Monday, July 31, 2017

Brewery Profile: Little City Brewing and Provisions Co.

                                                                                                                                                 Photo by Paul Prause
A couple bartenders at Little City Brewing and Provisions Co. pose for a photo.

Little City Brewing and Provisions Co.
400 W. North Street, Suite120, Raleigh

It was my first time inside Little City Brewing and Provisions Co. since it opened to the public. Myself and fellow beer drinker Paul Prause had a good time at our last stop of the evening, as Paul found someone who watched the Showtime series, Shameless. The thing I liked about LCB was that not only can you order some beer, but wine and up to 11 specialty cocktails. 

One of the bartenders that day mentioned that they were still working on the ideas to also have a bodega-style kitchen with light food items. Once LCB has that operational, as well as a few more beers on draft, this will really be a nice place to hang out. And being that LCB's owner,Jon Seelbinder, also owns Raleigh hangouts such as The Architect, Linus & Peppers, Virgil's Tacos and Level Up, I think he knows what's he's doing in the Oak City.

Phone: (919) 502-7155
Web: thelocalicon.com/little-city
Owner: Jon Seelbinder
Head brewer: Bert Halpert
Brewing system: 7 barrel brewing system
Year established: 2016
Flagship beer: Jalapeno IPA
Hours: Monday - Thursday: 3 p.m. - 12 a.m.; Friday: 3 p.m. - 2 a.m.; Saturday: 12 p.m. - 2 a.m.; Sunday: 12 p.m. - 12 a.m. 
Parking: Street parking 
Free Wi-Fi: Yes (GreatBeer) 
Dog friendly: Yes 
Stickers: Yes


Beers on draft: 5 beers on tap, 8-9 guest taps (when we were there)
Pints/costs: $4/$6
Flights: $10 (four 5-ounce pours)
Food on site: Foodtrucks on weekends
Cans/bottles for sale: No
Growler/howler fills: Yes
Crowler fills: No
Wine available: Yes
Within walking distance: Raleigh Beer Garden, Carolina Ale House, Sullivan's Steak House, 42nd Street Oyster Bar, Clouds Brewing, Mosaic Wine Lounge
Sampled during our visit: Amber, Hefeweizen, Kolsch, Imperial IPA, Jalapeno Serrano, plus a local coffee-infused Kolsch

Photos by Paul Prause

Raleigh entrepreneur's networking series becomes a rock star

FIVE QUESTIONS WITH

Steven Elliot and his wife, Sarah.

By Dathan Kazsuk | July 31, 2017
Twitter: TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: trianglearoundtown

In our next installment of 5 Questions With ... we got in touch with master meet-up organizer, Steven David Elliot. We first met him many years ago when he owned a book store near the Falls River neighborhood. But Elliot's life and knowledge went back way before that. 

Elliot started off with a degree in Jewish studies at the University of Florida, which then led to a trip to Israel and work as a educator resident assistant. Then coming back to the U.S. he worked as a social worker, marketing for a nursing home and even his own radio show. But after the high-pressure of working with the elderly, he was getting burnt out. He decided to have no regrets and do something he really wanted to do ... own his own bookstore.

And with the assistance of his family, he finally opened his first bookstore in Miami – which eventually lead to owning a few in the greater Miami-area. From there, he had time to experiment on how to interact with clients and determine their wants and needs. At the same time his business was starting to grow. He then realized it was easier to promote what was happening around him instead of promoting his own business. That lead to him starting a farmers market, an art festival, a music series and poetry readings.


                                                                                         c/o Rockstar Connect

Is that the start of getting your feet wet with what's now known to the area as North Hills Networking? During that period of time I created my first networking event. It was a morning event called Success is Contagious. This group was designed to be almost a support group for people going through bad times in business. I started North Hills (Networking) immediately when I became a real estate agent. The networking events were very popular, and I carefully crafted my program so it would be scalable around the country, unlike my book business. The event was popular immediately.

And there is now Rockstar Connect. What exactly is that? I formed a partnership with a young man named Nick Cioffi, who understood my vision. Together with my wife, Sarah, Nick and I knocked out all the nuts and bolts of my system. That became Rockstar Connect. After a few months we have started several programs around the country. My partners at Fathom (Marco Fregenal and Joshua Harley) invested in Rockstar Connect as partners, we scaled the company nationally. Within six months of this partnership and eight months of forming the company, we were in 60 cities around the U.S.

That's great. It seems like you've been doing entrepreneurial endeavors pretty much your entire adult life. What are some words of advice you'd give to someone starting up their own endeavors? My advice to entrepreneurs would be to determine your 'Why?' Why are you trying to do what you're doing? Is it because you want your independence or freedom? Is it because of money? Do you want to be rich? Or is it because you want to make the world a better place. Or maybe it's a combination of all these things. It's also important to recognize that you have to have your integrity. Your mouth has to write checks that your ass can cash!

Related Story:  Raleigh realtor mixes wine with real estate

                                                                             c/o Rockstar Connect

The only way you are going to figure something like that out is if you just hop into the deep end of the pool and figure it out on your own, right? It's OK to reach out to others for help, but I think you'll gain the most value by figuring it out your own way. I have always been untrainable, uncoachable and incorrigible. This has forced me to be an autodidact that thinks outside of the box. The market rewards people who think like that. It is also important to let go of some control. Get good partners. They can help you with your vision as well as relieve you of a lot of the pressures and time constraints of the business. 

That's some good advice. We're now a little past the halfway mark of 2017, is there anything we can expect from North Hills Networking or Rockstar Connect to finish up this year? I foresee my real estate business continuing to grow at both the local and national level. Rockstar Connect will morph into the area of technology to better serve our constituency. Also, I will be happy to see that my wife and I will be able to achieve our goal to help people across the U.S. and perhaps the world with our unique events.

For more information on North Hills Networking or Rockstar Connect events, check out the Facebook pages, 


If you or someone you know would like to be featured in our monthly Five Questions With, please send an email to trianglearoundtown@gmail.com



Thursday, July 20, 2017

Winery's treehouses offer means of escape while offering vineyard views


By Jennifer Primrose | July 20, 2017
Twitter: TriangleAT | Facebook: Triangle Around Town | Instagram: trianglearoundtown


What is it about a treehouse that sounds so appealing? I’m not quite sure, but combine that with a winery and my interest is definitely piqued. Twenty minutes southeast of Charlotte is Monroe, and there is where you can find Treehouse Vineyards and Winery. I was finally able to pay them a visit and was very pleased with the overall experience.


Included in the $8 tasting price is a winery tour, where we learned all about this vineyard – the history, the operation and its wine. Our tour started outside overlooking the vineyard, where we learned more about the history of the winery, the owners and its grapes. 



Next we were escorted inside to see where the magic happens and the wine making takes place. We also learned about the bottling and label making process. Following our tour, we were directed into the tasting room where we were all seated at tables for a sit down tasting with pre-selected wines, both dry and sweet. What made this experience unique as opposed to other wineries we’ve visited over the years is the group tasting accompanied by story-telling of the family and history of the vineyard.  




Treehouse Vineyards and Winery is family-owned and operated and sits on a 200-year-old family farm that opened to the public in 2010. The owners are Phil and Dianne Nordan and they had grape vines on their farm for more than 50 years. Well before the winery became a reality, Phil had decided to build a treehouse that overlooks the vineyard back in 1999, and named it Date Nite.



The treehouse is not built for overnight stays, but does include a couch, outdoor fireplace, phone and rocking chairs, and it can be rented out for up to six adults. Before Treehouse officially opened, Papa’s Dream was built, an overnight treehouse overlooking the rock quarry and vineyards, also available for rent. And lastly, Horsefeathers Hideaway, which can be described as a “modern spacious treehouse” for 2 to 8 people.
The first vines at Treehouse were planted in the Spring of 2005 and currently include eight varieties of Muscadines, which are native to the area – with one variety coming directly from “The Mother Vine” in Manteo. Also planted on the grounds are Carlos and Noble grape varieties, both in the Muscadine family. The grapes for the Viniferous wines come directly from Yadkin Valley.
The main reason to visit a winery is of course the wine. To be as upfront and honest as possible, I simply do not care for muscadine wine. I usually lean more towards dry-style European or California wines, primarily red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Malbec. That’s not to say that muscadine wine is not popular, especially in our state. One reason I enjoy wine tasting so much, and especially with others, is that we never have to agree, as everyone’s tastes are different and unique. I prefer to blog about my experiences. And luckily for me, Treehouse produces more than just Muscadine wine. They also make a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, a dry white blend and a reserve Riesling – in addition to several award-winning Muscadine wines.



The wines on our tasting menu on that warm Friday evening were “Her Way” Cabernet Sauvignon; “Liquid Sunshine” – a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris; “Rock Quarry” Riesling (a reserve wine); "Windy Hill" – a semi-dry white Doreen blend; "Sweet Union" – a sweet white Carlos; "Date Nite" – a Doreen blend; "Bailey's Blend" - a semi-sweet red muscadine blend; "Sunset Hills" – a sweet Carlos and Noble blend, and we finished with a wine slushie with our choice of wine which was surprisingly refreshing for such a warm July evening.



The property encourage guests to enjoy a picnic overlooking the scenic vineyards with a glass or bottle of wine. Or better yet, if you’re looking for a unique experience or perhaps a special date night, consider renting the Date Nite Treehouse for an afternoon or evening. We were not able to tour the treehouses on this visit and we later learned that everything is booked into 2018. So, plan ahead!



Treehouse Vineyards also hosts several events, such as:
  • Murder mysteries
  • Live at the Vines music events
  • Dance nights
  • Craft and wine nights
  • Treehouse trivia
One of the signature events takes place on Saturday, September 16 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and that is the Grape Stomping Harvest. This even will include craft and food vendors, contests, bands, tastings and tours. Rumor also has it that a vineyard 5K run may be in the works as an upcoming event.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this experience, and did walk away with a bottle of "Her Way' Cabernet Sauvignon.



Treehouse Vineyards
301 Bay St
Monroe, North Carolina
704-283-4208

Monday, July 17, 2017

Brewery Profile: Oak & Dagger Public House

We tried a selection of Oak & Dagger beers, including the beer that won in the 2017 U.S. Beer Championship.

Oak & Dagger Public House
18 Seaboard Avenue, Suite 150, Raleigh

Oak & Dagger Public House recently won a bronze medal at the 2017 U.S. Beer Championship awards for its "When Life Gives you Hops, Make Lemons" beer. This beer won in the "Gluten-Free" category. Other Triangle-area breweries that won awards featured Crank Arm, Fullsteam, Mystery, Lonerider, White Street and Fortnight. Raleigh's own Lynnwood Brewing Concern ranked 3rd overall, winning three medals – 2 gold and 1 bronze.

Along with our good friend, Paul Prause, we made a stop at Oak & Dagger prior to the award for our next installment of our Brewery Profile. During our stop we were fortunate to actually try the award winning before and both thought it was done well.

Related story: Brewery Profile – Lynwood Brewing Concern


Phone: (919) 945-9382
Web: www.oakanddagger.beer
Head brewer: Peter McCabe 
Brewing system:10 barrel
Year established: September, 2016
Flagship beer: Rotating beers year round
Hours: Monday-Thursday: 2 p.m. - 10 p.m.; Friday: 2 p.m. - 11 p.m.; Saturday: 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday: 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. 
Parking: Paved parking lot, street parking
Free Wi-Fi: Yes (beerhere)
Dog friendly: Not in the taproom/restaurant
Stickers: $1

Beers on draft: 24 beers on draft (6 guest taps)
Pints/costs: Between $3.50 to $6 (10-ounce to 16-ounce)
Flights: No. Oak & Dagger offers 2-ounce pours between $2-$3.50 depending on beer
Food on site: Yes. Full-service restaurant
Cans/bottles for sale: No
Growler/howler fills: Yes
Crowler fills: No
Wine available: Yes
Within walking distance: 18 Seaboard, Bad Daddy's Burger Bar, J. Betski's, Rum Runners, BREW Coffee Bar 
Sampled during our visit: Cryin' Over My Mojito, When Life Gives You Hops ... Make Lemons?, Hulda Storm's Red Saison, Pass the Kvass, Sir, Yay!,

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Largest Breweries in the Triangle


Local Triangle breweries have been gaining some attention lately, at least from the ones that like to hand out awards. Earlier this week, 8 breweries in the area won medals during the 2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship. Over 6,000 beers were entered into the competition – featuring over 100 different beer styles.

And that got us to thinking. With 45 breweries in the Triangle – which ones are the largest? What would be the best way to do that? Well, on July 7 the Triangle Business Journal made that pretty easy – as they released for the first time, its "Largest Triangle Breweries" list. Ranked by the number of beer barrels produced by each brewery in 2016. Now take in mind, this isn't saying these are the best breweries that are serving up amazing sours or hoppy IPAs. This is ranked essentially by the size of the breweries barrel productions.

So without further adieu, here's the breakdown – starting from 20 and working our way to the number 1 position.
(Note: Apex's Brüeprint reached out to us with their numbers, which was now added to the total. With 1,600 barrels produced in 2016, that places them at No. 14 on the list. Which takes off Clouds Brewing, which produced 760 barrels in 2016).

20. Nickelpoint Brewing Co.: 800

19. Gizmo Brew Works: 1,090

18. Bond Brothers Beer Co.: 1,200

17. Mystery Brewing Co.: 1,400

16. Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery: 1,500

15. Crank Arm Brewing Co.: 1,500

14. Brüeprint Brewing: 1,600

13. Ponysaurus Brewing Co: 2,000

12. Double Barley Brewing: 2,250

11. Trophy Brewing Co.: 2,500

10. Lynwood Brewing Concern: 3,750

09. Deep River Brewing Co.: 4,000

08. Carolina Brewing Co.: 4,000

07. Raleigh Brewing Co.: 5,500

06. Carolina Brewery: 5,735

05. Fullsteam: 5,745

04. White Street Brewing Co.: 7,500

03. Big Boss Brewing Co.: 11,000

02. Aviator Brewing Co: 11,316

01. Lonerider Brewing Co.: 19,000
                                                                                                                                                                        SOURCE: Triangle Business Journal

Monday, July 10, 2017

Brewery Profile: Red Hill Brewing Company

Chris Abney is brewer and co-owner of Red Hill Brewery in Concord, North Carolina.
Red Hill's brewer and co-owner Chris Abney.
Red Hill Brewing Company
21 Union St. South, Concord

Phone: (704) 784-2337
Web: www.redhillbrewing.com
Owners: Hunter Huss, Chris Abney and Jeff Switalski
Head brewer: Chris Abney
Brewing system: 1 barrel (will upgrade to a 3-barrel system soon)
Year established: January 13, 2017
Flagship beer: Austin's Amber and Jane's Blonde
Most popular beer: Murph IPA or any IPA that's on draft at the time.
Hours: Wednesday-Thursday: 4 p.m. - 9 p.m.; Friday: 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.; Saturday: 12 a.m. - 10 p.m. (closed Sunday-Tuesday)
Parking: Paved parking lot, street parking
Free Wi-Fi: Yes
Dog friendly: Yes
Stickers: Yes

Beers on draft: 9 beers on draft
Pints/costs: $4; pitchers for $12
Flights: $8 for four 4-ounce pours
Cans/bottles for sale: No
Growler/howler fills: Yes
Crowler fills: No
Wine available: Yes ($4 a glass)
Food: Yes (local restaurants come on site and deliver to taproom)
Within walking distance: Cabarrus Creamery; The Grill at 11 Union; Chocolatier Barrucand; Cabo Winery; Gianni's Trattoria
Sampled during our visit: Murph IPA; Blown Fuse IPA brewed with Mangos; Insurgent Barrel-Aged Porter; Dreamsicle, Orange Cream Blonde


If you're looking for a brewery that can be confusing to find, you might want to stop by Red Hill Brewery while passing through Concord, North Carolina. Akin to a speakeasy, this brewery can be incredibly difficult to find. Located on Union Street, or at least that's what GPS and the website tell you – this brewery takes a little bit of slewthing before you can nestle up to the taproom and order a refreshing drink.

Now, I'm not going to give anything away ... that takes the fun out of it. And just like head brewer Chris Abney says, "We like that. It makes us something similar to a speakeasy. And we're just fine with that."


Once inside, You can select between some brews produced by this 1-barrel brewery that range from IPAs, Belgians, Porters and anything in between. The name Red Hill was taken from a local old tavern, which President George Washington was rumored to lodge at after a night out with Col. Robert Smith. 

Interested in having your brewery profiled? Contact us at trianglearoundtown@gmail.com.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Brewery Profile: Angry Troll Brewing Company

Angry Troll co-owner Bob Puckett pours a pint.
Angry Troll Brewing Company
222. E. Main Street, Elkin

Phone: (336) 258-2251
Web: www.angrytrollbrewing.com
Owners: Bob Puckett, Cicley McCulloch, Jeff Gibbs, Kevin Stainback, Louis Jeroslow and Dee Coley
Head brewers: Kevin Stainback and Louis Jeroslow
Brewing system: 2 barrel
Year established: 2016
Flagship beer: ESB, 1 Hop IPA, Coffee Stout, Cinnamon Honey Porter
Most popular beer: 1 Hop IPA
Hours: Taproom hours – Friday: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.; Saturday: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.; Restaurant hours – Thursday: 5 p.m. - 12 a.m.; Friday-Monday: 11:30 a.m. - close (the restaurant is closed Tuesday and Wednesdays)
Parking: Paved parking lot, street parking
Free Wi-Fi: No (working on it)
Dog friendly: Dogs are allowed outside on the patio, not in the taproom.
Stickers: $1



Beers on draft: 4 beers on draft (plus a few extra upstairs in Angry Troll Restaurant)
Pints/costs: $5
Flights: $5 for four 4-ounce pours
Cans/bottles for sale: No
Growler/howler fills: No (coming later)
Crowler fills: No
Wine available: Upstairs inside Angry Troll Restaurant
Food: Full restaurant upstairs inside Angry Troll Restaurant
Within walking distance: Southern on Main, Dirty Joe's, Royall's Soda Shop, Fiddles Pub
Sampled during our visit: Pomegranate Shandy, ESB, Coffee Stout, Idaho 7 IPA

Angry Troll Brewing Company can be found in the lower level of the Liberty building on Elkin's Main Street. Just like a troll hiding under a bridge, Angry Troll might be a little difficult to find at first. But once you find it, there is ample parking right outside the front door.

Related Profiles: Raleigh's Sub Noir Brewery Company