So You Like to Drink Local…

Craft beer reigns supreme in Southern Wake, and so too, does typecasting. Cheers!

ster-eo-type (noun): A set idea that people have about what someone or omething is like, especially an idea that is wrong.


This article is full of stereofacts and delightfully banal clichés that’ll have some of you whipping out your iPhones to complain via a STRONGLY WORDED EMAIL, but consider this — it’s already been published, the war has been won, and I really don’t care. I have been drinking living in Fuquay-Varina for sixteen years and my time-honored observations, while not infallible, have a certain degree of merit. Does where you (consistently) drink in town say something about you? Are certain breweries frequented by particular types of people? The answer is a resounding YES, and I’m here to tell you all about it (I’ve had a drink at all of these establishments, so make of that what you will).

Bombshell Beer Company, Holly Springs

In case you didn’t know, Bombshell Beer Company is a women-led brewery that touts itself as both a family and dog-friendly business. Saying that, this brewery SPEAKS FOR US ALL when they clarify that they are “well-behaved children-friendly” on their website. In other words, keep your destructive demon off spring off of their picnic tables, this ain’t Sesame Street! Jokes aside, if you drink at Bombshell then chances are you live within a three-mile radius of the brewery, you’re trying to escape a middle-schooler at home, or you’re enjoying a ladies night with the “craziest girls you know,” (so Sarah and Deb from the cul-de-sac). Oh, and your names are probably Shelly or Doug. I don’t make the rules.

Oaklyn Springs Brewery, Fuquay-Varina

Oaklyn Springs brewery is, what I like to call, a catch-all brewery, meaning that they attract a variety of different customers with wildly different backgrounds. We’ve got the Kyles from Garner, the fancy Fuquay folks who “appreciate a good sour,” and the Holly Springs residents who “know a place.” Oaklyn Springs somehow manages to cater to moms in yoga pants, old men in overalls and guys in pleated, no-iron chino pants from Lands’ End. Seriously, it’s like if Target and Walmart had a brewery love child.

Aviator Brewing Company, Varina

Grabbing a beer at Aviator could mean the taphouse, the smokehouse, the pizza joint or the brewery. Who even knows?!

If you live in Southern Wake and haven’t heard about Aviator yet, you either don’t partake of the Devil’s water or you’re living under a rock. When locals mention “The Aviator,” they are usually referring to the taproom in downtown Varina, despite the actual brewery being located elsewhere. Or they may be referring to the Aviator Smokehouse. Or the Aviator Beer Shop. Or the Aviator Pizzeria. You get the idea. Although many have accused the popular watering hole of attempting a town coup, there are very specific groups of die-hard Aviator fans that keep the ship up and running. Let’s start with the flocks of women who love to sit outside on the patio and order food and cocktails because they “don’t drink beer.” Or what about the bougie Apexers who are interested in pursuing the beer scene into Southern Wake, but refuse to go further than Varina because ew, rednecks. Last but not least, there are the bearded guys from Fuquay who have a white fridge in their garage filled with nothing but Devil’s Tramping Ground and like to mow their lawn at 7 a.m. on a Sunday.

Mason Jar Lager Company, Varina

If you’re interested in drankin’ with a bunch of parents from Holly Springs, HAVE I GOT THE BREWERY FOR YOU! Mason Jar Lager Company, affectionately known as MJLC, has got one of the most family-friendly brewery set-ups I have ever seen. There is indoor/outdoor seating, tons of picnic tables, giant jenga, adirondack chairs, gas fire pits, you name it. As you can imagine, this open air environment makes MJLC a hotspot for anyone with kids under the age of 12 who don’t feel like getting a babysitter (I know you can afford one, Jenny). I’ve seen massive groups of parents park themselves around the fire pit with goldfish, baby bottles, coloring books, and diaper bags. If you’re looking to avoid kids that you didn’t push out yourself, I recommend joining the Jar Club and attending adult-only events that involve nothing but beer, food and locals who have zero problem asking 12 Oaks kids to behave themselves. *Chef’s kiss*

Vicious Fishes, Fuquay

Vicious Fishes has three different locations — Angier, Fuquay, and Apex. Here we discuss the taproom and kitchen in downtown Fuquay.. Although the brewery itself exists only in Angier, the Fuquay location offers beer and “eclectic” bar food that will have you eating brussel sprouts in ways you never thought possible. This beer hangout belongs to the hipsters of the ‘Quay. Do you enjoy sitting at Cultivate or The Mill with your Macbook Pro? When you read the menu at Vicious Fishes, did you find yourself saying, “FINALLY! Something other than burgers and fries!” If so, you might be a Fuquay hipster. Not to be confused with Raleigh hipsters, that’s a whole different breed.

Carolina Brewing Company, Holly Springs

If you live in Apex or Morrisville, Holly Springs is about as far as you’re willing to venture for a pint of beer. Many migrant drinkers are knocked unconscious by the smell of the dump before reaching their ultimate destination anyways (ahem, Aviator). Other CBC patrons include: a) gymnastics parents or b) run club members. If that doesn’t apply to you, you’re probably just there with a friend to buy a pint glass and keep it in your cabinet until your kid inevitably breaks it. Too specific?

Fainting Goat Brewing Company, Fuquay

I will forever think of Fainting Goat as the “local’s bar.” If there’s a scandal happening on Fuquay Memes, Fainting Goat will build an entire event around it. If you want to use WiFi, think again. At Fainting Goat they want you to focus solely on local gossip, eating peanuts and getting drunk. Someone at the bar is sure to be talkin’ smack about another local, so grab a beer and get ready to second-hand judge some people. No one north of Holly Springs ventures this deep into Fuquay unless there’s a balloon festival, so don’t concern yourself with impressing any outsiders. If they’re not from here, they’re probably military. Enjoy!

ETA: If you have beef with anything I’ve said, then chances are I’m 100% right and these words are divinely inspired. Also, please refer to the definition of the word stereotype before calling my manager. Happy drinking and God bless.

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