Not to be confused with any other brewery brandishing the “Carolina” name, Carolina Brewing Company is one of the Triangle’s top breweries. Nestled in an industrial park off of the 55 bypass, this modest brewery supplies fresh, unadulterated beer to most of the restaurants and super markets in the Triangle area. Their motto “Brewers of Tasty Liquids” is not far from the absolute truth, and the omnipresence of their beer in any locally owned food and beverage business is proof of that. If you don’t see Carolina Brewing Company in your favorite area bar, I am sure they will add it if you just ask for it.
Their brewery tour is by far one of the best we have been on during Febrewary. Not only is the tour uber-informative, but they give you gratuitous samples of free beer the entire time you are there! No Groupon or drink ticket purchases are necessary at this tour. You just show your I.D., grab a glass, and head for the taps. Our advice: make sure you get a fresh pour right at 1:00 because they turn the taps off after then for about 30 minutes while the tour is taking place. Not to worry though, as soon as the tour is finished, they restart the flow of beer ASAP and happily fill your glasses back up!
During our tour, we were lucky enough to be led through the brewery by one of its owners, Joe. With his laid back, yet detailed oriented approach to brewing, Joe was able to tell us all about the brewing process and even a bit about the history behind their operation. His unique perspective and concise delivery made the tour a very unique and enjoyable experience. Happily answering any question, even at times when other brewers may decline to elaborate out of fear that they are exposing trade secrets, Joe walked us through the brewing process down to what strains of yeast he uses for various beers. We felt as if he was encouraging his audience to go back home and give micro-brewing a try for themselves!
The high level tour specifics are as follows:
- Tour begins at 1:00pm on every Saturday.
- Arrive a few minutes early so that you can acquire a full beer to enjoy during the 30 minute tour.
- No reservation or call ahead is required to participate in the Saturday tour.
- You gotta be 21+ and you can’t bring the kids.
- Location: 140 Thomas Mill Rd. Holly Springs, NC
When you arrive, you’ll walk through the small lobby area where they sell t-shirts, glasses, bottled beer, etc., and into a scene that resembles that of a large house party. Small groups of people will be found chatting, drinking, and enjoying themselves all around the brewery. One of our favorite things about this experience is that you get to peruse around the plant while socializing and drinking your cold beer samples with your new friends. For some, I imagine this doesn’t really make a difference, but we really enjoy getting to drink beer on location where they make the stuff! It is also pretty cool to be surrounded by about 30,000 gallons of CBC goodness and friendly people throughout the affair. The beer and overall tour experience are so authentic, you would think the tap lines were coming straight off of the fermenter tanks. Overall, it is awesome beer, a wonderful tour, and a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon!