Raleigh, N.C. — What better way to celebrate the end of NC Beer Month by planning a brewery tour? Brewery tours allow you to get out there and see who is behind the local craft beer you enjoy as well as what it takes to bring all that pleasure to your drinking! All tours educate you about equipment and the brewing process as well as offer samples of their beers. Each tour guide showed an incredible enthusiasm and passion for where they work and the beers they produce. We thought we'd list our Five Favorite North Carolina Brewery tours in the Triangle area and point out the unique features of each tour. Remember our motto, Drink Local and Keep Your Beer Dollars in North Carolina.
Carolina Brewing Company (Holly Springs) – They are one of the elders of North Carolina breweries. The tour is a great lesson on the mechanics of the brewing process. From grain delivery all the way to bottling, if you want to learn how your beer is made, this tour with fill you with a lot of knowledge.
Bull City Burger and Brewery (Durham) – This tour focuses on the history, ingredients and a tasting appreciation of beer. Starting from the basic ingredients, you're given raw samples of malts to try – did you know a dark roasted grain has a strong chocolate flavor and a lighter one has a bready sweetness? This is followed by a lesson on how to drink beer in order to get the most from the aroma and flavor.
Mystery Brewing Company (Hillsborough) – This tour explores the business side of a brewery. Recently celebrating their one-year anniversary, they explain what it takes to get a brewery started and it's a true eye-opener! Since they don't produce core flagship beers, every season's tour offers new information about the current beers they're producing.
Fullsteam Brewery (Durham) – Fullsteam's emphasis is the heavy use and support of North Carolina agriculture. When you're shown what goes into making their Sweet Potato Carver, your appreciation of that beer skyrockets! This tour is only available through Beltline Brew Tours.
Lonerider Brewing Company (Raleigh) – This tour is an experience in presentation energy. The tour starts in their new taproom patio and then you are guided through a facility with a huge beer output for North Carolina. Our tour guide, Skyler, was full of energy and really engaged the audience, balancing on rails and barrels while describing the equipment and process.
Just when you think that one brew tour is just like another you can do a new one and be totally impressed by how different it is from any other. If you've done one, do another and then another. Brewery tours are about engaging the beer enthusiasts, accommodating not only newbies but veteran craft beer enthusiasts and home brewers alike. Always check with the breweries for the times they offer tours.
Have you had a great brewery tour? Isn't it time you did?
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.