Beer 511

Exploring Craft Beer and Homebrew in Peru (Country Code 51) and the USA (Country Code 1)

Category: North Carolina

Raleigh, NC: House of Hops

Another nice beer spot I enjoyed in North Carolina is House of Hops Craft and Draft tap house and bottle shop in Raleigh.

I happened upon it purely by chance: as I was slowing for an intersection I noticed its streetside sign out of the corner of my eye.  Without a second thought, I turned around at the intersection and made my way to its door, and boy am I glad I did.

The place has a friendly, comfortable vibe, with a bar and multiple taps, along with couches and a welcoming attitude to both kids and dogs.  Ronna, who was on duty at the time, was really warm and welcoming, and gladly pointed us to local beer offerings on draft that we might like.

The bottle shop selection –both, refrigerated and on the shelves– can conservatively described as wide and varied. Everthing is clearly labeled with brewery, provenance and price, and for a traveler from the West Coast, such as me,offered many new discoveries, ranging from breweries I did not know to brews from known breweries which were not distributed out here.

Susana and I drooled over the selections and but were only able to enjoy a half pour of beer before moving on to downtown Raleigh and our ultimate destination at the Raleigh Beer Garden.

We did stop at House of Hops on the way back to load up on a few choice bottles to take home and enjoy later.

House of Hops
6909 Glenwood Ave #100
Raleigh, NC 27612

Chapel Hill, NC: Carolina Brewery

At the beginning of the month I had the chance to travel to North Carolina and to visit several beer spots in the “Triangle” while there.  The first of these was the Carolina Brewery in downtown Chapel Hill.

I had spotted the brewery on Franklin Street, Chape Hill’s main street, on my way out of town, and so headed straight there when I was done that afternoon. I had spent the morning touring an old plantation’s historic buildings, and the weather was warm and sunny.  Thus, I was in need of some lunch and a good beer while I waited to meet up with my daughter.

The Carolina Brewery has two locations, this one in Chapel Hill, and a second one in Pittsboro, NC. The Chapel Hill brewpub, which opened in 1995 and currently has about a seventy barrel capacity, is the original and remains the flagship, even though the Pittsboro facility is able to produce a bit more beer.

One nice aspect of the Chapel Hill brewpub is that the kettles and fermenters are right there, in front of the customers, just on the other side of the bar, and not separated by glass as in so many other places.  This means that one can drink a pint while admiring the beautiful Czech-made copper and brass kettles, and  listening to the CO2 bubbling from the fermenters’ blow-off tubes.

The beers are good, too. I particularly enjoyed the Baltic Anomaly porter (7.7% ABV), which is brewed with Saaz and Fuggle hops (33 IBU), and the Flagship IPA, made with Chinook and Cascade hops (5.9% ABV, 66 IBU).

When I was there, I was able to taste their Triple S lager straight from the fermenter, as it was being filtered and transferred into the serving tanks in the basement for lagering until its release in May.  Of course it was flat, and a bit warm, but I could tell that it was going to be a danged tasty beer when it was done.

Carolina Brewery and Grill
460 W. Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

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