Tag Archives: RALEIGH NC




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.




 Image result for trophy brewing
In a small red brick-topped shopping mall anchored by Food Mart (and just one-half mile from the center of town), Raleigh’s TROPHY BREWING COMPANY was established in 2012. Besides selling a terrific revolving varietal of brews crafted at its tiny backroom 3-barrel nano system, Trophy’s excellent pizzas have become locally renowned as well.
Visiting this small two-room pub with family in tow during June ’13, I get readied to try four worthy brews at the cramped 6-table patio space (with folding doors allowing for warm weather outside acess). An open kitchen keeps busy behind the small left side bar area that fills up with North Carolina State hipsters, local businessmen and families for dinnertime while a torrential storm hits town.
Efficiently run by owners Chris Powers and David Lockwood and head brewer Les Stewart, Trophy’s tap handles pour three Belgian styled offerings and one increasingly popular German knockoff this rainy evening.
Ultra dry Participant Berliner Weiss glazed its salty coriander spicing with light crystal malt creaming, making for a nifty sour wheat moderation.
Citric-dried Quiz Wiz Wit brought spritzy orange-peeled coriander spicing to white-peppered mandarin-clementine briskness and lemon-honeyed banana tartness.
Grassy perfumed hops and Belgian candi sugaring laced Best Of Show Citra Saison, a light citric-embittered medium body with lemon-pitted yellow grapefruit rind tang contrasting banana-bruised pineapple tartness.
Though lacking specific Belgian yeast influence, Biggest Flirt Belgian IPA let its dry resin-hopped floral spicing sedate soft-focus grapefruit, pineapple and peach tropicalia with impressive results.
Equally impressive were the gourmet pizzas, such as Most Outgoing (tomato-sauced arugula and mozzarella-cheesed caramelized onions, mushrooms and brie), The Daredevil (fire-roasted tomato-sauced jalapeno and caramelized onions and chili peppered salami), Farmers Market (basil, pesto, tomato, kale, spinach, squash, asparagus and red onions), Most Loyal (herb-roasted chicken with mozzarella, onion, basil and pesto) and Local Celebrity (mozzarella and ricotta-cheesed sopresseta, kale, mushroom and, asparagus).


Tasty Beverage Company « Raleigh Warehouse District the 3 block walk!
Down in North Carolina, a new trend of beer stores have emerged. Like Bottle Mixx to the north, Raleigh’s TASTY BEVERAGE COMPANY allows customers to sample some of their wares on site while perusing 1,000 different bottled and canned beers shelved neatly across the one-room interior. 
Opened 2011 and visited June ’13, Tasty Beverage is located near the railroad tracks in a red-bricked green-trimmed mini-mall one-half mile from Boylan Bridge Brewery. An elongated dock allows patrons to drink samples outside the place.
On tap this Friday evening were Epic Straight Up Saison, Epic Hop Syndrome, Sweetwater 16th Anniversary Ale, Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout and Flying Dog Raging Bitch IPA.
I bought several local brews by Aviator, Big Boss, Bison, Duck-Rabbit, Foothills, Mother Earth, Olde Hickory and Natty Greene’s for consumption at beautiful Sunset Beach for a week long trip.


Bottle Shop BottleMixx Will Be Renamed TheMixx in New Location


In the Brennan Shopping Mall on Creedmoor Road in a pristine one-room space, BOTTLE MIXX opened in 2012. Upon my June ’13 sojourn, owner Bruce McKim invited me to the rear tasting section to sample Deep River Double Don Watermelon Lager while I loaded the front counter with local bottled-canned beers to go.
Microbrews by Appalachian, Bottle Tree, Duck-Rabbit, Finch, Fire Mountain, Olde Hickory,Crazy Mountain, Golden Wing, No-Li, Second Wind, Sunny Haze, Tank 7 and Triangle filled my van for summer vacation.


  The Raleigh Connoisseur (June 1, 2009) - BeerCon: Boylan Bridge


The City of Oaks’ and its smaller neighboring industrial municipality, Durham, house North Carolina State and Duke, while the more affluent, less populated, Chapel Hill, is home to University of North Carolina. After visiting N.C. State campus and middling local brewpub GREENSHIELDS, July ‘03 (closed ’07), stopped by fabulous Super 7 Even, one of the finest beer stores in the country at that time (located in Exxon station at 6901 Louisburg Road), finding cornucopia of Highland, Carolina, Charleston, Cottonwood, Pipkin, and Dogwood brews. Soon after, North Carolina’s microbrew revolution happened.

Leading the way for Raleigh’s current brewpub explosion in 2008, BOYLAN BRIDGE BREWING COMPANY became popular a few years before hard-nosed competitors Lonerider, Trophy, Big Boss and Raleigh Brewing came to fruition. Up a hill across the railroad tracks overlooking Oak City’s skyline in a rustic beige brick building, this yellow wood furnished cafe-styled pub brings brusque blue collar fare to hard working locals.

Besides the hand crafted beer, perhaps the most outstanding feature of Boylan Bridge is the large side deck with red-white umbrellas – a comfortable outdoor station boasting the most picturesque view of downtown.

During the start of a June ’13 family trip, we ate Corn Tortilla Chipped Nachos while grabbing a few samplers from the glass-encased stainless steel brewtanks while sitting across from the cozy soffit-covered center bar next to framed poster art. Today’s blackboard beer list offers five in-house choices to go alongside Americana fare such as the Angus Burger, Philly Cheesesteak, BLT and Crab Cake Sandwich.

Sturdy flagship beer, Rail Pale Ale, gathered orange-peeled grapefruit bittering for prickly floral hop-spiced crisping, placing tangy peach-tangerine illusions down below.

Mild Endless Summer Ale brought corn syrupy lemon-grapefruit tartness to wood-dried hop spicing while maintaining a brisk carbolic spritz. Similarly pleasant, Autumn Amber Ale amplified its lemon-soured citric foundation with spicy perfume-hopped bittering.

On the dark side, caramel-malted Brown Ale left subtle coffee-oiled honey nut, butternut and praline illusions atop toffee candied soaping. A better bet, Pullman Porter, added molasses-smoked mocha malts and dried fruiting to coffee-roasted nuttiness, leaving a caramel-burnt sweetness on the back of the tongue.

Retaining stylistic integrity while expanding the loose guidelines on the bitter end just a tad, Boylan Bridge’s common fare makes fine crossover fodder for mainstream drinkers ready to take a bold step forward discovering the craft beer revolution.



Photo  Big Boss to increase production | Craft Beer Collective


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.



Surviving COVID-19: Lonerider Brewing Company — Triangle Around Town
More like a crazy-ass Confederate co-operative than a humble Carolina craft beer station, LONERIDER BREWING COMPANY make ‘Ales For Outlaws’ at its off-the-beaten-path Industrial outpost since January 23, 2009. In a chocolate brown aluminum warehouse with a glass-windowed tasting room sidling ‘The Hideout’ (a connected restaurant), Lonerider employs three owners, four brewers, two bottlers-keggers and at least three bartenders as of my June ’13 sojourn to Raleigh.
Utilizing the purest water source imaginable, this ever-expanding microbrewery delivers a wide range of crystalline ales for a thirsty local crowd that keeps ‘em busy. A few community tables and the 12-seat bar (with eight tap handles) gets crowded by the time I depart this Friday afternoon.
Betty the Bartender serves my wife and I the soft-focus German-styled summertime ale named after her first. Soothingly smoothShotgun Betty Hefeweizen lightened up the tongue with tangy hop-spiced lemon spritz, stylishly sweet banana-clove-bubblegum illusions and soda-breaded white wheat wisps.
Next up, wondrous Peacemaker Pale Ale brought caramelized apple, peach, pear, orange and pineapple fruiting to resinous floral-pined hop-spiced vegetal musk.
Sessionable True Britt English-style Pale Ale enhanced its light nuttiness and bready pale malting with subtle earthen hop bittering, retaining a mineral-grained dewiness to the finish.
Sweet Josie Brown Ale layered molasses-sapped toffee and dark-spiced black chocolate over walnut, hazelnut and Brazil nut in a truly definitive way.
White and black peppering spiced up The Preacher Saison, a fruity summer seasonal with lemon-dropped bruised orange, banana and tangerine tartness.
The darker offerings were just as fine. Mild dry-bodied dark lager, Mad Dock Weizenbock, married sweet cocoa malting to raisin-breaded fig, date and plum illusions, picking up cinnamon apple nuances along the way.
For dessert, tried the luscious Hangman Barleywine, a sugary caramel-chocolate malted full body withlingering Blackstrap molasses bittering, creamy vanilla sweetness and cherry-bruised candied apple tartness.