Carrboro Commons

Beer store offers town sophisticated brews

Posted on March 4th, 2009 in Beer,Features by jock

By Tom Nading
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

The Carrboro Beverage Co. holds a wide variety of beers for people who want to try something new and appreciate the sudsier tastes in life, according to manager Jason Cole.

nading_bottleshopfinal.jpg Manager Jason Cole (left) and Brian Stith, regional manager for Millennium Beverage, show off a few beers during a beer tasting on Feb. 26. The Carrboro Beverage Co. hosts a weekly beer tasting every Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. Staff photo by Tom Nading

Located near the intersection of East Main Street and Greensboro Street at 102-A E. Main St., the beverage company has a selection of over 300 craftbrew, microbrew and imported beers. But, before the “Pop the Cap” law took effect in 2005, at least 75 percent of their beers would have been illegal to sell in North Carolina. The law raised the legal alcohol-content limit in beer from 6 percent alcohol by volume to15 percent.

It really changed the way people have viewed beer,” Cole said. “It’s opened up people’s eyes to what beer can be.”

The store opened its doors in early August 2008, marking the third anniversary of “Pop the Cap.” Cole said the store was a pet project of Tyler Huntington, owner of Tyler’s Restaurant and Taproom, which sits right next door on East Main Street. Cole had worked as the beer buyer for Weaver Street Market before Huntington asked him to help with the project. As manager, Cole chooses all of the beers that go on the shelves of Carrboro Beverage Co.

“My philosophy is to bring in the quintessential beer styles, bring in what’s good,” he said.

Although the beverage company showcases a broad range of styles, its focus is European beers, specifically those from Belgium, Cole says. The selection includes as many North Carolina brews as possible, he added. The store also has 15 wines and 10 different specialty sodas. With a selection that is continually changing, the store always has something new for customers to try, Cole said.

“Customers always say, ‘There’s always something new in here,’” Cole said. “People in this area love new things; they love the adventure of trying new things.”

Mac Amos, a junior history and communications double major from High Point, N.C., lives just two blocks down the road from Carrboro Beverage Co. He tries to stop in at least once a week to sample a different brew.

“They’ve tried everything, and they won’t tell you about it unless they’ve tried it,” Amos said. “Going there has made me an even bigger beer fan, and it’s showed me a lot of beers I probably would never have heard of.”

Amos said he and his two brothers inherited their affection for beer from their father, who loves to seek out local beers when he travels. The three brothers have even tried brewing their own beer, Amos said, to further develop their appreciation for the carbonated concoction.

For Jason Cole, the love of craft-brew beer began with four different pints at the Sawmill Taproom in Raleigh. Cole has also tried brewing his own beer, brewing off and on for the past seven years.

“I see brewing as an art-form, taking raw ingredients and sculpting something out of it,” Cole said. “You have the artistic vision of what you want to make, but there is a scientific aspect to it … there’s a certain magic in it.”

Join the Carrboro Beverage Co. every Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. for their weekly beer tasting.