The 2012 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Brew in the Triangle went to Carolina Brewing Company, and it’s easy to see why! This company, which took home a whopping 32% of the votes, has some of the most delicious and unique beers the Triangle has to offer. We’re getting ahead of ourselves though; let’s back up to when the company first got its start in 1992. Back then, it was the brainchild of brothers John and Greg Shuck, who were brewing beer in their basements! When friends and family complimented their concoctions, the siblings decided to start their own brewery. Though local to Seattle, the pair decided that the East was par for the course. There wasn’t much competition in the area at the time, and Raleigh seemed like the perfect place to get things going. Everything just zoomed ahead from there, and now the brewery is one of the most well-known in the Triangle, offering a wide range of original beers and giving jam-packed free tours every weekend!
Classic favorites include the Carolina Pale Ale, the Carolina India Pale Ale, and the Carolina Nut Brown Ale. The first is an amber colored, American style beer carefully crafted from three varieties of hops. It’s the perfect mix of bitterness, aroma, and hops taste, and it works well with any meal or just as an indulgence in itself. For those who prefer more hops and a higher alcohol content, the Carolina India Pale Ale is a great choice! Brewed with caramel, cara-pils malts, Cascade, and Crystal hops, you can’t go wrong with this delectable treat. The Carolina nut Brown Ale is a dark brown, medium-bodied ale with a flavor you won’t forget. It’s a mix of chocolate, toasted malt, and the perfect, dry nut-like taste.
True aficionados of the brewery know that there are also four seasonal beers, available only in bottles at the brewery. For Spring, there’s the fresh and playful Carolina Spring Bock. In the summer, relax by the pool and cool down with Carolina Summer Wheat. Celebrate the crisp, seasonal air of Fall with a Carolina Oktoberfest Lager, and get all goaded up in winter with the rich Carolina Winter Porter.
There are even a few special beers offered by the brewery as well. These include Anniversary Beers, which are released on July 3rd each year, and mark the brewery’s beginnings. Past offerings include an Imperial IPA, and this year a Belgian Trippel is in the works! There are also Groundhog Day beers to celebrate everyone’s favorite holiday—this year’s offering was a Dunkelweizen! Special holiday beers get released around Thanksgiving and, last year, included a Barleywine at Thanksgiving and a Wiggo! Ale for Christmas.
With so many awesome choices, strong ties to the community, and just being an all-around fun and high quality company, it’s obvious why the Triangle’s readers would vote Carolina Brewing Company as “Best Brew in the Triangle.” Congratulations, guys! You deserve it!