Enjoying Raleigh’s Newest Beer Place
State of Beer is located on (for now); the most quiet part of Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. This little gem opened their doors in December 2014 and when we visited the first time on a Saturday afternoon in January we had the bar almost to ourselves. With an attentive staff and great beer choices, we decided to come back to write this piece.
Roll forward in time a mere thirty days later on a Saturday afternoon and we waited for a seat at the bar. I don’t want to give the impression that this place holds hundreds of people; there are only fifteen seats at the bar. So what makes this place unique? First I was pleasantly surprised that despite it’s name it was not a frat house beer joint, rather it’s is a more upscale and well designed brew pub, bottle shop and gourmet eatery. When you first enter you will first be drawn to the tap set up. The twelve shiny chrome taps are shaped like cobras hung inverted from a bronze metallic piece of art.
Your ears will be delighted by the mellow music wafting overhead from a well balanced speaker system. More importantly the music somehow seems softer with a bit more tin and less bass. Oh yes and that’s when you see the record collection and realize this is all coming from vinyl being spun by the bartenders one at at time by hand. Marvin Gay , Fleetwood Mac, Santana and more. When you make your way to the sleek light wood bar you will notice it looks familiar but not ordinary, that is because it is reclaimed wood from a bowling alley lane that has been sanded to perfection and polyurethanes to a glowing finish.
Exposed silver duct work and industrial looking light sconces,original brick walls and a totally open exposed kitchen area add to the ambiance. No television sets here. At State of Beer it’s all about the vibe. Friendly staff from the beer slingers to the chefs; the vibe encourages friendly local conversation among patrons.
Another unique feature here is that if you like the beer you had on tap, you can purchase it, but not from growlers. State of Beer has its own canning machine that will seal 32 ounces complete with the State of Beer labeling. Wow, today I am having a collaboration brew from Quest/Trophy that is a smoked peach dark saison, yum! I have decided to take a can of this home for next weekend.
Last time we visited we did not get to try the food although it looked great we had eaten take out in the car on the way; what a mistake. The menu is limited but the food here is amazing. Today we had the cheese plate and the charcuterie plate with all local cheeses, meats and even the stone ground mustard was made in Asheville, NC by a company called the Lusty Monk. All the food is designed to complement the beer and we can absolutely say they hit the mark with us!
We loved our entire experience here and hope you will too!Posted on: March 22, 2015, by : Jan Delory