In celebration of NC Beer Month, the NCBeerGuys were asked to name their Five Favorite North Carolina craft beers. We haven't yet tried every beer crafted in the state but we have sampled more than our share and are happy to recommend some of our favorites that you might want to try. Remember our motto, "Drink Local and Keep Your Beer Dollars in North Carolina."
The Aviator Brewing Company down in Fuquay-Varina has a brew called the Devil’s Tramping Ground Tripel. It’s available now in 22 oz. bottles as well as on tap. It's a 9.2% ABV hearty Tripel Belgian Ale, golden in color with a fruity spice and a sweet finish. Glenn likes this beer a lot and has since the first time we toured that brewery and decided to try the devil’s brew. This is one beer that he finds really grows on you as you drink more of it. Try it for yourself and see if you agree.
Big Boss Brewing Company of Raleigh offers up the Blanco Diablo, a traditionally spiced wit, brewed up with orange peel, coriander and fermented with a Belgian wit yeast. It comes in at 4.5% ABV and is thirst quenching and perfect for summer in North Carolina. Glenn found this beer crisp, clean and a good session beer. You can easily chill out with this beer for hours. North Carolina native Charlie Daniels sang about that devil who went down to Georgia looking for a soul to steal. Well, that devil may have stopped off in North Carolina and live on as this Big Boss white devil in Raleigh.
Railhouse Brewery located in Aberdeen has an oatmeal stout called Mastiff. Like the large dog it's named after, you might as well call it massively good! This is one of the darker beers that we both regard very highly with our favorite beers. It's a light-bodied, full flavor beer that's smooth and silky yet not bitter. The flavor has a nice balanced mix of coffee, chocolate and roasted malts with a hint of creamy nuts. Coming in at a nice 6.5% ABV, a growler lasts a very short time when it's brought home and shared. If you can't find growlers of their beer on tap, it's well worth the trip to Aberdeen to get the beer as well as take a brew tour.
Triple C Brewing in Charlotte has two of Dave's favorites but the true leader is their “Up All Night” Breakfast Porter. This beer is a winter seasonal so unless you stock up, you have to wait to get your hands on it but it's worth it. Talk about a perfect pint of coffee, that's really a beer, and runs at a nice 10% ABV. The aroma entices you with smell of a rich cup of coffee and the flavor is true to the aroma. It's impressive that the high ABV doesn't reflect at all in the taste. This one goes above and beyond any coffee beers we've tried and we can't wait to get our hands on it again.
Lexington Avenue Brewery in Asheville has a Razberry Porter on nitro that serves as both a beer and a show. Dave got to experience and add this beer to his favorites on a weekend trip to Asheville.When they pour that rich, creamy beer, you watch as the gas, foam and beer build in the glass with an impressive display of motion beyond that of a regular beer. When it settles down, you're left with a dark brown beer that offers a mixture of roasted coffee with a raspberry backbone and an ABV of 5.7%. The aroma is very raspberry-like but the fruit flavor isn't overwhelming enough to make it a “dessert beer.” It has just enough to intrigue the palate and leave you wanting more. Once again, this one is a fall seasonal but patience is a virtue!
Our favorites might change tomorrow as we continue to expand our palette and drink great NC craft beer, but for now we'll go with these! We're sure you have your own favorite NC craft beer. What brewery is it from and what is the beer?
Dave Tollefsen and Glenn Cutler are regular guys living in central North Carolina with their families who share a love for craft beer and homebrewing. They work together as the NCBeerGuys, reviewing North Carolina craft beer, providing information about the folks who produce local beer and writing about and promoting beer adventures, activities and events across North Carolina.