28 September 2010

Cool Triangle spots: Big Boss taproom

As I may have mentioned, I'm a fan of craft beer. (That's what we're calling microbrews these days, because not all craft beers are technically microbrews.) I'm fortunate to live in an area where there are easily a dozen craft breweries within an hour or two's drive from my house.

Big Boss Brewing is located over in Raleigh, near 440 and Capital Blvd. Their beer selections include Hell's Belle (a Belgian blond), Angry Angel (a K├Âlsch), Bad Penny (a brown ale), and rotating seasonals like Harvest Time pumpkin ale and Aces and Ates coffee stout.

Ben's birthday was last week, and he wanted to go have a couple beers at the taproom with some friends. So we did.

Finding the brewery for the first time, in the dark, was not so easy. It's in a dark parking lot on a poorly-lit street in an industrial(ish) neighborhood. The sign isn't prominent at all, and Ben only found it by the neon "OPEN" sign in an upper window.

There is outdoor seating (for the smokers). Inside the door is the brewery off to the left, and the taproom is up a flight of stairs. It's not a huge place. There's half a dozen seats at the bar and several smaller rooms off the various hallways. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that it used to be an office of some sort. One room has darts, another a pool table.

The wall decor has a WW2-era theme to it, with miniature fuselage, some with kill counts on them.

We occupied one of the smaller rooms. It had two couches facing each other with a low table in the middle. The overhead light was two fluorescent bulbs, one of which flickered, so we left it off and chatted by the light of the lamp on the table (and the neon sign, once we opened the blinds).

We got in pretty early, around 8 pm, and it wasn't busy at all. When we left close to midnight, it was hopping: people were playing darts, there were several pool games going on, and the outdoor seating had multiple people with pitchers. The music never felt too loud, though whether that was because we were in a side room, I don't know.

I plan to make it to one of their brewery tours (the second Saturday of the month). October is out because of the World Beer Festival, but maybe November.

In summary: Big Boss taproom is a nice, gem├╝tlicher place to chat with friends while drinking beer brewed just downstairs.

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