Why did you pick the lion for your logo?
The lion is a traditional brewing symbol, legend has it that before refrigeration the barrels of beer were stored in caves to keep it cool. A lion was perched at the mouth of the cave to ensure none of the tasty liquids were pilfered. We have been unable to confirm the story, but after a few tasty liquids it seems more likely to be true.
Is there a way to be notified when new beers are released?
Yes, just send us your email address and let us know that you want to be added to our email list. We will send a note whenever we release a new beer. We won't bombard you with garbage, we won't share your address with anyone else and you have the option of being removed at any time. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
What is your distribution area?
We distribute in 52 counties in Central and Eastern North Carolina. See next question for our distributors and a complete list of counties we distribute in currently.
I had one of your beers at a restaurant, but I can't find it in the supermarket. Why?
We bottle and keg our year round and seasonal beers for distribution in restaurants and supermarkets. Our specialty beers are available on draft throughout our distribution area, but in bottles only directly from the brewery and at select retail outlets for a limited time. It may also be that a particular store does not carry the beer you are looking for so feel free to ask why they don't have it and let them know they should get it.
I'm confused. I've heard that once you refrigerate beer, you should never let it get warm again. Is that true?
This falls into the category of misinformation. Storing beer cold slows down the aging process which is a good thing and storing beer warm speeds up the aging process which is a bad thing. You should try to keep your beer cold when you can for best taste, but letting it warm up is ok.
Do you ship beer?
Sorry, we do not. Currently there are not any internet sites who ship our beer either. If you have a friend in the area make them get it for you. Hopefully in the future a resource will become available that will ship our beer so check back.
Do I have to make reservations for the tour?
No, just show up by 1:00pm on Saturday and be sure to bring your ID.
Is there a charge for the tour, and how long does it last?
Most importantly, no, it's free. You read right IT'S FREE!
In terms of length, the tour typically takes about 45 minutes, but it will vary depending on how many questions are asked. You are welcome to sample beer for a little while after the tour is over, but everything is generally wrapped up a little before 3:00pm.
Do you give private tours?
We occasionally do, but they are difficult to fit in with our production schedule. If you are interested, the cost is $250 for groups of 25 or fewer people and $10 per person for groups larger than 25 people. Samples are included. Feel free to email with your specifics and we can give you more information.
What type of valve do your kegs have?
We use the American Sankey valve which is also called the D System. It is the same valve the main stream domestic beers use.
How do I tap a keg with a hand pump?
Yes, it is, but always avoid extreme high temperatures (over 80F). The warmer you keep your beer (kegs and bottles), the faster it ages which is a bad thing. And, remember that it will take a long time to cool down the keg because it's such a large volume of beer. I would plan on four to eight hours on ice before tapping it depending on the size of the keg.
How long will a keg be good for after I tap it?
Assuming you're using a hand pump, about 24 hours. Bacteria, wild yeast and oxygen in the air will spoil the beer. Keeping it cold will slow down the staling reactions, but we don't recommend tapping a keg with a hand pump until just before your event. If you are using CO2 to dispense your keg, you can figure it will be good for about three months. You don't have any of the staling reactions that you have with the air from a hand pump, but flavors will fade with time.
I bought a keg for a party tomorrow and I want to drink some tonight. Is that ok?
We don't recommend it. If you do, be sure to remove the hand pump over night to avoid losing carbonation and keep the keg as cold as possible to slow down the staling reactions.
Is it ok to let a keg get warm?
Assuming you have a lever handle hand pump (which is the most common), align the two gaps on the bottom of the hand pump with the two tabs on the sides of the keg valve and place the hand pump in the keg valve. Twist the hand pump 90 degrees clockwise until it stops turning. Pull out on the lever handle, push it down towards the keg, release it and it should snap into place. You should be all set. If you have a wing handle hand pump, follow the alignment instructions including the 90 degree twist and then twist the wing handle 90 degrees clockwise until it stops turning.
I tapped my keg with a hand pump and it's foamy. What's wrong and how can I fix it?
When dispensing the beer, be sure to push the trigger on the cobra head (the dispense spigot) all the way down when you pour a beer. If you push it part way, the beer gets agitated passing through the restricted opening and can foam. Don't over pump the keg. Just pump it enough for beer to flow at a reasonable rate. If the keg is warm or has recently been agitated (bouncing around in a car for instance), that can cause some foaming. Let the keg sit still and be sure it's cold. If none of the above solutions work, remove the hand pump and reattach it making certain that it is put on correctly.
Do you fill CO2 cylinders? Do you pressure test?
Yes, we fill CO2 cylinders, but only if the CO2 cylinder’s pressure test is current. CO2 cylinders need to be pressure tested for safety reasons once every five years. Look for a stamped date on the cylinder around the top. The most recent date needs to be within the last 5 years.
We do not pressure test CO2 cylinders.
How full is my CO2 cylinder?
This is generally difficult to answer. You may have been led to believe that if you bought a double gauge regulator, the bottle pressure gauge acts as a fill gauge and indicates how much CO2 is left. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. CO2 is present in the cylinder in liquid and gas form. As you use the gas to dispense beer, liquid changes to gas and the pressure in the bottle stays the same. This will happen until there is no more liquid, at which time the pressure will rapidly drop as you use the gas and the cylinder will soon be empty.
Newer CO2 cylinders have a tare weight engraved in them. This is the weight of the cylinder when it is empty and it is usually indicated in decimal pounds. If you have an accurate scale, you can detach all equipment from the cylinder and weigh it. Any weight above the tare weight is the weight of the CO2. For instance, if you have a 5 lb. cylinder with a tare weight of 10 pounds and the cylinder weighs 11 pounds, you have one pound of CO2 meaning your cylinder is 20% full.
How many kegs can I dispense before I run out of CO2 in my cylinder?
The exact number will vary, but you should be able to dispense around seven full size kegs (1/2 barrels), fourteen pony kegs (1/4 barrels) or twenty-one sixth barrels from one 5 lb. cylinder (5 lbs. is the most common size for home keg fridges). If your cylinder is 10 lbs., double the number of kegs.
If you are getting fewer kegs from your cylinder, you should test your system for leaks. The easiest way to do this is to spray soapy water on all connections of the cylinder, regulator and CO2 line and look for bubbles indicating a leak. Also, it is good practice to turn off your CO2 at the main shut off on top of the cylinder whenever you don't have a keg attached to avoid leaks from the coupler.
I have a restaurant and bar and want to carry your beers. Who is your distributor?
Mims is our distributor for nine counties in and around the Triangle area. The distribution area includes Chatham, Durham, Fanklin, Granville, Orange, Person, Vance, Wake, and Warren counties.
RA Jeffreys is our distributor for area to the east and south of the triangle and continuing on to the coast. This includes a 33-county area.
RA Jeffreys Raleigh handles Anson, Bladen Cumberland, Edgecombe (only Macclesfield), Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Montgomery (entire county except for Uwharrie Point), Moore, Nash (northern portion), Richmond, Robeson, and Scotland counties.
RA Jeffreys Goldsboro/Greenveille handles Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Onslow (north of Hubert), Pamlico, Pitt, Sampson, Washington (only Plymouth, Williamston and Oak City), Wayne, and Wilson counties.
RA Jeffreys Wilmington handles Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, Onslow (south of Hubert), and Pender counties.
Caffey handles the Greensboro/Winston Salem area as well as Charlotte.
*NOTE: We do NOT currently distribute in the Charlotte market.*
Counties Caffey is currently distributing CBC are Alamance, Caswell, Davie, Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Surry, and Yadkin. Check the Caffey link above to see contact information.
Feel free to give us a call with questions: 919-557-2337 or send us an email.
I want to rent the Ambrewlance for my function. How does that work?
It is $250 for the Ambrewlance and 2 bartenders for 3 hours.
Beer is purchased separately from the Ambrewlance rental fee.
Depending on your event, other arrangements can be made. For more info, send us an email with your event details and preferred beer purchase method.
Here are the 3 ways you can purchase the beer for your event:
1) You can pre-order kegs for your event (as an example: you get 1/2 barrel of Pale Ale, a 1/2 barrel of Spring Bock, a 1/6 barrel of IPA, etc. - whatever you think you need). We leave any leftover kegs with you at the end of your Ambrewlance time with handpumps so you can finish your beer.
2) You can pay by the beer served. We bring a variety of beers and keep track of beers served, then charge you $4 a beer after your Ambrewlance time is over and we don't leave any beer.
3) If your event attendees will be buying their own beer then we bring a variety of beers and charge guests $4 a beer and you just pay the Ambrewlance fee.
You can find keg prices here. Buying by the keg is more economical, buying by the beer offers more variety.