Last Updated on September 11, 2020
Last Updated on September 11, 2020
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There are over 30 craft breweries in Raleigh if you count Wake County, too. And while we love many of the beers produced in Cary, Wake Forest, Holly Springs, and elsewhere in the county, we want to narrow down and focus on our capital city.
These 14 Raleigh breweries are scattered throughout the city (see our map below), with a spot always around the corner for your next happy hour. While these places range from large industrial spaces to quiet upscale tables, that’s just the beginning of what makes them unique.
So inside this guide, you’ll learn why we think each place is special and one “favorite” beer (or more) we’ve enjoyed. The latter was just as tough a choice as the words to capture these fabulous and bucket list-worthy drinking establishments.
This post is part of our series on our favorite breweries in North Carolina and many of these Raleigh spots are a shoo-in to be featured among the state’s best.
For this article, we organized our favorite breweries in Raleigh alphabetically. If you’d like to see where they’re located in map-form, scroll to the bottom of this post.
Also, to keep things as authentic as possible, we’re focusing on breweries that we love. If we left out your favorite, kindly let us know and we’ll be happy to investigate further!
Big Boss Brewing Company
Website | 1249 Wicker Dr
Known for their Bad Penny Brown Ale and laid back vibe, Big Boss was started in 2006 by Geoff Lamb and Brewmaster Brad Wynn. Together, they set out to brew a beer for people who enjoy a variety of styles.
Based on the taproom offerings, the two certainly achieved that goal. At Big Boss, you can find everything from ales to barleywine to porters. And if you’d like to find some food after some pints, their amazing food featured in our guide to restaurants in Raleigh!
Our Favorite Beer: Red Devils, a New England IPA that is the brewery’s contribution to the Ales for ALS charitable program.
Website | 1233 Front St & 126 N West St
Clouds Brewing started out featuring guest taps to go with an amazing food menu. Personally, I’d come here for a giant pretzel and some wings but thankfully, the guys behind this company have done their homework to produce and sell some amazing beer, too.
The fact that Clouds has expanded beyond its original location to include a taproom in Raleigh and another restaurant in Durham (try the Bavarian Grilled Cheese there!) is a testament to the relentless work of owners Matt, John, and their team.
You’ll immediately fall in love with the food here but this Raleigh brewery’s distinction is the self-pour beer wall. The concept is catching on with some other places we’ve visited but Clouds was where I saw it first, so they win!
Our Favorite Beer: Midnight Delight, a nitro stout that combines chocolate malt & cacao nibs.
Website | 319 W Davie St
Friends Adam, Craig, and Mike took their love for beer and biking and opened Crank Arm Brewing in 2013. Along with their bike club, Crank Arm is especially known for its high-quality unfiltered beer. Above marketing, distribution, and speed, quality is the most important aspect of crafting their beer.
Beyond beer, Crank Arm works pretty hard to give back to the community. They contribute to Oaks & Spokes and the Triangle Spokes Group, which raises money to provide bikes to children in need.
Our Favorite Beer: Seasonal Holy Spokes, a porter with cinnamon, habanero peppers, vanilla and Videri Chocolate.
Website | 3201 Northside Dr
Compass Rose was (and is) North Raleigh’s answer to the long-desired request for a neighborhood brewery. It’s exactly what I think of when I think of a brewery. The 5,500 square feet of space is open, inviting, and perfect for hanging out and making memories with friends and family.
You can sit and sip at the massive bar or enjoy one of the many long tables with a group of friends and family. Along with a mix of in-house of elsewhere-produced beers, ciders and wines join the fun.
Our Favorite Beer: Give a Mouse a Cookie, a sweet-ish milk stout.
Website | 2408 Paula St
Self-described as a mom-and-pop craft brewery, Funguys Brewing is a new addition that focuses on ales and lagers with huge flavors. While it may seem small and tucked away, this Raleigh brewery is definitely worth the hunt!
You’ll want to visit this place for tasty sours, which are a nice change amidst the wave of Raleigh’s mostly hop-forward beer scene. The intimate atmosphere here will keep you around for at least a few rounds.
Our Favorite Beer: There She Gose, not just because of the name, but for its emphasis on tartness and local-first.
Gizmo Brew Works
Website | 5907 Triangle Dr
With seasonal and experimental beers, Gizmo Brew Works brings flights and pints to the Raleigh brewery scene. One such notable beer was “Born to Bee,” which used yeast extracted from the wing of a bumble from a NC State research project.
Our Favorite Beer: #FakeNews, a New England IPA worthy of a visit to their taproom but also for purchase of a can to admire the creative labeling.
Lonerider Brewing Company
Website | 8816 Gulf Ct
Brilliantly marketed as beer for outlaws, Lonerider doesn’t follow the trends. Instead, this company holds strong and steadfast to create beer that’s beyond worthy of its beautful labels and graphics.
Their diverse contributions to NC beer include Shotgun Betty (Hefeweizen) and Hoppy Ki Yay (IPA).
The tap house and brewery though is tucked away from downtown Raleigh, off US 70. With plenty of outdoor seating and six-packs to go, we recommend sharing a pitcher before heading home to watch your favorite action movie.
Our Favorite Beer: Sweet Josie, a brown ale.
Lynnwood Brewing Concern
Website | 1053 E Whitaker Mill Rd & 4821 Grove Barton Rd
Lynnwood Brewing Concern has been producing cleverly named beer since 2004, now one of the many Five Points breweries. The OG North Raleigh location (Lynnwood Grill) is also known for its strong community involvement. That, along with their great beers, is why this place enjoys such a loyal following.
In North Raleigh, you can also devour incredible pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and choose from great lunch specials! If you find yourself at Five Points, make sure to grab some pork nachos from Wilson’s Eatery, Lynnwood’s sister company.
Our Favorite Beer: Kiss My Irish Stout, though Putin Tang is a strong second on Team Stouts!
LBC also features among our favorite ways to enjoy casual date nights in Raleigh!
Little City Brewing + Provisions
Website | 400W North St
Owned by the same company that operates Virgil’s Tacos and The Green Light, Little City Brewing is truly a city gal’s brewery. The ambiance and decor of this joint, while upscale, avoids coming off as pretentious.
And hops aren’t the only thing on the menu, as you can also order craft cocktails to accompany some Old Bay popcorn. Little City Brewing is where you go if you’re in the mood for a hoppy or stiff drink in an intimate setting.
Our Favorite Beer: No Parking Anytime IPA, for the haze and for the name.
Mordecai Beverage Co.
Website | 2425 Crabtree Blvd
Bottle shop and brewery meet at Raleigh’s Mordecai Beverage Company. With 25 taps (including ones for wine and cider), NC beer lovers can enjoy local and regional creations to go with Mordecai’s own hoppy concoctions.
Mordecai is a very family-friendly Raleigh brewery, with inviting couches, TVs, picnic tables, and an #instagramable mural.
Our Favorite Beer: Eckard’s Porter, with added notes of chocolate, espresso, and tobacco.
Neuse River Brewing Company
Website | 518 Pershing Rd
We’ve mentioned the Five Points quite a bit and Neuse River Brewing is a shining example of why this is a hub for breweries in Raleigh. Specializing in Belgian Ales and IPAs, the interior of Neuse River achieves an intimate yet bright ambiance.
And going even further, Neuse River Brewing Company serves more than your typical pub food. While I’ll take wings and nachos and day, this is a place you visit for the food menu.
Try an order of Duck Poutine and Roast Chicken with haricots vert from their Brasserie menu and you’ll see what I mean.
Our Favorite Beer: Bobbi Brune, a smoked Belgian Brown Ale.
Nickelpoint Brewing Co
Website| 506 Pershing Rd
Just a few doors down from Neuse River, Nicklepoint Brewing is a Five Points beer stop that was founded by two brothers. Their shared love for high-quality hops has resulted in a family-friendly outdoor space and 10 beers on tap.
Nicklepoint is most well known for their chill laid back vibe. Check out their weekly and monthly events while slugging down your first pint, so you’ll know when to come back for the next one!
Our Favorite Beer: Their Porter, because a little smoke and hint of coffee are always welcome.
Raleigh Brewing Company
Website | 3709 Neil St
Raleigh Brewing Company is the third-largest beer producer in Wake County. And in true trailblazing fashion, this was the first female-owned brewery in North Carolina. With more than 32 taps, colorful murals on the taproom walls joining a legacy of community involvement, Raleigh Brewing Company embodies the soul of Oak City.
In addition to pouring great beer, Raleigh Brewing Company also serves as a connection between homebrewers and commercial brewers. Their sister companies (Atlantic Brew Supply and ABS Commercial) sell local supplies and produce high-quality beer tanks.
Our Favorite Beer: Not Another New England Pale Ale was nice to sip after taking home from a local bottle shop.
Trophy Brewing Co
Website | 656 Maywood Ave & 827 W Morgan St
With two locations that are equally different, but one thing remains consistent at each one—amazing Trophy beer. Trophy’s consistently amazing flagships and experimental beers stand out in this super competition collection of Raleigh breweries.
Whether you’re pairing your beer with one of their famous pizzas, indulging in some of the best brunch in Raleigh, or just looking for a Trophy Wife, you won’t be disappointed at any of these Trophy Brewing Co locations!
Our Favorite Beer: Trophy Wife (Session IPA) is a tempting winner, but we’ll go with the tasty salted caramel stout known as Milky Way.
Share Your Favorite Raleigh Breweries!
We can’t wait to make it back out to these awesome breweries. These local businesses are a big part of why we love hanging out in Raleigh. If you’re in the area, give them your support. They could always use some love.
And if there’s a brewery in Raleigh that you think we missed, (nicely) let us know about it. We’ll be happy to go on a hop-filled field trip.
A Map of This Guide
Our map offers location info for all these places to grab beer in Raleigh. Please select or click on each one for addresses and additional info.