Tag Archives: NCbeer

Drink Local: Deep River Brewing Riverbank Rye-It ~ Clayton, NC


Deep River Brewing Co. ~ Clayton, NC

I hear the Triangle is expecting some icy weather tomorrow. As you might expect the grocery stores are jumping with people making last minute trips for bread and milk. I’ve got those staples covered already so instead I made sure my fridge is fully stocked with beer in anticipation of the inclement weather. This week I am drinking Riverbank Rye-It Pale Ale from Deep River Brewing Co. out of Clayton. This is currently one of my favorite beers. It’s is an amber pale ale, with subtle hints of rye and citrus. If you haven’t visited the brewery in Clayton yet I recommend you check them out. They have a great tap room featuring most of their beers and often host food trucks on the weekends. You can read more about the brewery and my recent trip to the taproom here.

Meet the Brewers
On Thursday January 15th you can  meet the owners / brewers from both  Deep River Brewing Company and Raleigh Coffee Company at Brew Coffee Bar in downtown Raleigh. Guests can try a new Raleigh Coffee Co coffee infused beer and a special limited batch of Deep River’s Barrel Aged Imperial Milk Stout. Event runs from 6-8pm and is open to the public.



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Durham’s Ponysaurus Brewing Co. Expanding Brewery & Adding Taproom!


Owners of Ponysaurus Brewing Co.: Nick Hawthorne-Johnson, Keil Jansen, David Baldwin
Photo Courtesy: Paul Tuorto


The Triangle’s craft beer scene continues to grow at an impressive rate! When I first moved to Raleigh in 2005 I could count the number of local breweries on one hand. Now there are more than 16 breweries in Wake County alone. Ponysaurus Brewing over in Durham is relatively new but they are already expanding their operations. I’ve enjoyed their beer and look forward to new things from them in the future. You can read more about the upcoming expansion, which includes the addition of a taproom in the official press release below. Follow them on twitter and facebook for additional updates on their expansion progress!


After a year of production, Ponysaurus Brewing Co., the unique nanobrewery housed above The Cookery’s Front Room entrance, is moving its brewing facility to the corner of Hood Street and Ramseur Street.  Production from the new location is anticipated to begin this spring.

The new facility, a 6,000 square foot warehouse east of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, will expand the company’s brewing capacity from 180 barrels a year to 2,000 barrels a year, in addition to providing space for a taproom that is slated to open in the summer of 2015.

“The east end of downtown will be the perfect home for us,” said Brewmaster Keil Jansen, who is a founder and owner of Ponysaurus Brewing Co. along with David Baldwin and Nick Hawthorne-Johnson.  “Not only will you be able to find our beer in many more Triangle retail shops and restaurants, but we’re also transforming a vacant warehouse into a vibrant social hub.”

“Plus,” he added, laughing, “I really won’t miss needing a scissor lift to get to work everyday.”

Ponysaurus brews can currently be found on draft at various Triangle establishments such as Mateo, Poole’s Diner, and Wine Authorities.  The new facility, which will include a canning line, will expand the list of retail shops and restaurants where Ponysaurus Brewing Co. will be available, in addition to the cans and specialty bottles that will be available in the taproom.

The brewing equipment at Ponysaurus Brewing’s current location inside The Cookery, a culinary incubator on West Chapel Hill Street, will be utilized at the Hood Street location as the brewery’s pilot system, allowing Jansen to continue to conjure experimental and specialty brews.

“It’s amazing how our incubation period at The Cookery allowed us to cultivate a grassroots following,” said Nick Hawthorne-Johnson, who also owns The Cookery with his wife, Rochelle Johnson.  “Lowering the capital requirements to launching something like Ponysaurus, which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible, is exactly why we opened The Cookery.”

“Our small craft brewery is scaling up from making a tiny amount of beer to a small amount of beer,” said David Baldwin, “and we couldn’t be happier.”

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A Visit to Deep River Brewing Company ~ Clayton, NC

Deep River Brewing Company ~ Clayton, NC

Deep River Brewing Company opened in Clayton back in April 2013 and is touted as Clayton’s first “legal brewery”. The brewery and taproom is the creative passion of husband and wife team Paul and Lynn Auclair. Together they have created what is quickly becoming one of my favorite local breweries. The brewery, located just off Main Street in downtown Clayton has a great tap room that is open Thursday through Sunday. It is a great place to relax, enjoy a pint, and grab some food from a gourmet food truck.

Deep River Brewing Co. Taproom

Deep River Brewing Co. Taproom

I took the scenic 30 minute drive from my home in North Raleigh down to Clayton earlier this summer to visit the brewery for the first time. Inside is a great open space with high ceilings and a cool rustic bar to perch at and enjoy your beer. There are also a few large picnic tables and old whisky barrels used as tables providing providing additional indoor seating.

The bar

The Bar

Deep River keeps a variety of their beers on tap ranging between $4-$5 a pint and they even offer other local beers on a guest tap (which I always think is great). On my last visit they had Fullsteam Brewery’s Summer Basil on featured on the guest tap. You can purchase a pint, try a sample flight, fill a growler, or buy one of their several canned beers to take home with you.

Pint of Deep River’s Riverbank Rye-it Pale Ale

I’ve been to the brewery twice now and have sampled their Twisted River Wit, Riverbank Rye-it Pale Ale, and the Double D’s Watermelon Lager. I enjoyed them all, but I think my favorite so far is the Rye-it Pale Ale. They also have several others beer offering ranging from a Black IPA to the 4042 Chocolate Stout. You can see a full list of their beers here.

 Outdoor Seating & Visit by Sol Tacos Food Truck

Outdoor Seating & Visit by Sol Tacos Food Truck

Another thing I lover about the setup at Deep River is the additional picnic table seating outside. The picture of the outdoor seating area above is from earlier this summer. A few weeks after I took it they installed a beautiful wood bar top along the rock wall the encloses the outdoor seating section. On the weekends you will typically find people playing corn hole, enjoying live music or grabbing lunch or dinner from one of the scheduled local food trucks. You can see the monthly food truck schedule here.

Deep River’s Watermelon Lager

I highly recommend paying a visit to Deep River, but if you don’t have a chance to go out to Clayton you can still find their beer for sale in several Triangle bars. Deep River has also started a canning line for several of their beers and they can now be found on the shelves of many of the local bottle shops, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, and Weaver Street Market stores.  The Deep River taproom is open Thursdays 5-9pm, Fridays 4-9pm, Saturdays 1-9pm, Sundays 1-6pm. Tours by request Thurs-Sat.

Deep River Brewing Company
700 W. Main Street – Suite 102, Clayton, NC (map)
website: http://deepriverbrewing.com
acebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeepRiverBrewing
twitter: @DeepRiverBruin


Filed under Beer, Brewery

Fullsteam Brewery – Durham, NC

I’m a big fan of the Triangle beer scene and one of my favorite local places to enjoy a pint is Fullsteam Brewery in Durham.  The brewery was opened by Sean Wilson, known as the “Chief Executive Optimist”, in a former 7Up bottling plant on Rigsbee Avenue back in 2009. It’s described as a “plow to pint” operation with a mission to craft the distinctly Southern beer that celebrates agriculture by using local seasonal ingredients while  fostering relationships with local farmers.

To me Fullsteam is much more than just a great brewery. When I visit the taproom the first thing that comes to my mind is community.  On any given visit you will find the space alive with activity and conversation. During the day you are likely see large groups of friends, families with their kids, and people with dogs gathered at the large communal picnic tables inside the spacious interior. As the day transitions into evening the crowd shifts over to primarily adults and all of Rigsbee Avenue seems to come to life.

I’ve enjoyed my fair share of pints sitting at one of the many orange tables inside.  There are also a few tables outside along the sunlit alley and two more tables out front in the area where the food trucks usually set. Check out With so much seating it easy to find a spot to sit and relax with your beer and food. Fullsteam is also simply a great spot to just sit back and people watch. There is a small stage that plays host to music on occasion on weekends, but for the most part the brewery serves as a community gathering space – a place for conversation over a good beer.

The beer offerings at the bar a very diverse and range from classics like a traditional American IPA to seasonal southern beers inspired by local agriculture like a sweet potato lager and a “Hogwash” hickory smoked brown porter. Fullsteam is know for making some interesting brews and they even feature beers from other local breweries on a few “guest taps”. Beers are available by the pint, half pint, tasting flights, and they even do growler fills.

As you first enter the brewery through the large red warehouse door you pass through a fun room filled with several classic arcade games along with a pinball machine and ping pong table. I think this room captures the youthful spirit of the brewery and further galvanizes the communal atmosphere.  On a given week the taproom plays hosts to events like belly dancing, trivia and yoga. There is even a run club that meets there each Wednesday.

Whether you are a casual beer drinker or a diehard craft beer enthusiasts I highly recommend a visit to Fullsteam during your next visit to the Bull City. Check out there event calendar before heading over to find out what is going on in the taproom and what food trucks will be parked there that evening. If you are thinking of heading over tonight (5/16) they are holding their Summer Basil release party starting around 6pm.


Fullsteam is open Mon-Thurs: 4 p.m. – midnight, Friday: 2 p.m. – 2 a.m., Saturday: noon – 2 a.m., Sunday: noon – midnight. Drink local and support NC beer and agriculture!

Fullsteam Brewery

726 Rigsbee Avenue, Durham, NC 27701
website: http://www.fullsteam.ag
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fullsteambrewery
twitter: @fullsteam
instagram: @fullsteambrewery


Filed under Beer, Brewery