Archives for category: Beer

White Street Brewing Company seasonal aleBy Leigh Hines

It may be cold outside, but these Greater Raleigh seasonal brews are sure to keep you warm this winter. Gather with friends at the breweries where these beers are made and celebrate the tastes of the season.

FrostNipper, Aviator Brewing Company
A collection of fall spices. The beer is a bit darker than brown ale. There is a combination of Perle and Willamette hops that provides a contrasting intensity with the fall spices.

Holly Daze Holiday Ale, Bombshell Beer Company
This spiced holiday ale showcases ginger, cinnamon and sweet orange peel on the front. It finishes with subtle chocolate notes from the Carafa2 grain and spice notes from the Pacific Jade hops.

Midnight Brüe, Brüeprint Brewing Company
This seasonal stout will keep you warm with hints of coffee, chocolate and fruit.

Carolina Winter Porter, Carolina Brewing Company
This winter porter is a black ale brewed in the style of a robust American porter. It’s a balance of roasted malt flavor from black and chocolate malts combined with hop bitterness and citrus-like hop aroma from Cascade hops.

The Miller’s Toll Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Raleigh Brewing Company
This winter beer brewed with roasted coffee, chocolate and highlights of rich caramel is on tap at the brewery through Mar.

White Street Stout, White Street Brewing Company
This winter seasonal from Wake Forest is brewed with notes of mocha to the U.K. export style: opaque and hearty, but not overpowering.

Red Nose Winter Ale, Natty Greene’s Pub & Brewing
The brewery starts with a classic American red ale and adds fresh ginger, orange peel and cinnamon. Like the winter season, it’s festive, warm-hearted, companionable and meant to be shared with your favorite folks.

Click through for a list of Greater Raleigh breweries, a Greater Raleigh Beer Trail map and more.

Follow Leigh Hines on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit her blog here: HinesSightBlog

Cary, North Carolina, is home to Greater Raleigh’s first T.MAC restaurant. The popular Atlanta-founded restaurant, famous for its Buffalo-style wings and extensive craft beer selection, opened for business in Cary’s Waverly Place in Oct.

Restaurants in Greater Raleigh, Craft Beer, Wings, Burgers in Raleigh The craft beer selection at T.MAC is massive to say the least. The restaurant has 100 beers on tap, with a huge selection of Greater Raleigh brews.

Craft Beers on tap in Greater Raleigh, T.MAC. sports bars in Greater RaleighThe entire back wall is lined with beer taps. I also give the restaurant praise for its organization of its beer menu. It’s easy to read, and you can easily find N.C. brews at one glance.

100 beers on tap at T.MAC, beer places in Raleigh,  Restaurants in Greater Raleigh T.MAC is essentially a family-friendly, modern-day sports bar. There are 80 TVs in the place, and no matter where you sit, you have a good view of the telly.

The restaurant has a prestigious reputation for its authentic buffalo wings and homemade sauces, such as hickory honey BBQ and fiery chili citrus. Chefs make nine sauces in house, and I even had the hickory honey BBQ sauce on a burger with bacon, which was outstanding. T.MAC also serves roasted wings and boneless wings for the calorie-conscious and the lazy eaters like me. With boneless wings there is no working hard for your food, while roasted wings have 100 fewer calories per wing than their original culinary counterparts.

T.MAC serves wings in Greater Raleigh, places to  have wings in Raleigh, NCT.MAC prides itself on fresh and natural ingredients, and serves only hormone-free chicken and beef. I attended a media preview lunch and sampled a variety of items, and also dined with my family another night, when I devoured two helpings of chips and salsa. The chips at T.MAC are certainly addicting.

places to eat in Greater Raleigh, T.MAC in Raleigh, Desserts are simple at T.MAC, but decadent with the caramel apple cake and S’mores brownie.

Young diners have a choice of several items under $4.95 that include a juice box or other beverage and Oreo cookies. Another sparkling twist is flavored Dasani water, available in eight flavors.

T.MAC is open daily, and it also offers outdoor seating that may be a little more quiet for conversation. Located in Waverly Place at 309 Colonades Way in Cary.

See you there!

Follow Leigh Hines on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit her blog here: HinesSightBlog

photoThe fall season is well upon us, and pumpkin beers are out and about this month! They celebrate the spirit of the season, and we pinpointed two Greater Raleigh craft breweries that are offering pumpkin-infused brews. Visit the breweries and taste these delicious beers!

Big Boss Brewing Company‘s Harvest Time Pumpkin Ale: “Goes great with: zombie rituals, vampire hunting and walks in a graveyard… after midnight.” A subtly-spiced fall ale brewed with real pumpkin and with the brewery’s own proprietary blend of spices. Available through Oct. in bottles and draft. ABV: 4.5 percent/IBU: 16.

10628323_10152436215532879_161550620909830716_nCrank Arm Brewing‘s Pumptrack Pumpkin Porter: Made with North Carolina-grown pumpkins, Crank Arm Brewing offers this tasty porter coming in at 21 IBU. Enjoy a pint at the brewery in downtown Raleigh while you sit on the patio and take in the cool, fall air. ABV: 5.2 percent.

10383560_967817173235437_5073017733717519367_nEnjoy, and cheers to the fall!

For a list of all Greater Raleigh breweries, the Greater Raleigh Beer Trail map and more, check out!

Photo credit: Harvest Time Pumpkin Ale: Big Boss Brewing Company; Pumptrack Pumpkin Porter: Crank Arm Brewing.

BREW Coffee Bar is one of the newest gathering spots for people to enjoy some of Greater Raleigh’s best local brews: hot brews and cold brews. It’s kind of like a match made in heaven, really. Beer and coffee, two of my favorite things, served together in one cool, urban space at Seaboard Station in downtown Raleigh.

BREW Coffee Bar Raleigh

It’s also ironic that two of the owners responsible for bringing these social drinks together are wedding photographers. Apparently, they know a good match when they see one.

Each month, BREW Coffee Bar will feature two draft beers from a local brewery and will also feature a guest coffee roaster with Raleigh Coffee Company, currently serving as a main supplier for its coffee drinks.

Brew Downtown Raleigh Coffee

Because BREW Coffee Bar has a draft beer tap, this coffee bar is also able to serve a nitro-cold brew that pours like a Guinness beer. It’s smooth. It’s so good that it doesn’t even need a sweetener, and this story is written by someone who has to have both cream and sugar in her coffee.

BREW Nitro Cold Brew

BREW Coffee Bar is the dream of two couples who are also longtime friends. Mike and Cindy Sholar and A.J. and Cynthia Viola developed their business plan around three things they adore: coffee, beer and people. Mike and A.J. founded the Raleigh Coffee Club together years ago, and their passion for high-quality, local coffee sparked the newly-opened BREW Coffee Bar.

BREW interior

“We asked each other what we loved most and what we’d like to see more of in our lives. Hands down the three things that stood out the most were coffee, beer and people,” said A.J. Viola as he prepared me a gorgeous cappuccino. “From that moment, we decided we wanted to create a space where those three could interact and thrive.”

BREW Downtown Raleigh2

A.J.’s wife, Cynthia, is the baker, and if you go to the bar and cannot find an Italian Amaretti cookie in-house then it is because I went before you and bought them all. They are light, sweet and, oh, so good. I bet you can’t eat just one.

BREW Sweets

BREW Coffee Bar also offers pastries, macaroons, bruschetta and some salty savories that also pair well with beer.

BREW Coffee Bar is open daily. Visit its Facebook page for its hours. Parking is free and plentiful. Located at 111 Seaboard Ave., Ste. 116.

BREW Coffee Bar

See you there!

Follow Leigh Hines on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or visit her blog here:HinesSightBlog

Craft Public House_EntranceCraft Public House is definitely one of a kind, and its spin on offering fresh, local ingredients paired with the best of craft brews is fueling its recipe for success in Greater Raleigh.

I tried Craft Public House for the first time this month, and my only regret is that I didn’t try the restaurant sooner. I’m now making up for lost time and have dined at the restaurant located off Tryon Rd., near the Cary Crossroads Plaza area, two times in two weeks.

Each time I dine here, I fall more in love with the menu. To me, it’s comfort food at its simplest. Owner Brian Cordileone likes to describe his restaurant as Cary’s first farm-fresh sports bar. He has partnered with several local farms to give his restaurant a fresh spin on serving casual dining at an affordable price point.

Craft Public House PretzelThe house pretzel bread is a restaurant specialty, and it’s delicious. My kids went wild over this entrée. Diners can also choose to have their burgers served on a pretzel bun as well. You can find anything on the menu here from fresh salads to gourmet pizzas to pub favorites like Shepherd’s Pie and fish and chips.

Craft Public House MenuOn my first visit, I tried the blackened salmon salad. It was outstanding, if you love salads. But sometimes I just love to order yummy comfort food that usually isn’t very skimpy on the calories. For my second visit, I ordered the personal-size BBQ chicken pizza with a N.C. seasonal brew, Pumpkin Pie Porter. I had enough to take home for lunch the next day, but the pizza was so good that I almost ate the entire thing in one sitting.

Craft Public House BeersYes, I love my N.C. seasonal beers, but Craft Public House also serves wine and house-crafted cocktails. The Elderflower Martini caught my eye. It is made with my favorite N.C.-made organic gin, St. Germain, basil-infused simple syrup and fresh lemon juice.

Craft Public House Outdoor SeatingCraft Public House has indoor and outdoor seating, and also features live music seasonally. It is family-friendly and has a good children’s menu, including fresh chicken tenders made to order.

See you around the neighborhood.

Craft Public House_LeighCraft Public House is located in Tryon Village Shopping Center, 1040 Tryon Village Dr. in Cary.

Follow Leigh Hines on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, or visit her blog here: HinesSightBlog.

20140809_155551Surviving the first year is a big accomplishment for small businesses, and breweries are no exception. And Crank Arm Brewing went all out with its celebration on Aug. 9.

20140809_135542Hundreds of people attended to show their appreciation for one of Raleigh’s breweries.

20140809_145532“I can’t believe it’s already been a year!” owner Adam Eckhardt exclaimed. “It’s gone by so quickly. It’s raining like [crazy] out here and there are three hundred people here in the rain. There are kids jumping around in the bouncy house getting soaked and it’s pretty amazing.”

Yep. A Disney bouncy house.

20140809_145812This family-friendly event was a hit. The Pit, Dump Pho King and Bulkogi Korean BBQ food trucks were on-site. Donatos Pizza, Brewmasters Bar and Grill and The Fiction Kitchen sat at tables to sell their wares. Crank Arm Brewing set up two satellite bars to ensure faster service. 919 Beer, a local group of craft beer enthusiasts, made an appearance to promote its Beericana festival on Sept. 18.

20140809_145740And live music reigned for ten hours.

Crank Arm Brewing spared no expense in bringing together some of Raleigh’s greatest talent. Six stellar local bands took the stage in a collaborative effort to incite attendees to get down and party.

Raleigh-based Crucial Fiya kicked off the music barrage at 1pm with their special blend of reggae, rock and pop.

20140809_135737Hot on their heels, the aptly named Trouble followed with some snarling Southern rock. Trouble features members of Donna the Buffalo and The Blue Rags.

20140809_152145Batting third was Tonk, out of Raleigh, playing, of course, classic country honky-tonk.

The Backsliders, fresh off their first record release in more than 15 years, played fourth. Featuring local legends Chip Robinson and Steve Howell, the band adds some rock ‘n’ roll sleaze to country tunes.

Acoustic Manner followed. A spin-off of famed Americana band Barefoot Manner, this incarnation plays frenetic bluegrass tunes with a variety of stringed instruments.

20140809_201407Blanko Basnet headlined. Blanko Basnet is the solo project of Joe Hall, who fronts the well-known indie rock band Hammer No More The Fingers. His signature intense vocals and explosive guitar riffs permeate his side project, a perfect close to the high-energy dance-a-thon put on by one of Raleigh’s favorite breweries.

20140809_204415Hats off to Crank Arm Brewing for its contribution to Raleigh’s music lore. Crank Arm Brewing threw a party of such magnitude that it rivaled the excellence of their beer, no easy feat for brewmaster Mike Morris and his widely acclaimed brews. Keep an eye on Crank Arm Brewing for future live music events and brew events!

It’s almost the Fourth of July and Greater Raleigh’s breweries are celebrating with special beer releases. So, hurry to the breweries and let’s celebrate!

Carolina Brewing Company brews a small batch of something special every year to celebrate its anniversary. This weekend, Carolina Brewing Company will be celebrating its July 3 anniversary at 42nd St. Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill by releasing the Imperial IPA. This N.C. beer is hopped in the kettle with Columbus, Magnum and Cascade hops and then dry-hopped with more of the same and an added dose of Centennial hops. You can expect a citrus, pine, floral and herbal aroma and taste from the hops. There is just enough malt character to hold it all together. This is a limited release beer and for the first time will also be available in bottles. It is 9.1 percent ABV and 95 IBU.

Over in Holly Springs, Bombshell Beer Company is doing “Four Firkins for the Fourth.” Visit the taproom to enjoy four unique beers. The Patriot Blue IPA is one of the offerings, which includes its Lost My Way IPA on local, farm sourced blueberries. The Firecracker Pilsner will certainly kick off your Fourth of July with “Red Hots” infused into its Polished Pilsner. The third N.C. beer offering is the Cracker Jack Ball Game Porter, which is Bombshell Beer Company’s Pick-up Line Porter infused with caramel and Nutella. Lastly, the Sons of Liberty Stout will be offered, which is its “Sweet” coconut stout dry hopped with Sorachi Ace hops and vanilla bean infusion.

Gizmo Brew Works will celebrate the Fourth of July weekend by releasing a truly unique brew. Gizmo partnered with Dr. Anne Madden at to produce a new version of The Palisade Wasp IPA, one brewed not with the standard Cali. ale yeast, but with an entirely new strain never before used in production brewing.

Dr. Madden’s doctoral research at Tufts University focused on the microbes associated with paper wasps. From the body of a paper wasp, she isolated a wild yeast strain that just happened to love maltose. Dr. Madden cultured the new yeast strain and sent it to Gizmo Brew Works, where it incorporated it into its flagship IPA. This special release of The Palisade Wasp IPA really will be a wasp IPA! Nicknamed the “Wild Wasp,” this one-of-a-kind brew maintains the crisp sting associated with Gizmo’s IPA but is enhanced by the orangey sour tang imparted by the wild wasp yeast. The “Wild Wasp” will be available for a limited run at Gizmo’s taproom beginning July 5. Select draft accounts in Greater Raleigh will also carry the new brew.

Natty Greene’s Pub & Brewing is excited to release its Freedom American IPA on the Fourth of July. It will be available July through Oct. in bottles and draft. Freedom is Natty Greene’s all-American IPA. Big and bold, it’s all about the hops. Natty Greene’s use a lot of hops in every stage of the brewing process, starting with the mash and lautering, all the way through to dry-hopping. Natty Greene’s also has re-designed all of its beer packaging, so Freedom will have a new label and six-pack for this release.

Freedom IPACheers to the Fourth of July! Enjoy a cold N.C. beer and have fun this holiday.

It’s officially summertime in North Carolina! If you’re looking for the perfect spot to cool off with great food and beer, pay a visit to Boylan Bridge Brewpub.

Since 1997, architect Andrew Leager has operated a cabinet shop located in the lower floors of the building that houses Boylan Bridge Brewpub. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys brewing his own beer, which is why he took on the operation of a brewpub. Boylan Bridge Brewpub brews fresh N.C. beer directly on-site. During your visit, make sure to check out the brewing operation, which is visible from the indoor bar.

I highly suggest grabbing a pitcher or pint of beer while sitting on the outdoor patio. The patio overlooks a beautiful view of the downtown Raleigh skyline, which is an amazing sight to see, especially if you’re visiting Raleigh for the first time. I enjoying lounging on the patio during the evening because the skyline seems to sparkle at night.

IMG_7428Boylan Bridge Brewpub has a variety of N.C. beers. From the Hopped Off the Tracks IPA to the Pullman Porter, there is a beer style for every palate. One of my favorite beers to enjoy during the warm summer months is the Endless Summer Ale. This light-colored English summer ale has bright hop flavors with a strong yeast presence reminiscent of wheat beers. It’s perfect to sip on during a hot summer day in Raleigh.

10172707_10152299078299367_1865083646_nAlong with beer, Boylan Bridge Brewpub also offers a full menu. One of my favorite experiences at Boylan Bridge Brewpub is ordering a pitcher of beer along with a few appetizers. If you go with a big group of friends you can easily polish off a pitcher and appetizers ranging from the Choo-Choo Chicken Wings to the Hand Car Nachos. There are also a variety of entrees available and I highly recommend the Cannonball Run, an angus short rib burger, with lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese, served on a toasted bun.

There’s something for every Foodie and craft N.C. beer lover at Boylan Bridge Brewpub. Make sure to check out this brewery located in the heart of Raleigh with beautiful views of the skyline.

One of my favorite things about visiting Greater Raleigh breweries is learning more about the local food truck scene. Most breweries have a unique food truck offering during the week and on weekends. I paid a visit to Big Boss Brewing Company last weekend to try one of its newest N.C. brews, paired alongside a taco from Sol Tacos.

Big Boss Brewing Company recently released Tail Wind, an American IPA at 4.5-percent ABV. Tail Wind is a session beer, which means this beer will be easy to drink all summer long. Light in color with a perfect amount of hops, this beer was the perfect choice to pair with some delicious tacos.

Sol Tacos is one of the newest food trucks to the Greater Raleigh scene. It’s hard to miss this lime green truck and Chef Andy Schuamann’s mohawk. Andy was previously a chef at Vivace and decided to follow his dream of opening a food truck. Sol Tacos is committed to using local ingredients whenever possible and offers gourmet Southern tacos, served on freshly pressed tortilla shells.

Photo Credit: Sol Tacos

Photo Credit: Sol Tacos

I tried just about everything on the menu at Sol Tacos. Luckily, I had a few friends to help me devour all of the delicious food. My favorite taco was the buttermilk fried flounder. The fish was crispy and topped with cilantro sour cream, lettuce and a pickled radish salad.

20140603-102058-37258633.jpgI also enjoyed the chicken “nachos” taco and the beer braised pulled pork taco. Depending on what brewery Sol Tacos is visiting, Chef Anthony will braise the pork in that particular brewery’s beer. Both options were full of flavor and my friends and I were arguing over who would get the last bite!

20140603-102100-37260611.jpgNext time you’re looking for something fun to do in Greater Raleigh, pay a visit to a local brewery and scope out a new food truck. Your taste buds will thank you!


Draft Line Brewing is one of Greater Raleigh’s newest craft N.C. breweries, opening in Fuquay-Varina this June. Draft Line Brewing was founded by Scott Palmieri and Scott Wood, who both share a passion for great beer. They started as homebrewers several years ago, brewing five-gallon increments in Scott Palmieri’s home kitchen. Their beer became quite the hit and soon morphed into a microbrewery.

IMG_0473On a recent trip to Fuquay-Varina, I had the opportunity to peek into the brewery and sample a few beers before the opening. The facility is located in the heart of historic Fuquay-Varina in an old warehouse. The facility is large, which sets the brewery up for expansion in the future.

Jamie McMillan is the head brewer of Draft Line Brewing and has some interesting craft beers soon to hit the N.C. beer scene this summer. Jamie has a wide range of brewing experience, which includes past roles at Raleigh Brewing Company and Aviator Brewing Company.

IMG_0478During my trip to Draft Line Brewing, I sampled four of its N.C. beers. The IPA was my favorite, with a lot of dry hopping and clean flavor. If you like hoppy beers, Draft Line Brewing’s IPA is definitely the right beer for you. I also enjoyed the Scottish Strong Ale, which is a full-bodied beer with a great malty flavor. I am looking forward to trying other beers from Draft Line Brewing, too. For instance, the British Porter is sure to be one of my go-to beers year-round. This robust porter will have hints of chocolate and nut flavors, which I imagine will also pair nicely with desserts!

Follow Draft Line Brewing on Facebook and Twitter. Plus, check out its website for more information!

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