Hop on Highway 70 and head North out of Raleigh for about 10 miles until you begin to see the landmark signs for the Angus Barn. There, nestled between old automobile shops and industrial warehouse buildings, you will find the LoneRider Brewing Company. There aren’t any signs, gimmicks, or flashy advertisements. This place is an office, brewery, and bottling plant, plain and simple.
If the bay door on the loading dock is open, you can walk right in to the brewery from there. As you enter the facility, they have a nice little bar set up where you can purchase samples of their fresh brew for a modest price ($3 a pint last time I was there), but if you ask a lineman for a gratis sample, they will most likely oblige. Don’t bother asking for a brewery tour just yet though, the demand for their product has grown faster than their ability to expand so space is a commodity in the main brewery area. If you are really interested in learning about the operation, anyone standing around the tasting room can give you an ear full.
We were able to get a special tour from the good people at LoneRider with a Groupon that we purchased. Mihir, the company’s CFO, took our group behind the scenes to show us where they brew, ferment, and bottle their beer. We trekked through canyons of beer kegs and pallets of 12-packs to witness the elegant operation. To finish the tour off, we enjoyed a freshly bottled Peacemaker west coast pale ale while Mihir gave us some insight to LoneRider’s expansion strategy.
Overall, I would give this tour two thumbs up! The facility is unique, the beer is nothing short of amazing, and the people are very proud to be a part of the process. Until they expand their operation to allow for regular tours again, I highly recommend a trip out to the unique tasting room.