As popular watering holes reopen, make up for lost time with this guide of Durham’s new and established breweries, distilleries and cideries. Start in North Durham and make your way South⬇️
By Hannah Lee; Illustrations by Christian King, designer at @ck.creations
MYSTIC FARM & DISTILLERY
Stop by for a cocktail made with fresh ingredients and handcrafted spirits on Friday evenings and on Saturdays. Reserve a tour for an in-depth look at the production of Heart of Mystic Bourbon Whiskey, Mystic Bourbon Liqueur and its Mystic 57 Navy Strength Gin. 1212 N. Mineral Springs Rd.
HI-WIRE BREWING CO.
This taproom is Hi-Wire’s first outside of Asheville. It consists of 8,844 square feet of interior space, as well as a 1,678-square-foot outdoor covered patio and beer garden. There are full-sized shuffleboard courts, soccer pool, table tennis and more. The bar’s 24 taps feature the brewery’s full lineup of beers, including year-round staples, seasonal specials, sours and one-offs, as well as wine, local cider and guest taps from neighboring breweries. Directly outside the brewery is the newest outdoor performing arts stage at Golden Belt. 800 Taylor St.
The meadery offers a unique glimpse into the world of the honeybee with award-winning, hand-crafted meads – wines made from honey using various ingredients. Its downtown tasting room and bottle shop offers a rotating seasonal lineup of meads ranging from dry to semi-sweet to lightly sparkling. Choose a flight or a guided mead tasting. 105 Hood St., Ste. 6; 919-399-3056
THE BROTHERS VILGALYS SPIRITS COMPANY
Offerings include Krupnikas, a Lithuanian spiced honey liqueur, plus four other liqueurs called Zaphod, Beebop, Beatnik and Jabberwock, all flavored with herbs, spices and other botanicals. 803 D Ramseur St.; 919-617-1746
PONYSAURUS BREWING CO.
Specializes in traditional recipes of various styles of beer including IPAs, a Scottish ale and imperial stouts. Grab some salty and sweet snacks for just $1 per scoop, or order food to cook on one of the outdoor grills you can reserve! Head to their patio for a bite to eat from the food trucks that are almost always on hand. 219 Hood St.; 919-584-4265
BULL CITY CIDERWORKS
The cidery’s six year-round mainstays include the Off Main (classic cider), Sweet Carolina (made with local honey), Cherry Tart (Montmorency cherries), Smooth Hoperator (dry hopped), Rhize Up! (fresh ginger) and Orange You a Hippie (sweet orange peel and hibiscus flowers), plus seasonal varieties that include habanero peppers, cinnamon and many other ingredients. 305 S. Roxboro St.; 919-237-2357
BULL DURHAM BEER CO.
The brewery began pouring at its location in the Durham Bulls Athletic Park’s main concourse in 2015. It was the first beer company at a Minor League Baseball stadium. 409 Blackwell St.; 919-744-3568
TOBACCO ROAD SPORTS CAFE
Overlooking the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on the American Tobacco Campus, this restaurant and brewery offers brews from its Raleigh-based brewery, Tobacco Road Brewing, which officially started brewing n 2017. From the funky Fuzz Peach Sour Pale Ale to its classic Kilowatt Kolsch, there’s a wide variety of beer offerings. 280 S. Mangum St., Ste. 100; 919-937-9909
BULL CITY BURGER AND BREWERY
A family-friendly, locally-owned and independent craft brewery and restaurant featuring award-winning beer made from locally sourced ingredients. You can usually find the Parrish Street Pale Ale or the Bryant Bridge Gateway Golden Ale on tap, but check in at different points in the seasons for special variations. 107 E. Parrish St.; 919-680-2333
The frontrunner of the “plow-to-pint” movement, brewing beers with local grain, foraged fruits and seasonal botanicals. In 2018, it won three Good Food Awards – the only brewery in the country to receive three wins in a single year. Its flagship pilsner, Paycheck, won gold for best American Pilsner in the U.S. Beer Open in 2019. Its full kitchen offers seasonal entrees, small plates, sandwiches, bar snacks and catering services. Its owner, Sean Lilly Wilson, is a four-time James Beard Award semifinalist. 726 Rigsbee Ave.; 919-682-2337
DURTY BULL BREWING CO.
Barrel-aged, sour and hoppy brews. Dog-friendly with live music, open mic comedy and other events. Chosen by Beer Advocate as one of the 34 best new breweries in the U.S. in 2016. 206 Broadway St.,Ste. 104; 919-688-2337
Founded in 2013 and opened in 2015 by Melissa Katrincic and Lee Katrincic, the craft gin and liqueur distillery produces premium gins using a two-step process, which combines traditional gin-making techniques with modern chemistry to create both classic and contemporary spirits. Under the flagship name, Conniption, its gins are among the most-awarded craft gins distilled in the U.S., earning more than 50 national and international awards. In 2018, it was named the No. 1 craft gin distillery in the nation by USA Today. The distillery also produces canned cocktails, cold-distilled cucumber vodka and liqueurs, and is on the verge of opening its cocktail bar, Corpse Reviver. 711 Washington St.; 919-937-2121
FLYING BULL BEER COMPANY
Ninth Street‘s first nanobrewery and taproom, the Flying Bull opened in August 2020. Founded by partners Joel Miles and Anna Bloch, Flying Bull offers a selection of 24 taps, which includes Flying Bull’s own small-batch craft beer, plus a few other North Carolina favorites. Flying Bull also sells 32 oz. crowlers and 64 oz. growlers of any beer on tap as well as pre-packaged craft beer to go. The taproom is safely spaced out with a recently constructed outdoor beer garden. As soon as safety guidelines permit, there will also be social dance events. 752 Ninth St.; 984-464-0695
Based in Raleigh, this American-style restaurant and brewery with a German flair opened in Durham in fall It’s home to 40-plus rotating taps with local and craft beer, including its own German-inspired brews – plus bar bites every day and brunch on the weekends. 905 W. Main St.; 919-251-8096
The seven-barrel facility in the Rockwood Shopping Center is located in the same space as Beer Study. The brewery serves local brews for visitors to enjoy in their lounge areas, complete with arcade games and comfy leather sofas. 2501 University Dr.; 984-219-7538
The largest grain-to-glass distiller in North Carolina, Graybeard uses a process perfected over the past seven centuries by the owner’s Irish ancestors to create Bedlam Vodka, its flagship spirit, with a unique sweet floral nose and notes of vanilla. It recently opened its doors to tours and was named one of the 10 best vodka brands in the world by Liquorista in Bedlam was also awarded Double Gold status and named one of the Fifty Best Domestic Vodkas by The Fifty Best publication. 4625 Industry Ln.; 984-888-5041
TOBACCO WOOD BREWING COMPANY
The first female, veteran-owned brewery in North Carolina opened a second location in Research Triangle Park on June 9. With 15 taps, this new location offers everything from a blueberry lemonade hard cider and mixed berry gose to a coffee stout and session IPA. It also boasts a taproom centered around barbecue, chicken and pork, as well as sandwiches, salads, tacos, soups, egg rolls and even loaded potatoes.
BARREL CULTURE BREWING AND BLENDING
This brewery has 18 taps and a diverse beer list of in-house brews. It produces mixed fermentation ales like Peach Apricot and The Pie Time Series, along with hazy IPAs, lagers and pastry stouts. 4913 Alston Ave.; 919-908-9659
THE GLASS JUG BEER LAB
This craft brewery, beer garden and retail beer and wine shop has 24 taps that it rotates through new house-made beers and guest taps, with wine and cider also available. Crowlers and growlers are always available to go, and cans of Glass Jug beers are released several times a year. The Glass Jug has won numerous medals for its beer. In 2016, the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association named The Glass Jug as a retailer of the year. It recently opened a second location in downtown Durham across from Durham Food Hall. 5410 Hwy. 55, Ste. V; 919-813-0135