hawriver1Haw River Farmhouse Ales
1713 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Rd
Saxapahaw, North Carolina
Visited on October 2, 2016

It took me much longer than it probably should have to get to Haw River Farmhouse Ales – it’s only about 20 minutes away from where I first lived in North Carolina and now only about 50 minutes. The problem is that there’s almost no other reason to go out there.

Saxapahaw is an interesting little place. There’s not really much of a town, so much as an installation. A couple of large buildings supply space for a few restaurants, a butcher, the brewery, some shops, some nice looking apartments…and that’s really about it. I’m not sure why this place exists, but it’s cute and charming, and there’s even a canoe livery right down the river.

Having had Haw River beers plenty of times before, I was expecting a good showing. I was not disappointed. My wife, neighbors and I cruised through eight healthy sample pours of their beers, which mainly stick to farmhouse/saison/sour territory. Their oatmeal pale ale is always a decent choice when available at bars and restaurants in Durham, and their Breakfast Dubbel is outstanding.hawriver2

I’m sorry to say that I no longer remember much about the multiple seasonal/experimental beers I had that day. But that is part of the charm – you never really know what you’re going to get when you show up. And while you may not love each beer, they’re at least very interesting and always well done.

As for the taproom itself – there isn’t much to it. A small interior space with maybe 10 stools around a small dark bar gives way to a small exterior space with a handful of barrels to rest your drinks on. Not much in the way of seating. Then again, I can’t imagine there’s ever hundreds of people waiting for a drink.

It’s all part of the charm.

Location: 18
Food: NA
Beer: 19
Service: 18
Overall: 19
Total: 74 (of 80)