Raleigh, N.C. — The Triangle is a large area and has a growing share of craft breweries. Which bars and taverns go above and beyond to show their support for great local craft beer?
The NCBeerGuys traveled about, checking out the local watering holes to find who put in that extra effort serving North Carolina craft beer.
We had to set some standards – brew pubs and pubs affiliated with breweries were not included; the NC craft beer they serve had to go beyond the local standards you find in supermarkets; and the establishment had to make an effort to promote their support of local craft beer. There are plenty of great establishments, but here are our Five Faves:
Village Draft House - Located in the Cameron Village Shopping Center in Raleigh, this beer-friendly restaurant boasts 40 NC craft beers! The dark wood interior, plush seating and wall-filled memorabilia make the environment an easy one to chill out in and enjoy the fine beer offerings.
World of Beer at North Hills in Raleigh (check out the one in Charlotte also!) - A bar that goes above and beyond. Last year, they went down to the Charlotte breweries and brought back kegs for the beer enthusiasts of the Triangle to enjoy. Very few establishments outside of Charlotte get to experience Charlotte-produced beers so it's a big treat when WoB steps up and does that! A great sports atmosphere with a diverse collection of NC beers – can't beat that!
Tyler's Tap Room (Raleigh, Apex, Carrboro, Durham) - All four locations have serious beer menus and readily point out and promote their support for NC beers. The atmosphere in all locations is great and each one offers a unique atmosphere from the other so go explore all four.
Brewmasters Bar & Grill - Located at the “entrance” of the Warehouse district in Raleigh, on the corner of Dawson St. and W. Martin St., another establishment that sets a high benchmark when it comes to pouring a diverse collection of NC beers. To even step it up an notch, they truly have local beer on Wednesday's when they host local homebrewers and their brew for a good cause.
Tobacco Road (Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh) - Sports bars and then some! They've got a great variety of NC craft beer from all over the state and always have at least a dozen at any given time. Their wall of sports-filled monitors is something to behold and the location of the Durham bar in left field of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park is amazing.
We have to acknowledge an honorable mention to the list and that's the area bottle shops. Where else can you sit down for a pint, maybe experience a tap takeover from a brewery and then be able to walk out with a bottle or growler of a beer you just tried or something new?
What bars and taverns do you know that meet the challenge of seriously promoting the fine craft beers produced across North Carolina?
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.