As some of you may know, I entered my Fat Bastard Barley Wine into a competition last year, The Piedmont Brewers Cup. It actually did fairly well, scoring 43 points out of a possible 50 total, and it took first in the strong ale category. I was not able to make it to the award ceremony they were holding but I figured I would get my feedback in the mail and see what the judges thought of it. I mean, this was my first, first place finish so I was excited!
After some time had passed and I had not heard back I figured I would email the runners of the competition and just ask if there were any problems or anything. I got in contact with John at that time and apparently some things went down and yada yada yada… I am sure you get the picture. Anyway, he moved onto another project. He started another competition and even began to open a brewery! The Raleigh Brewing Company. Their website says it was actually formed back in 2010 but really, what could be more exciting than that?! I knew I had to get up there. I just needed to figure out when it was going to be opening.
Lucky for me, they have a homebrew shop on site! The Atlantic Brew Supply. I figured I would go up there, pick up some supplies, find out about everything that is going on, and when I could come and try out all of their beers. Simple enough list, right? The supply shop is in a pretty big area and they have everything I could have thought to pick up. I wanted a little container of PBW and I was expecting the standard, biggest size we have 4lb container… They had an 8! I was not picking up a complicated amount of supplies or anything out of the ordinary but they had everything I was looking for and more. Very nicely sorted and staged. If you could not find something, you were not really looking.
After I had checked out I went around meeting the crew and got to talking with everybody that was there about pretty much everything. I had some heart felt moments with Patrik, a short chat about the brewery and the opening with the ever so busy John, I got some good advice on my Bavarian Wheat from Eddie, and talked about dogs with Alex. It was a pretty awesome time and at one point, John brought me out a sample of the official, very first beer of the company, The Raleigh UN-Common.
This beer was an experiment that went extremely well and has been called our “Gateway Beer”. If you aren’t sure what to drink or don’t like beers that are very rich in flavor, bitterness, or alcohol then our Raleigh UN-Common is for you! It’s very light in both color and flavor, finishes crisp, and is low in hop bitterness. However, there are still hints of cereal and toast to keep it interesting and it’s brewed with a lager yeast. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do! 4.5% ABV
The Un-Common was only about 40 hours post yeast pitch and John said that the beer had dropped about 10 gravity points from its 1.050 Original Gravity. John then told me that I was The Very First to have a sample of their production beer! I can totally say that I have been here since the beginning! Now if there were only an Untappd badge for that… I wish I snapped a picture of it as well hah!
At this time the beer was grainy, had a fairly nice body even though it was early in fermentation, and it was lemony on the finish. I can’t wait to try this one once it is done. It may very well end up being my first beer from them. That way I can see the change along the fermentation process.
I had a little bit of an ethical dilemma after I finished the beer. John had given it to me in a Raleigh Brewing Company glass and I wanted it! I drank the beer inside of the glass and I was thinking to myself, “Is this glass for me?” Haha! I really wanted it but I just left it there. I had already checked out, I was “on my way out”, I thought maybe I should have asked, or just picked one up since they had a lot of merchandise with their name on it. Oh well, next time. I can see one of those growlers coming home with me.
I am really interested in trying the English Bitter, a true session ale and the Rye IPA just because I love brewing with Rye. That is actually one of the ingredients I picked up from Atlantic Brew Supply. A few things I found out that may be of importance or just something to satisfy your curiosity,
The Raleigh Brewing Company is brewing on a 20 barrel system.
That is about 630 gallons of beer each batch. That is pretty insane. I only make 5 gallons in each batch I make… Yeah!
It sounds like they plan to open the doors to the tap room on March 2nd.
I am not sure if that is The Date, so don’t come after me if you are in the area then and it is not. There should be an update on their website soon. If you are in the area though, you should definitely check it out. I know I will be up there.