Special Alert
Beer Scene

Beer Scene

Beer City

The Bull City is also a beer city. We make it here, we sell it here, and we definitely drink it here. It's also home to the annual World Beer Festival hosted by All About Beer Magazine (also headquartered in Durham). If you're looking for a thriving local beer scene, Durham is your place.

  • Breweries: Learn about Durham's local breweries that craft ales, stouts, lagers, sour mashes, and other hoppy options you won't soon forget.
  • Nightlife: Check out these beer-focused nightlife options, where you'll find a community of like-minded drinkers, special events, and hard-to-find beers.
  • Retail: Bring home some brew, whether home is down the road or hours away. Discover Durham's beer retailers, providing extensive selections and enjoyable shopping experiences (and by that we mean, shopping with a beer in hand).


Beer 2015 Breweries

Durham's local breweries ensure that connoisseurs have plenty to explore while they're in town:

  • Bull City Burger & Brewery (BCBB) pairs an emphasis on local agriculture with a serious taste for beer. You can taste the local pride in beers like the Honorable Bell's Brown Ale, named after longtime Durham Mayor Bill Bell. You can find the beers at both BCBB and their sister restaurant, Pompieri Pizza. Tours are also available most Saturdays.
  • Bull Durham Beer Co. is the home brewery of the Durham Bulls. It's also the only brewery in the country located inside a minor league baseball stadium. The beers are available at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and nearby restaurants in American Tobacco. They plan to open a year-round taproom adjacent to the Aloft Durham Downtown in 2016.
  • Durty Bull Brewing Company (COMING SOON!) will open a 6,000-square-foot, 15-barrel production brewery and tasting room in Downtown Durham at 206 Broadway Street. They will age many of the beers in barrels and will feature an extensive sour beer program. Beers will include an IPA, Porter, Lager, and Sour Blends. An April 2016 opening is planned.
  • Fullsteam Brewery aims to make "distinctively Southern beer," often partnering with other local businesses and sourcing their ingredients from nearby. Brews like the Carver, a sweet potato pale ale, show what these folks are about. Enjoy one in their popular tavern or take a tour.
  • Hope Valley Brewing Company (COMING SOON!) is a brewpub serving small plates, sandwiches, and more from their dog and kid-friendly South Durham location. In summer 2016 the brewpub will start producing its own beer.
  • Ponysaurus describes their mission like this: "the beer beer would drink if beer could drink beer." If that doesn't make sense quite yet, try their Fig Saison Ale or their Scottish Ale, and you'll see what they mean. Visit their East Durham brewery and taproom and tour the 6,000-square-foot facility.

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Beer-Focused Nightlife

Beer 2015 Bars

Not only does Durham make good beer, but it also boasts a number of great places to enjoy a good brew while you spend time with friends or make new ones. We asked the beer experts at Sam's Quik Shop (find out more about them in the retail section, below) to put together a list of their favorite bars to visit for craft brews – check out their comments and selections below, and find the vibe that suits you:

  • Bull McCabe's features a large lawn for relaxing and an even larger beer selection that appeals to the folks at Sam's, who said: "Just an all-around great bar. Great wings."
  • Criterion is a neighborhood bar fit for the 1930s. According to Sam's, it has a "well-curated draft selection, including a beer engine for casks. Amazing liquor options too."
  • Dain's Place has made tons of fans with its atmosphere, food, and beer selection. The folks at Sam's put it simply: "Tons of bottles and great food."
  • Green Room is a classic dive bar. Just listen to what Sam's says: "Awesome old-school pool hall with a great bottle selection. Best dive bar in Durham."
  • Surf Club is bar with a relaxed atmosphere and a rotating beer selection. Sam's summarizes: "Great draft selection, killer outside patio."
  • Tyler's Restaurant and Taproom & The SpeakEasy are two connected establishments featuring a full menu and over 70 beers on tap. As Sam's say, "If you can't find a beer you want to drink here, you obviously don't like beer."

Retail Options

Beer 2015 Stores

Whether you're looking to expand your palate for beer, or taking a selection of Durham brews to friends back home, these retailers are your place to go:

  • Beer Durham offers locals and visitors a place to grab a growler right in Downtown Durham. In addition, they offer a variety of craft and local beers in bottles and cans, and tables where you can relax and enjoy one of your new brews.
  • Bottle 501, like the name suggests, is located off of 15-501 in Durham. They have a robust bottle selection that includes more than 550 craft beers and wines from the local community and from around the world. Guests can relax in the shop's lounge and select from 16 beers and wines on tap or use a 32 ounce Crowler machine to  take home beer in an aluminum container.
  • Bull Craft Bottle Shop offers a large selection of North Carolina beers and wines, ciders and sodas, as well as eight rotating beers on draft. The shop is conveniently connected to a burger joint and their patio provides a hangout spot where dogs are welcome.
  • The Glass Jug is the Triangle's first counter-pressure growler filling station and is located near Research Triangle Park. The Glass Jug sells pints, half-pints, growlers, cans and bottles, and kegs of local and craft beer on a seasonal, rotating basis. You can also find one-off releases, as well as wine and cider.
  • Growler Grlz lets you try dozens of beer in a variety of ways: 16 oz. pints, 20 oz. pints, flights, 32 oz. growlers, and 64 oz. growlers. One stop by this Southern Durham locale and you can be ready for parties, tailgates, barbecues, tailgates, or whatever other beer drinking event you can imagine.
  • Sam's Quik Shop has the largest selection of beer on the east coast, featuring over 1,500 different beers. Their sister location, Sam's Bottle Shop, brings Sam's to Southern Durham. Both locations offer beer on tap so you can sample while you shop.

Browse Durham Breweries & Distilleries:



Durham Distillery

  • 711 Washington St
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 937-2121
  • Downtown Area

Since 2013, Durham Distillery has been rethinking how to make great spirits that both embody and pioneer the New South. The answer: equal parts art and science.     The result: …

Fullsteam Brewery

  • 726 Rigsbee Ave, Downtown Durham
  • Durham, NC 27701-2139
  • (919) 682-2337
  • Downtown Area

Craft beer brewery devoted to a "plow to pint" philosophy of using local produce to make their beers. The facility is also home to a tavern open nightly. Beer lovers can get a behind the scenes look …

Mystic Bourbon

  • Contact for address
  • Durham, NC 27705
  • W Central Durham, including Duke

A small-batch handmade liqueur that blends mature bourbon with spices. It can be used in cocktails, as an aperitif and digestif, or consumed on its own. Mystic is available at some local restaurants …

Pebble Brook Spirits

  • 803 Ramseur St, Ste D, Downtown Durham
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 757-6245
  • Downtown Area

Pebble Brooks Spirits is a distillery that opened in 2015, offering its apple pie liqueur. They believe crafting a quality spirit is an art. They also believe in using the highest quality fruits and …

Ponysaurus Brewing Company

  • 219 Hood St, Golden Belt Arts District, Downtown Durham
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (978) 482-7701
  • Downtown Area

Ponysaurus Brewing Co. is a forward-thinking, backward-tasting brewery and taproom based in Durham, NC, creating beers that are meant to be savored, appreciated, contemplated, philosophized, studied, …

Durham Spotlight


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Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau
212 W Main St #101
Durham, NC 27701 USA
Phone: (919) 687-0288
Toll Free: (800) 446-8604