Friday, March 17, 2017

Cary's Bond Brothers wins USA Today's "Best new Brewery in America"

Cary's Bond Brothers Beer Company has been producing amazing beers since it's opening in April of 2016.

By Dathan Kazsuk | March 17, 2017
Twitter: TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: trianglearoundtown

Bond Brothers Beer Company has been open to the public for less than a year and the co-owners that are Jay and Jeremy Bond and Whit Baker have been setting the Triangle ablaze with one after another on par brews. From the hoppy IPA styles of Local, Long Stride and Bitter Enemy to the precise combinations of ingredients in its stout series called Varient – Bond Brothers is a must stop while visiting the confides of Cary.

USA Today's Reader Choice 2017 has awarded Bond Brothers Beer Company with the "Best New Brewery." USA Today asked a panel of beer experts to nominate their favorite and let the readers vote for their favorite. Some of the other breweries included Richmond, Virginia's The Answer Brewpub and The Veil Brewing Company as well as Atlanta's Scofflaw Brewing Company, who finished right behind the Cary brewery.

We thought after an accomplishment such as that, Triangle Around Town would reach out to the trio at Bond Brothers and ask them a few questions.

After years of home brewing and winning local awards at what point did you decide that you should actually create your own brewery?

Whit: When we started getting feedback, we figured if we were doing that well at home, that we probably could do as good or better if we had equipment designed to brew it.
Jeremy: Basically we were brewing out of my shed, so we nicknamed it the "brew shed."  We ended up with about 7 refrigerators in there. The whole shed was dedicated to brewing. It got to be almost a job. That's when we realized that if we wanted to do world-class beers, we're going to have to take the next step – and that's when we decided to take the plunge.
Jay: A little bit before that I was at Yadkin Valley managing a vineyard out there in the winery. I would visit them and work with them and brew with them and got more involved in beer and that process as well.

While drinking wine in the Yadkin Valley area I head it was Laurel Gray Vineyards in Hamptonville that you worked for.

Jay: Yeah, I worked for Laurel Gray and the Yadkin Valley Wine Company. I also worked closely with Shadow Springs as well. I didn't actually work for Shadow Springs, but that's where we get all our wine barrels for production here.

Bond Brothers crafts some amazing beers here in the Triangle – from the variety of IPAs to your Sorcery and Varient series beers. What would you say is Bond Brothers' wheelhouse?

Whit: We look for what we want to drink. Both the Bond brothers really like drinking IPAs and pale ales. One thing we really want to put an emphasis on is kettle sours. We felt we can make kettle sours fast enough, and well enough, that we can sell them at a regular price point so people can try them. When we want to do stouts, we do stouts. We also do some Belgiums and Saisons. So those are what we specialize in.

With Sorcery, you've already done an plum, apricot, raspberry, mango and even a pineapple, mango, apricot beer. How do you decide what fruit or mixture is going into these beers?

Whit: It's sort of random as to what fruit combinations we use or we do some spur of the moment changes.
Jay: Whit will present an idea, or most of the time we'll present an idea, and then we bounce it off all of us. We either say we love it or hate it, and then we'll make changes.

Since your opening in last April you've been churning out many different beers. Has there ever been any epic failures of something that just didn't turn out right or tasted horrible with the fruit, ingredients or hops that you had to dump?

Whit: No. We did have one batch that the yeast didn't work properly and we had to get rid of that batch. But as far as ingredients go, we've actually been 100 percent on ingredients. Part of it is that we take extra time on these batches to make sure we have the flavoring right. If we haven't used the ingredient yet, we go slow and wait until we have what we want.

One can come into Bond Brothers and get a crawler of their favorite beer, but are there any plans on canning your beer and selling them by 4- or 6-packs?

Whit: As far as the IPAs go, we're going to resist packaging them. IPAs are definitely better on draft or fresh. But we will actually be rolling out bottles this year. {Bond Brothers Beer Company release its first bottled Brett IPA, Duality of Funk, on Saturday, Feb. 25}

Is there plans down the road to self distribute to bottle shops?

Whit: We might start to sell a few bottles to bottle shops, but in general we're going to keep it here.

Again, you've been open to the public for under a year, but you've already done many collaborations with local bottle shops and breweries. How do you guys figure out who you are going to collaborate with?

Whit: Basically we are in collaborating with a bunch of home brewer friends we had before we were a brewery. Ridgewood Wine & Beer approached us and said they would like an IPA and we like these hops, and we'd like for you to brew one. But with other people like TapLine Growler and Glass Jug, those might be atypical because they are homebrewers. Chris Creech is a pretty accomplished homebrewer, and then Justin at TapLine also homebrews, so those kinda of rolled into the homebrew side of collabs.

We started off the new year with a couple of brewery closings. White Rabbit in Angier and Draft Line in Fuquay-Varina closed its doors. Do you think that over saturation of breweries is finally and if you aren't on that plateau there is a chance you won't make it?

Whit: There will be for sure. As long as you make high-quality beer, there will also be room for you.