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A Guide to the Top Breweries in the Triangle

The Raleigh Durham Metro area has seen an explosion in breweries opening over the last 15 years. Breweries are a great place to relax, try a new brew, indulge in a yummy snack from a food truck and hear live music. Below is a list of some of the best breweries in the Triangle. 

Lonerider Brewing Company

Lonerider opened to the public in Raleigh in 2009 and has since opened additional locations in Wake Forest, the Five Points neighborhood near downtown Raleigh, and another one is planned for Durham later this year. Lonerider has a portfolio of award-winning beers, including the crowd favorite Shotgun Betty, and has recently added a gluten-free hard seltzer to their menu. 

Aviator Brewing Company Inc.

Starting in an airplane hanger in 2008, Aviator Brewing Company now operates in Fuquay-Varina. There are plans for an additional expanded brewery with a full kitchen in the works. They offer a wide variety of beers, including their Devil’s Tramping Ground Tripel. 

Fullsteam Brewery

A Durham farmers’ market favorite, Fullsteam Brewery’s mission is to craft “a Southern Beer Economy” and use all local ingredients in their beer. They specialize in true–to–style classics, hazy IPA’s, fruited kettle sours and mixed-culture foraged beers from the farm’s edge.

White Street Brewing Company   

Located in historic downtown Wake Forest, White Street Brewing Company opened in 2012 to service the residents in the immediate community and enhance the downtown district. The beer selection is varied and the majority of brews change seasonally. 

Raleigh Brewing Company

Did you know that Raleigh Brewing Company owner Kristie Nystedt is the first woman in North Carolina to own a brewery? Their mission is to embrace the City of Oaks through their beer selection. Their most well-known brew Hell Yes Ma’am is widely distributed in just about every grocery store in the Triangle. There is an extensive selection of staple beers and seasonals, and you can usually grab some grub from one of the local food trucks. 

Big Boss Brewing Company

One of the more senior breweries in the Triangle, Big Boss Brewing is well-known for its Bad Penny Brown Ale. They specialize in ales, IPAs, lagers, and feature other varieties on a seasonal basis. Their beers are barrel-aged and they are continuing to grow their offerings while expanding their distribution network.

Deep River Brewing Company

Located in Clayton, Deep River Brewing Company is the first legal brewery in Johnston County. They use locally grown products in their beer whenever possible, for example in their famous Mango Tango Foxtrot IPA. The taproom is a great place to relax on a warm day and take in some snacks from a food truck.

Trophy Brewing Company

Trophy Brewing Company is an integral part of the community in downtown Raleigh, with two locations in close proximity to each other. Best known for their session IPA Trophy Wife, they carry an additional 80+ styles between the two locations. Every Thanksgiving, Trophy Brewing hosts a 10K run through Dorothea Dix Park, with a beer waiting for participants at the finish line. Another location is scheduled to open soon on S. Wilmington Street. 

Carolina Brewing Company

Started by Seattle transplants in 1995, Carolina Brewing Company built their brand around their first and best-selling beer, Carolina Pale Ale. Located in Holly Springs, they focus their attention on IPA’s, stouts, a brown ale and a pale ale, while also offering a seasonal beer on tap. 

Bombshell Beer Company

In 2020, USA Today named Bombshell Beer Company one of the top 10 breweries and distilleries with women at the helm. Owners Michelle, Ellen and Jackie have set out on a mission to prove that craft beer is not just for the guys. Their brews are made to be easy drinking ales and lagers, while also experimenting with new styles and flavors. 

Bond Brothers Beer Company  

Bond Brothers Beer Company is located in downtown Cary and has a tremendous footprint in the town. Known for their robust sours menu, they also offer an internship program to promote inclusivity in the beer industry, a massive patio, a regular schedule of food trucks, live music and much more!

Gizmo Brew Works

The original brewery is nestled in the Umstead Industrial Park in northwest Raleigh with mechanics, trucking companies and construction supply vendors, however, once you arrive, the brewery is spacious with a great outdoor seating area. In 2019, the Chapel Hill location opened. Known for a wide variety of fruit-forward brews and their flavorful stouts, Gizmo’s offers a wide variety of beers to please anyone’s taste. 

Crank Arm Brewing Co.   

This cycling-themed brewery is located in the heart of the entertainment district in downtown Raleigh. Featuring a wide variety of ales and lagers, Crank Arm Brewing also has a bike race team that competes in a wide variety of different cycling competitions. 

Clouds Brewing  

Enjoy German-inspired lagers and ales at this family-friendly brewery. The taproom in Raleigh has a play area inside for children, which was originally set up for the owner’s young daughter. Enjoy their beers at one of their three locations- the Raleigh taproom, and their restaurants in downtown Raleigh or Durham. 

Nickelpoint Brewing Co.

Located in the Five Points neighborhood in Raleigh, Nickelpoint Brewing Company focuses on creating innovative, new beers. They take pride in their careful production process every step of the way. Their beers on tap are a combination of old-world classical brews and interesting brews with a different take on a classic style. 

Compass Rose Brewery  

Located in northeast Raleigh, Compass Rose Brewery is known for both its wide range of beer styles from around the world, as well as its trivia nights.  They also carry brews from other local breweries in their gigantic taproom and the long tables ensure plenty of room for everyone to grab a chair. 

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