The grand opening of Bond Brothers Beer Company
in Cary arrives April 2, with a performance by Chatham County Line. But if you don't mind a little construction detritus, you can enjoy some of its beer now.
Joining the increasingly crowded Triangle beer-making scene, the new brewery has launched with a soft opening. Based on the size of Saturday afternoon's crowd, we've not yet reached the area's brewery tipping point: the stools along the unfinished bar were all taken during my visit, as were most of the tables that had been placed after being covered in tarps and painter's tape.
It was a mixed crowd. There were beer geeks jumping on the newest thing. (“If I give it over a three, it's pretty good," I overheard, "but I only give it a four or more if it's something I would buy a six-pack of to have around all the time.”) There were families with toddlers using small pieces of wood by one of the tables to build walls and towers that clattered to the ground: “Jenga!” laughed a bartender after one particularly loud clatter.
Considering that Bond Brothers only has three beers on tap at the moment, the turnout was impressive. (Each is available at $5 for a full glass or $3 for a half.) One option is the Local IPA (6.9 percent ABV). The plan is to use different hops each batch so that it will always be different. The current version features CTZ and Amarillo hops
and is, as the beer judge down the bar from me might say, hop-forward, but in a good way.
There's also the Cary Gold, a golden ale “based on a historic style of beer brewed before prohibition,” according to the single-page menu. It's supposed to be easy-drinking; though it clocks in at 5.2 percent, I felt as if I were drinking a light beer. My favorite was the Peasant Brawl. An 8.5 percent Belgian strong ale with a tasty but subtle blend of spices and fruitiness, it was a robust and satisfying pour.
Bond Brothers plans to add a Double IPA and a Berliner this week. Eventually, all of the pub's taps will feature Bond Brothers brews, with the exception of a tap for soda or another nonalcholic drink. Occasionally, some of the taps will go to collaborations between Bond Brothers and other breweries.
Clearly a work in progress, the one-time carpet distribution center has potential. The pub is L-shaped, with windows at one end looking on the brewing area, which covers about two-thirds of the building's space. Natural light fills the bar. There are two TVs above the taps, one of which was showing basketball on mute while music played. Between the bare floors, bare walls, and high ceilings, the music and conversations bounced around the room.
It was the noise of a warm reception—the first of many, I presume.