Monday, May 27, 2013

Carolina Brewing Company and the Morgan Horse Show…

GristmillBess Beetle and Sweetgum fruitStaying a little longer in this area gave us the opportunity to see Katie one last time before leaving, She came to the Fairgrounds to spend one night with us. How lucky we were that the Fairgrounds happened to be hosting the Southern States Regional Morgan Horse Show. We had never been to a show of this type. The Morgan is a breed of horse which is said to be “easily recognized by his proud carriage, upright graceful neck, and distinctive head with expressive eyes”.

We walked all around the Hunt Horse Complex at the Fairgrounds and took in the sights. We saw lots of proud owners of these fine horses displaying their colorful Ribbons at Horse Eventstable banners and winner's ribbons.  Nearly all the stalls had these displays as well as several directors chairs encircling each of the stalls apparently for friends and family.  In one arena we saw the lost art of Dressage.  As I can best tell Dressage is a style of horse riding intended to create a better horse and rider through the use of structure. We were also able to watch many adult and elderly carriage riders dressed in time period clothing as they rode their carriages around the complex in their own special competition. We had fun watching and trying to understand these new events (for us) and were sure glad we stumbled upon it.

Carriage RiderThe next morning we headed south as we were planning to spend one last night with Katie and her roommate Heather at their home. But the plan was to leave early enough so we could attend the Saturday only touring of the Carolina Brewing Company in Holly Springs, North Carolina. They give tours once a week on Saturdays and the tour started at 1:00pm. Katie's roomie was to meet us there so we would all enjoy the tour.

Carolina BreweryNow this Brewery has a really neat story in that there are only 5 employees with four of them being partners of the business. The original partners were apparently friends at college and got the brewery idea while living in Seattle Washington. Joe, one of the partners, led our tour this Saturday and we asked where he had gone to college.  Interestingly he told us he had attended Cornell University in On TapIthaca NY.  Upon entering the brewery we all were given a pint glass and instructed to go in the back of the brewery prior to the tour to receive a sample of beer. Wow! A PINT sample of a beer! My first sample was of their Carolina India Pale Ale which was very good and very hoppy just the way I like the India Pale Ales. Sharon and the girls all tried a Carolina Summer Ale which I of course tasted and I too found this to be a very nice and pleasing seasonal Ale.

Joe then started the tour by telling the rather large touring crowd about how the beer is brewed and how they focus on keeping things simple at this brewery. I would hope so since just the five of them are brewing about a 50/50 mix of bottles and kegs year round and distribute their product is only distributed very locally in Central imageNorth Carolina. During the interesting tour there were lots of great questions that gave us a better insight into their operations. I mean a four batch stainless steel holding vat cost upwards of $50,000 bucks! Yikes this is not a business for the faint of heart…

After the tour we were surprised at the invitation to enjoy more PINT samples… So between the four of us we tried their Carolina Pale Ale, their Carolina Winter Porter, and their Carolina Nut Brown Ale. Not being able to sample any more beers and still leave the place we visited the front store and bought a six of their Carolina Nut Brown Ale which was a favorite of the girls and one I also thought was quite Historic Farm, Horses and Carolina Brewery 066nicely produced. We were amazed at this little operation that is only run by five people and feel this is a tour not to be missed when in this area!

Joe said you may never have heard of the Carolina Brewing Company because they do no advertising and he said they would rather give away pint samples at their tour instead of pay for a large billboard along the interstate… and did I say the tour is FREE… an RV’ers dream event! With a motto like “All it takes is a liver and a dream” how can one go wrong…

And so ends our stay at the Fairgrounds in Raleigh as we will travel to Mount Airy today and see if we can find the home of Mayberry R.F.D.…


  1. Now thats my kind of tour, two of my favorite things, beer and free!

  2. Oh David will be just swooning he loves Carolina Brewing beers and picks them up whenever he's able. I sure hope we don't have to back track several hundred miles to see this right away we're almost in Charlottesville. Thanks so much for the information. I know this is going to be on our MUST do list.

  3. Carolina Brewing - looks like a must see place for me.

  4. What a fun way to round out your stay in the Raleigh area with your daughter. Love brewery tours and this one seemed especially great with generous samples of tasty beer. I like their "sip a pint" advertising strategy.

  5. We lived in that area for many years before retiring and hitting the road a year and half ago. Never took the beer tour but bought many a six pack of their Nut Brown Ale in the supermarket. Very good choice you made. :-)

  6. Free Beer! Free beer in pints! Looks like a fun tour.