Lonerider also has the best brewpub art in Raleigh.

Lonerider also has the best brewpub art in Raleigh.

Lonerider Brewing Company
8816 Gulf Ct #100
Raleigh, North Carolina
Visited on June 8, 2013

My birthday weekend saw my fiancé and I going on a small brewpub tour of Raleigh, North Carolina. When I think of the Tarheel state, I most certainly don’t think of beer right away. But the state capital has quite the little scene growing up quickly. All they need is a couple of small boutique, extremely snobby brewpubs to round out their offerings.

You see, every town needs four tiers of brewery to be complete. You need the shitty spots to make you appreciate the good ones. You need the tried and true (and cheap) middle-of-the-road option. You need the aforementioned expensive spot that only serves their beer in fluted glasses.

And then you need a spot that is extremely high quality, always reliable, and not too expensive. This is where Lonerider comes in. My fiancé and I almost skipped this spot on our Raleigh brewery tour due to the fact that it’s a bit out of the way and we’d already had a lot of their beers in the bottle. That would’ve been a mistake!

Not the taproom I remember. I'm guessing they set up the tent in the summer.

Not the taproom I remember. I’m guessing they set up the tent in the summer.

Lonerider turned out to be one of my favorite non-food-serving breweries that I’ve ever been to. There’s not much to the tap “room.” It’s basically a tent set up off the back end of the brewery with a bar, a few tables, a back porch, and a bunch of fans trying to keep fans of the brewery a bit cool during the hot North Carolina summers. It’s simple and rustic, and it’s all you really need if the beer is good.

And it is.

I was very impressed by the quality of the beer served here. When I visited there were five beers on tap, and a sixth available in bombers. The three standards are Sweet Josie, a many-award-winning nut brown that is sweet, smooth, and delicious; Peacemaker Pale, an average but tasty offering; and Shotgun Betty, a wheat beer that is somewhat spicy and that I enjoyed even though I don’t typically enjoy wheats. Their two seasons included True Britt, an English mild that was malty and awesome, and The Preacher, a Belgian saison that was refreshing and spicy all at the same time, and also my favorite of the bunch.

???????????????????????????????The bartender is obviously there all the time. Photos of her hang on the back wall, standup cutouts stand by the side of the bar, and most everyone seems to know her. She does a great job.

There was as food truck during my visit, but I didn’t get to partake and don’t know if that is the norm or the exception. Either way, the beer is what makes this place great. I highly recommend stopping in.

Location: 16
Food: NA
Beer: 20
Service: 20
Overall: 19
Total: 75 (of 80)