We’re Bellhops – the modern alternative to standard moving companies in Raleigh, and we are on a search for the best beer in the country. Today, we’re zooming in on this corner of the North Carolina Triangle. Raleigh has recently started pumping out some great beer, and its 25+ breweries’ open barstools were calling out for us to explore the beer scene and give you a thorough review.
In our search, we found an array of awesome spots, including chill sports bars, hipster brew hubs, pup-and-family-friendly beer gardens, and one of our favorite restaurant-brewery hybrids of all time. It looks like academia isn’t the only thing Raleigh’s been researching.
Check out the list below for Bellhops’ guide to the 7 best breweries in Raleigh (plus a few honorable mentions).
If you love the spicey rich notes of a Belgian beer, than Neuse River should be your first stop in your Raleigh beer tour. They boil up Belgian stouts, tripels, wheat, and brown ales in addition to several IPAs and kettle sours. The taproom is open and roomy with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating – a typical industrial renovation space in a garage – with thoughtful rustic decor, hand-crafted tables, and an herb garden outside.
Bring your kids. Bring the dog. And expect a food truck to be parked in the lot. If you stop by on Thursdays from 5-10pm, you’ll get your tasty draft for just $3. Once you’ve tasted around NRBR’s menu, you’re perfectly set up to crawl on to Sub Noir, Nickelpoint, Big Boss, and Lynnwood, Raleigh breweries all located within a mile of Neuse River.
Bond Brothers, stationed a few miles outside Raleigh in Cary, brews up an awesome assortment of beers from a variety of styles including ales, lagers, and sours. They have a robust Run Club that meets every Tuesday. And to pump those endorphins up even more, this club ends their weekly jog with a brew or two on the patio.
Bond Brothers is spacious, comfortable, and welcoming with massive garage doors flooding light into their taproom and plenty of outdoor seating. The patio is often full of friendly patrons with their families and furry pets relaxing and enjoying a heat-beating brew.
Try this: Duality of Funk
While we’re suckers for the now-popular industrial-rehab brewery stuck in a warehouse, complete with Edison bulbs, cement floors, and garage doors, we are smitten with Brewery Bhavana and its change of scenery. One of the first Laotian restaurants in the country, Brewery Bhavana was opened by a brother and sister with a vision of generosity and community. The space simmers with the sincerity of its owners who highlight the beauty of their cuisine and culture as well as the Raleigh community they now call home.
Brewery Bhavana includes a flower shop and book store, but its shining star is the cuisine and drink. Their dim sum restaurant features incredible boundary-stretching dishes (like their Scallion Pancakes with bone marrow, coconut-soy, and oxtail jam) that show reverence for and honors the technique and artistry of Lao tradition. And with beers that each encapsulate a memory of or valued destination to the brewer, this Raleigh gem has gained attention as one of the top restaurants in the country.
Try this: Till
Trophy Brewing spreads its goodness from three locations in Raleigh. The brewery and taproom catch customers wanting to enjoy a beer while lounging with their pup on the patio. The Tap + Table serves southern-inspired dishes alongside their delicious craft brews all from their rooftop deck. And the Brewing + Pizza hub, as locals know, is where it all started. Simple but creative, this portion of Trophy Brewing makes the best pizza in the state.
Try this: Dr. Octavius
Clouds Brewing took over the space previously occupied by Napper Tandy’s Irish pub. And they’ve definitely made it their own. The taproom is open and bright with a rustic-modern feel and tons of seating along the stretching bar and dining room.
While you can drink your fill of great beer here (from over 40 rotating taps) and watch the game from one of the many flat-screens throughout the taproom, Clouds makes sure that you know they’re more than just a beer menu. A warning: their mouthwatering menu of street tacos, chicken and waffles, burgers, sandwiches, pretzels, and craft cocktails might tack a few more dollars onto your bill.
Try this: Precipitation
This cozy European-style hub has an old-world feel and specializes in brewing English beers.
While Fortnight doesn’t serve their own food, you’ll always find a food truck in the lot or vendor selling tasty meals inside the taproom. Cary and Raleigh locals pack this place out on weekends and evenings, but there’s plenty of seating inside and throughout their dog-friendly patio. After a few brews, try a sample of Tribucha Kombucha that Fortnight offers on tap!
Try this: Pendragon Porter
Lynwood has become Raleigh’s hoppy king of the hill. And it’s the first pick for patrons looking to watch a game, sip an IPA, and munch on some good ol’ American grub. They’re the classic hangout spot and boast of a full bar, rooftop patio, trivia nights, beer garden, and lots of pizza.
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