RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA
At a light industrial section just north of downtown in a maroon brick building (with yellow insignia), RALEIGH BREWING COMPANY opened March 9, 2013. Run by married co-owners Kristie and Patrick Nystedt, the friendly noir-like beer joint served well-rounded American, British, Belgian, Scottish and Czech styled fare from its dank maroon-walled high-ceiling tasting room on my June ’13 summer sojourn.
Since future renovations seem imminent, its worth noting the spacious cement-floored pub area can easily be expanded to the gigantic back-spaced brewing room. For now, Atlantic Brewing Supply Company runs the left space while a narrow outdoor porch and parking lot benches provide extra drinking spots.
Settling at the trusty tasting room bar (featuring white bell-shaped light fixtures, exposed pipes, 10 bar stools, 10 tables and 4 dartboards), blonde bartender, Rachel, serves eight 6-ounce samplers as MGMT’s hook-filled “Kids” plays in the backround this sunny afternoon.
As a soft-toned sessionable opener, City Of Blokes English Bitter proves to be a durable English pub ale with its dry-honeyed toasted nuttiness, serene hop-spiced pale malting and earth-toned vegetal fungi snip.
Also light and crisp, Uncommon Curiosity Lager brought grassy-hopped cereal graining to dry citric-vegetal tones. Dryer still, Moravian Rhapsody Czech Pils gathered citric-hopped pale malts for vegetal squash, asparagus and celery pungency.
These easygoing libations led the way for more complex fare. Pilsner-malted Hell Yes Mam Belgian Golden offered honey-spiced Belgian candi-sugaring to ripe banana, apricot and pear fruiting. Scott’s Petit Saison plied black-peppered herbage to rotted orange juicing.
Arguably the best offering, House Of Clay Rye IPA saturated dry-hopped rye toasting with grapefruit-peeled dessicated orange bittering and dark floral-spiced pineapple, mango, kiwi and passion fruit tropicalia.
Seductive Blatherskite Scottish Ale may’ve topped all previous servings as well. Its caramel-honeyed toffee malts, cereal grained sugaring and ripe fruiting seemed sweeter and more enjoyable stylistically.
On the dark side, finely detailed Hidden Pipe Porter rounded up dark-roasted chocolate malts, coffee-roasted cappuccino creaminess and sugared molasses to elevate tertiary black cherry, blackberry and black grape notions.
An appealing freestyle microbrewery with rangy fare and ambitious determination, Raleigh Brewing represents the beer-centric North Carolina capitol quite well.