If you live anywhere near Downtown Raleigh, you know that its residents love beer and in particular, craft beer. From multiple shops now selling large craft selections, to bars tapping one-off kegs, Raleigh continues to get more recognition for its beer culture.
Last year, Raleigh placed two bars on Draft Magazine's 100 Best Beer Bars in the nation. Those bars were The Raleigh Times and The Busy Bee. This year, you can add a third to the list, Brewmaster's Bar + Grill on Martin Street. They also give Tyler's Taproom, Flying Saucer and World of Beer a nod for beer bar chains and mention the opening of the Tyler's Raleigh location this year.
No other city on the South list has more than two and Raleigh has
five six. I guess they know Raleigh loves its beer.
See the full list here.
BREWMASTERS BAR & GRILL | Raleigh, N.C.
Brewmasters knows how to keep the party alive, from discounted canned beers on Mondays to make-your-own beer flights on Wednesdays. And it’s not just about the pros: Wednesday’s Homebrew Humpday features pours from local homebrewers. Of course, if you’re just looking for a pint, this joint has them in spades—its 66 taps (four on nitro) spotlight the best brews North Carolina has to offer. 301 W. Martin St., brewmastersbarandgrill.com
BUSY BEE CAFÉ | Raleigh, N.C.
What makes the Bee so great? We could say it’s the perfectly curated 15 taps split between two bars, its lengthy bottled sour list or its website’s homebrewer interview series. But what really puts it over the top is the bar’s barrel program: The owners donate barrels to local breweries, who then age their beer and sell it back to the bar. 225 S. Wilmington St., busybeeraleigh.com
RALEIGH TIMES BAR | Raleigh, N.C.
Located inside the century-old former home of the now-defunct Raleigh Times, this swank Belgian-style beer bar is the place for rare beer in downtown Raleigh. Hard-to-find bottles like Hanssens Experimental Cassis share equal billing with the bar’s “All things sour, funky and wild” category, while local offerings from Big Boss and Foothills pepper the draft lineup. And like the paper before it, this bar’s got some pull: It recently tapped North Carolina’s only keg of Avery Wet Hop Pale Ale. 14 E. Hargett St., raleightimesbar.com
TYLER'S TAPROOM | Raleigh, N.C.
The multi-tap, cafélike Tyler’s Taproom (tylerstaproom.com) grew its North Carolina family to four with a new Raleigh location last year.
FLYING SAUCER | Raleigh, N.C.
The beloved Flying Saucer Draught Emporium’s (beerknurd.com) empire stretches from Raleigh to San Antonio, with 15 locations and more than 240 beers at every one of them; the original still presides over Ft. Worth, Texas.
WORLD OF BEER | Raleigh, N.C.
15 World of Beer (wobusa.com) outposts pair nearly 500 beers with a strong live music program that lures local and national acts.