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Just 7 weeks in, Brewery Bhavana is looking toward growth

Posted May 26

Brewery Bhavana has only been open for seven weeks, but it's already got a full head of steam(ed buns).

If you haven't heard yet, the new downtown Raleigh restaurant-slash-brewery serves Belgian-style beers with Chinese dim sum. When it opened at the end of March, it hit the ground running with a smattering of both.

"We got the ability, which we were very fortunate (to get), to ramp up production earlier than the restaurant opened," co-founder and head brewer Patrick Woodson said on the 919 Beer podcast. "So ... we had 17 beers on tap when we opened."

Brewery Bhavana

The opening-night beers were thanks to their 15-barrel production facility that's just down the street from the restaurant at 218 S. Blount St. The extra elbow room gave Woodson and head brewer Brent Steffan about four months to brew before customers started knocking down the doors.

"It allows us the ability to grow our production and not be bottlenecked by space like most brewpubs are," Woodson said.

The brewery has 150 wine barrels and four foeders—large, wooden barrels typically used in wine and Belgian beer production—working to keep the beer flowing. Some of their regular beers include Till, a light and tangy farmhouse ale, and Glean, a mango peppercorn saison.

Another beer on the horizon is a 13-percent rosé beer modeled off a northern Italian rosé wine. Woodson described it as a "light, tart, champagne, effervescent" beer.

Coming soon, though, Steffan said those wine barrels and foeders will be put to a different use: sour beer.

"As a brewer, we get more control over that final product, as far as blending goes, and just what we add to those beers to make them sour," Steffan said. "That's definitely where we want to go, while still pumping out clean beers."

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Get the inside track on all things beer in the Triangle and North Carolina from the 919 Beer blog.