleigh in 2011.
The bar, located in the
North Hills area about 5
miles from downtown,
boasts 50 beers on draft
and close to 500 more
in bottles. Live music
and a large crowd from
North Raleigh comprise
the atmosphere at World
of Beer, and don’t be
surprised if you run into
a Carolina Hurricanes
hockey player after a
game on the weekends.
[4.13]

Does your town have a
burgeoning beer scene you’d
like to see profiled here?
Let us know at
editorial@beeradvocate.com.
[Each venue’s Beerfly or beer
average rating is noted in
brackets under each listing.]


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