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. That's why we're home to the annual World Beer Festival. If you're looking for a thriving local beer scene, Durham is your place.

  • Breweries: Learn about Durham's five 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 five breweries ensure that connoisseurs have plenty to explore while they're in town:

  • 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.
  • Triangle Brewing Company is Durham's oldest brewery, founded in 2007. They are known for drinks like the Strong Golden Ale, clocking in at a hefty 8% ABV, but they also craft options like the Habanero Pale Ale. Take a tour at their East Durham facility on Saturday afternoons, or try their beers in their restaurant, Triangle Pint & Plate.
  • Bull City Burger & Brewery pairs an obsession with 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.
  • 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. Local restaurants DashiGeer Street GardenMateoPizzeria Toro, and Watts Grocery all sell Ponysaurus's beers on a limited basis.
  • G2B Gastropub is Durham's newest brewery, opening in 2014. They aim to create beers to pair with the small plates they serve in their restaurant. 

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:

  • Bar Lusconi is a small wine and beer bar with a European back alley ambiance. Sam's says, simply: "Cheese plates + charcuterie + amazing rare beer selection."
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • 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 bottle and can, and have some tables so you can relax and enjoy one of your new brews.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Browse Durham Breweries & Distilleries:



Bull Craft Bottle Shop

  • 1125 W.NC Highway 54, Ste 501
  • Durham, NC 27713
  • (919) 525-5888
  • SW Durham, including Southpoint

A craft beer shop featuring NC brews. The store will sell bottles to go as well as 8 beers on draft.

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 and can be rented as an event space for …

Ponysaurus Brewing

  • 1101 W Chapel Hill St, The Cookery, Downtown Durham
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 908-8974
  • Downtown Area

Triangle Brewing Company

  • 918 Pearl St
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • (919) 683-2337
  • Downtown Area

Durham’s oldest operating brewery offers its product in kegs, growlers and cans. Making craft beer in authentic styles has garnered the operation a strong local reputation. Tours offered most …

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Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau
101 E Morgan St.
Durham, NC 27701 USA
Phone: (919) 687-0288
Toll Free: (800) 446-8604