Beer Run: Carolina Brewing Company

My husband and I have taken up a new spring hobby: visiting breweries. There are so many in the Triangle area

carolina brewing company spring bock pint glass

carolina brewing company spring bock pint glass

now, and they’re producing interesting and delightful beers. And it’s a lot more fun than scrapbooking. This past Saturday, we started with one of the oldest local breweries, Carolina Brewing Company in Holly Springs, N.C. It’s been operating for 15 years.

I was astonished at the size of the crowd for the tasting and tour – there must have been at least 100 people packed in around the steel brewing vats. It was the first tasting after CBC’s release of its Spring Bock on March 5, and that’s probably what packed the room. There’s also a liberal definition of the word “tasting.” Unlike tastings I’ve had when visiting wineries, the staff hands you a pint glass and opens the taps.

We sampled the Spring Bock, a seasonal beer that the company will produce for only three months. A pale lager, it had a smooth, fresh flavor with no bitterness – and a 6.5 percent alcohol content. We also tasted the Pale Ale and Nut Brown Ale, which my husband thought was a little sweet. We both avoided the India Pale Ale because we’re not fans of heavily hopped beers (although I like a little more hops than he does). Why do IPAs have so much hop flavor? It’s in the beer’s history. Hops serve as a preservative as well as adding flavor, so when Britain sent beer to its outposts in India, more hops were used to keep it fresh.

We purchased some Spring Bock along with some of the remaining stock of my husband’s favorite, the Winter Porter, a roasty-tasting dark ale. Carolina Brewing Company sells its seasonal beers only at the brewery. For more about Carolina Brewing Company, visit here.

The folks at CBC said that the growth in local breweries has not affected sales, which have held steady even during the recession.

Watch this space for our next brewery visit. We’re too old to do more than one in an afternoon.

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