LoneRider Brewing Company Readies Beer for Raleigh Bars

Shotgun Betty

January, 19, 2009, by Brian

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LoneRider roll-out rescheduled due to inclement weather.  The new date is Tuesday, January 27th - still at Brixx in CH. Brewery tours still on schedule to begin Friday, Jan. 23rd.

Last week the Indy published an article on the state of local beer culture in the Triangle.  The article expressed some serious negative feelings toward Raleigh’s participation in the brewing scene,  including a suggestion that the soon-to-open Boylan Bridge Brewpub was merely a solution to a real-estate problem for owner Andrew Leager, an implication that Big Boss is suffering from an identity crisis, and that the closure of Greenshields – how many years ago was that? - somehow implies a general lack of enthusiasm for local beer in Raleigh. While the article attempted to maintain a positive tone, the undercurrent of slander against Raleigh’s beer culture is hard to ignore.  Even the main focus of the article – LoneRider Brewing Company – seemed to take a position secondary to the Indy’s dismissal of the Raleigh beer scene.

If our neighbors to the Northwest are feeling hostile toward our beers we need not fear, for the LoneRider is easily interpreted as a vigilante defender of Raleigh’s brewing cred. 

Partners Sumit Vohra, Mihir Patel, and Steve Kramling are certainly ready to adopt the renegade role implied by their name. With all the great local beers in NC it might seem tough to make a name for a new brew, but CEO Vohra sees the strong competition in the brewing industry as a good thing and says “it only serves to make us focus more on our product.” 

Focus and attention to quality is definitely important, but it also doesn’t hurt to fill a largely neglected niche.  The trio back up the rebellious persona of the LoneRider by offering a traditional hefeweizen (a rare find in NC) as their anchor product.  They intend Shotgun Betty - a zesty hefeweizen with a bold banana character and strong notes of clove and sweet herbs – to serve as a transition beer for people unfamiliar with more flavorful craft brews.  Shotgun Betty is bursting with flavor, has a thick creamy head that stood up through the entire length of our brewery tour, and is a definite departure for the average domestic beer drinker.  Even so, this hefeweizen is one of the most refreshing and drinkable beers I’ve tasted and has a clean, crisp, citrusy finish. 

Next in line for the fermenter is Deadeye Jack porter which was unfortunately not ready for tasting when we visited the brewery.  The two beers will debut January 27th at Brixx Pizza in Chapel Hill, and from there will be moving into a number of other venues around the Triangle.  There are no immediate plans for bottling, but growlers will be available direct from the brewery.

LoneRider is located off US70 at its intersection with I-540, and is a serious labor of love on the part of Vohra, Patel, and Kramling.  They have spent the last year renovating their space – a former furniture auction-house – and assembling the brewery with equipment salvaged from the now-defunct Mad Boar Brewpub in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Since they moved into the building they have been faced with numerous challenges (Vohra and Patel related with a look of weary pride the story of how they dug out the floor to a depth of twelve feet in order to install reinforcements necessary for supporting the fermenter vats).  A year seems like an amazingly short time-frame given the fact that only brewmaster Kramling had any prior construction experience, and that all three held full-time jobs outside the brewery during the renovation.

LoneRider will be open to the public for brewery tours on Friday evenings beginning January 23rd at 6:00pm.  Check out their website at loneriderbeer.com for more information.

All photos by NewRaleigh.com

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  • raleighsignshop
    01/20 10:38 AM

    i’ll hold my comments until i taste that brew!
    unique concept though

  • lonerider
    01/20 12:52 PM


    thanks. and absolutely. Just let us know what you think of the beer !

  • raleighsignshop
    01/20 12:57 PM

    i love the beer that the area has to offer
    bigboss, carolina brewing, red oak - etc
    the more the merrier!

  • lonerider
    01/20 01:05 PM

    nice one…, once you have had a taste just ping us on our site and give us honest feedback. would love to have that. thx.

  • Magnus
    01/20 10:15 PM

    I’m really looking forward to the local beer scene expanding.  I confess, I have very high hopes that this brand is going to satisfy local beer snobs.

    That a porter is in the works does give me cause for hope.

  • lonerider
    01/20 10:25 PM


    Haha, thank you. Working to make sure that happens. The porter has a good chocolate finish, and you can tell the nice malted background.

  • Magnus
    01/20 10:25 PM

    You tempt me!

    I will reserve a spot in my fridge for a fresh growler whenever they are ready.

  • lonerider
    01/20 10:30 PM

    Ready now; if you are up for the brewery tour we can fill those then.

  • hackles10
    01/21 08:32 AM

    Any idea which bars might be carrying LoneRider?

  • BB
    01/21 08:19 PM

    Looking forward to the tour Friday…will both beers be available to sample then?

  • lonerider
    01/22 12:20 AM

    hackles 10, today Shotgun betty is available at Ruckus Pizza in Cary, The Brickhouse in Raleigh, PT Grille in Chapel Hill, and tomm or Friday will be The Pit in Raleigh. We are just beginning to roll out in accounts. Thank you.

  • lonerider
    01/22 12:20 AM

    BB, great cya then. Yes, both beers will be available to sample.

  • David Rogers
    01/22 05:52 PM

    Identity crisis?  Not sure what they were referring to in that article.  I’ve been with Big Boss Brewing for nearly two years and I do not see it going away any time soon.  Local enthusiasm for beer in general is excellent.  Sales and the correspondence I have with our customers prove it to me everyday.  Plus you can look at beer selection in your local bars and grocery stores.  It’s evolving contiuously to meet up with demand.  If Asheville can sustain 8 or more local breweries/ brewpubs I think Raleigh can handle 3! 

    Welcome Lone Rider! Nice to meet you Sumit!

    New Raleigh - Thanks for covering the beer world!

  • lonerider
    01/22 09:35 PM

    David, Thanks. The number of people who enjoy great craft beer grows everyday…

  • art
    01/23 07:33 PM

    I am a big beer lover, and I think Big Boss Beers are great.  Oddly enough (considering the article) I think you guys have one of the strongest identities around.  I think your beers (and Carolina Pale Ale) are better than most of what I have tasted coming from Chapel Hill and Durham.  I don’t know what they are talking about.

    AND, I cannot wait to try LoneRider.

  • hackles10
    01/24 11:45 AM

    Heading to the pit next week…Shotgun Betty will be my first frosty draft of the evening!

  • lonerider
    01/25 12:29 AM

    art, thanks. Look forward to you trying LoneRider.

    hackles10, very cool. The Pit has the keg now, should be on tap shortly.

  • GD
    01/27 02:05 PM

    I had a shotgun betty this past weekend.  I am looking forward to the porter!  I am a big porter fan.

  • lonerider
    01/28 01:21 AM

    nice one GD. Porter should be out in bars early next week !

  • Drew Harris
    03/07 09:59 PM

    I tried the Shotgun Betty last weekend at Wild Wing Cafe, Brier Creek. Even after drinking several Miller High Life’s beforehand, the Shotgun Betty tasted really good! The bartender wasn’t sure if she should put a lemon in my glass, I said yes and it was great. The beer is darker than most Hefe’s and it had a nice feel in my mouth. Great Job!

  • lonerider
    03/16 07:42 PM

    Drew; glad you liked Betty. We tried to keep it very true to style so all the flavors are preserved.

  • stockard channing
    12/22 02:29 PM

    I agree with the article that Big Boss isn’t that great, however neither is Triangle from Durham. I’m excited to try LoneRider, as I never have. And i’m of course also excited for Fullsteam to open in Durham 2010.

  • lonerider
    12/22 02:53 PM

    stockard channing, looking forward to you trying LoneRider beers. Please send us feedback through our website we would love to hear what you think. Thanks.

  • mike
    06/09 03:56 PM

    Anyone and everyone in the Triangle area needs to check out this brewery. They have some great brews!

  • Irina
    07/01 10:45 PM

    My husband and I tried shotgun Betty today and we really liked it.  We Highly recommend for folks to give it a try.

  • laurie
    07/16 04:28 PM

    Shot gun betty is the best beer i have ever tasted!  had it at tobacco road in durham !
    can i get a mini keg?

  • lonerider
    07/19 04:49 PM

    Irina, Laurie - thank you.

    Laurie, don’t have mini-kegs yet unfortunately. Smallest keg size we sell is 1/6bbl. We do have growlers though that you can purchase at the brewery. Or our bottles are available in most grocery stores local to the area.


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