Raleigh, N.C. — If you're looking to try something new to mark NC Beer Month, your local bottle shop is a great place to start. Here are some of my favorite places to drink in the knowledge.
My neighborhood fave is East Wake Wines & Craft Brew. This small, strip-mall stop is a labor of love for the owners, and the hours can be tricky (closed Sunday and Monday, never open late into the evening). But the expertise is evident in the personal service. Describe a label or a taste and have them steer you right to it or recommend something similar.
You may have seen ads for Bottle Revolution on Lake Boone Trail. They've invested in marketing and have strong ties to local brewers. These guys are dedicated to introducing craft brews to average drinkers to something new. You can join the beer-of-the-month club or even allow them to stock your cooler en route to an NC State tailgate.
Sam’s Quik Stop in Durham is the granddaddy of the Triangle beer scene, in business for more than 50 years. They are active in events, including the recent Bull City Food and Beer Experience, and sell at scale – kegs, cases – and have a selection that numbers into the thousands.
Tasty Beverage Company is Raleigh's nod to mass availability of microbrews. If they don't have your craving available immediately among the rotating tap choices or the chilled six packs, they can special order any beer distributed to North Carolina.
Don't be fooled by the name, Triangle Wine Company in Morrisville is a beer club. Sure, there are thousands of bottles of wine on the shelves, but that's a story for another day. What you need to know is these folks are committed to local products, including chocolates, coffees and bbq sauces that pair delightfully with the brews.
The store scene is so vast that it's worth the trip to RTP, whether your home bottle shop is a hidden gem like East Wake or a superstore like Sam's.
Where's your favorite bottle shop?