What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Female, veteran-owned brewery expands to Durham

Posted February 3, 2021 8:30 a.m. EST
Updated February 3, 2021 8:42 a.m. EST

Tobacco Wood Brewing Co. (Courtesy of Tobacco Wood Brewing Co.)

— North Carolina's first female and veteran-owned brewery is expanding to Durham.

Tobacco Wood Brewing Company plans to open a location this spring at Meridian Business Park in Durham. It will be their second location. The flagship pub opened in 2018 in an old furniture warehouse in the heart of downtown Oxford.

"We call ourselves low key here. Everybody is welcome. It's family friendly," owner Mara Shelton said on this week's WRAL Out and About Podcast. "We've got outdoor seating, so we're dog friendly."

The menu includes traditional pub food and barbecue-fusion.

"We are in a rural community. We're in a formerly dry county. They actually had to change the laws for us to be able to produce alcohol here," Shelton said. "Durham has all these things, so it's a destination already. You're already going there... it's such an opportunity."

Shelton said the Durham location will have more than the 15 taps available in Oxford. She is also looking to offer special small batch releases exclusive to the Bull City location.

Shelton and her husband, both veterans, have been living in North Carolina for 18 years. A random date night prompted them to get into the craft beer industry.

"He had a brilliant idea that date night would be super fun if we went to this home brewing class, which I thought was a terrible idea. It wasn't, it was really fun," Shelton said, noting they started home-brewing from there.

A family trip to England led them to explore opening their own brewery. The large community tables were appealing and sparked the couple to take the plunge.

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