This week I spent a couple snow covered days in Raleigh, North Carolina as a guest of Nomacorc, the world's leading producer of synthetic corks. In between a factory tour and seminars, I discovered that Raleigh has a decent beer culture with a fair number of breweries located within city limits. Big Boss Brewing Company is one I've encountered before and during lunches and dinners I was able to sample their Hell's Belle Belgium ale, Bad Penny dark brown ale, and Blanco Diablo Wit ale. All nailed their respective styles and were quite pleasant.
On my last day I had a couple hours free and planned to walk to a few that were closest to the hotel. However, because of the snow storm two were closed(Natty Greene's Pub & Brewing Co and Crank Arm Brewing Company), so using theCompass mobile app I sloshed my way to Trophy Brewing Company, a 3 barrel nano brewery and pizza joint. The restaurant was lively with all bar seating taken - as were most tables. Finding a seat, I immediately noticed the shelves of sports trophies - donated by generous patrons.
I ordered a four beer sampler and soon was Casanova Export Stout, Best In Show “American Saison”, Slingshot Coffee Porter, and Loner Berliner Weisse. The later is a low abv wheat beer, brewed to be tart and sour with very little of hop bitterness. Their version was true to form, although it is also brewed with peaches and ginger and I really didn't pick up on those flavors. The Slingshot was true to its name with the coffee sourced from local Slingshot Coldbrew Coffee. I definitely enjoyed the inter-play of the chocolate and coffee in the palette. In a similar fashion, the Casanova had a nice balance between the chocolate roasted malt flavor and hop bitterness. However, once again I failed to notice the additives, this time the vanilla notes as described on the chalk board. My favorite of the four was the Best In Show - a very appropriately named farmhouse ale. From the citrus nose to the bitter tail, this beer was completely enjoyable - well done. Next time, I'll try the pizza and expand my visit to the other breweries. But when in Raleigh, pair any of these breweries with American Aquarium. Cheers