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Sample free, fresh beers at Durham area breweries and brewpubs

This antique airship, designed for its T-shirts, epitomizes Fullsteam's craft beer approach
This antique airship, designed for its T-shirts, epitomizes Fullsteam's craft beer approach
Fullsteam Brewing

As befits the location of a World Beer Festival (held annually in October at the Historic Durham Athletic Park), Durham is home to several breweries and brewpubs, with more scattered about the region. At several of these breweries you can sample the beers for free (or almost), fresh from the keg.

For a Cheap Eats advocate, it doesn't get much better than that.

Triangle Brewing Company offers free tours and tastings at 1 pm every Saturday. (Arrive early since there's usually quite a crowd.) Beers currently on draft at the brewery include Belgian Style White Ale and Golden Ale, plus an IPA, Xtra Pale Ale, Abbey Dubbel, Habanero Pale Ale, and Winter Stout. On March 2, Triangle will tap its new Imperial Amber with a party from 5 - 8 pm. These folks also host a keg night every Thursday at Alivia's Durham Bistro using a newly installed beer engine.

Triangle Brewing Company
918 Pearl Street
Durham, NC 27701
(919) 683-BEER (2337)

Although it doesn't brew beer itself, the Durham location of Tyler's Taproom and Restaurant features many unusual and fresh beers with frequent keg tappings. Coming up next: a cask of Aventinus Eisbock on Wednesday March 3rd. Wednesday is also Pint Night at the Durham store, this week featuring Sierra Nevada Glissade. Buy a pint and keep the glass. Pint nights at Tyler's other locations are Mondays in Apex, and Tuesdays in Carborro.

Tyler's Taproom and Restaurant
324 Blackwell Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
(919) 433-0345

Just around the corner from the Historic Durham Athletic Park, Fullsteam Brewing, although not yet open, is gearing up for a summer launch and hosts occasional events. Its beers will be available this summer at the Durham Farmers Market and a tavern, Fullsteam R&D, is slated to open as well. Featured will be Southern - style craft beers, with a focus on "plow-to-pint" ingredients such as sweet potatoes, persimmon and rhubarb.

Fullsteam Brewing
726 Rigsbee Ave.
Durham, NC 27701

Farther afield, you can sample fresh brews at these breweries:

Aviator Brewing Brewing Company and Tap House
Brewery tours Saturdays at 3 pm. Tap House, located at 600 E. Broad St., open daily with frequent live music, pub fare, and fresh brews.
633-C Piper Dr.
Fuquay Varina, NC 27526
(919) 557-5198

Carolina Brewing Company
Free tours Saturdays at 1 pm. Retail store open Fri. 12 - 6 pm; Sat. 12 - 4. Spring Bock release March 5th.
140 Thomas Mill Road
Holly Springs, NC 27540
(919) 557-BEER

LoneRider Brewing Company
Free brewery tours alternating Fridays and Saturdays. Tasting room open Thurs. and Fri. 4:30 - 9 pm; Sat. 12 - 6.
8816 Gulf Ct. Suite 100,
Raleigh, NC 27617
(919) 442-8004

Big Boss Brewing Company
Brewery tours on the second Saturday of each month at 2 pm. Beer samples $1 each.
1249 Wicker Drive
Raleigh, NC 27604
(919) 834-0045

Boylan Bridge Brewpub
Currently celebrating its one year anniversary with a special high gravity Anniversary Ale. Free brewery tours Wednesday nights at 7 pm. Every Tuesday, $1 off all pints.
201 South Boylan Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27603
(919) 803-8927


  • Sean Lilly Wilson 5 years ago

    Hey Allan! Thanks for mentioning Fullsteam!

    Cal says hi!

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