RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
Located three miles northeast from downtown just inside the Raleigh beltline at a white warehouse facility, BIG BOSS BREWING COMPANY is one of the city’s largest microbrew operations as of my June ’13 visit. Established in 2006 by University of North Carolina grad Geoff Lamb and brewmaster Brad Wynn, this plentiful brewhouse makes five year-round offerings (Bad Penny Brown/ High Roller IPA/ Angry Angel Kolsh/ Blanco Diablo Wit/ Hell’s Belle Belgian Ale) plus a long lineup of seasonals and one-offs (reviewed in the Beer Index).
At the English tavern-styled taproom above the brewery, patrons seem intrigued by the retro-styled arcade game dispensing beers to winners on my initial stopover. A large blackboard beer list, several flat-screen TV’s, high-shelved collectible beer bottles, pool tables, ping pong and darts dot the entirety. A bottling plant for 6-packs and serving tanks readying kegs reside downstairs on the expansive first floor.
Not afraid to bend stylistic boundaries, Big Boss beers tend to gleefully test the limits. D’Icer Dunkelweizen renders sourdough wheat malting for lemon-dried plantain, vinous green grape and oaken cherry, leaving behind any stylized banana-browned sweetness.
Surprisingly, thick molasses sweetness coats the front end of Bad Penny Brown Ale, a hop-oiled sidestep placing coffee-soured black chocolate over expectant walnut bittering.