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JCVB Blog

The Johnston County Visitors Bureau BLOG is published weekly with news and feature articles on visiting the county.
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NC Beer Month is Full of Beer and Cheer

NC Beer Month is Full of Beer and Cheer

It’s the time of year again! NC Beer Month is in April! Our JoCo brewers are ready to welcome you with cheers and beers!

When Deep River’s Paul and Lynn Auclair set out to open Johnston County’s first legal brewery in 2013 they had a vision for an award-winning brewery that would have a beer for every type of craft beer lover and would strive to use locally grown ingredients whenever possible. A short time later, Double Barley Brewing came on the scene making Johnston County an even more enticing place for beer-lovers to visit. Double Barley also uses local ingredients and packs a punch, with a tendency towards dark, strong beers.

Both brewers have expanded production and distribution since they opened. Johnston-County-made beers also win awards. In 2016 Deep River took home Silver at the NC Brewers Cup for their Munich Dunkel – “I Think I Left My Shorts in Munich”. They also took home a Bronze for their Barrel Aged Imperial Milk Stout. Double Barley’s “Double Dubbel” Belgian Style Ale won Gold at the NC Brewers Cup and their “Touché” IPA won Silver at Summertime Brews.



This April, for NC Beer Month, you can expect small batch beers from Double Barley, as well as a BBQ Cook-off at the brewery on April 14th. Deep River will be celebrating with its 4 Year Anniversary Party, April 7th-9th, and is releasing a collaboration with another award-winning brewery, Mother Earth out of Kinston. The collaboration will be a hoppy, Australian-style IPA.

Johnston County is part of the Triangle beer scene and conveniently located just minutes from Raleigh, which makes it a perfect craft beer day trip destination. Visitors can also make a weekend out of their visit with the Sip & Stay package. It’s a wonderful weekend itinerary for couples, girlfriends, craft beer & wine enthusiasts and visitors that enjoy spirits and local foods.

Included among the many deals in the package are coupons to Deep River Brewing Company and Double Barley Brewing. The package also includes a special offer room rate, as well as deals on area shopping, dining, and attractions. For more information visit www.johnstoncountync.org/sipandstay.



To learn more about Deep River and Double Barley visit www.deepriverbrewing.com and www.doublebarleybrewing.com. Both breweries will also be participating in state-wide events and festivals for NC Beer Month. For all things #NCBeerMonth related visit www.ncbeermonth.com.

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The Art of the Cocktail is Being Revived in Clayton

The Art of the Cocktail is Being Revived in Clayton

When you think of a bartender in these modern times you probably imagine a harassed, busy, maybe friendly person hastily taking orders and doling out drinks behind the counter in any given restaurant, tavern, or club. At their best bartenders are welcoming, knowledgeable about the drink menu, and attentive. At their worst, they are rude, short, apathetic and happy to serve you a hastily-mixed version of whatever you ordered.

We can blame this iteration of the bartender on prohibition (like so many other things). But before prohibition a bartender was a sort of Renaissance man, able to expertly serve his bar patrons a concoction fit for their preferences and tastes while understanding enough about each of them to know where along the bar to linger, to listen, or to avoid. He was an artist who knew enough about his craft to make the best popular drinks of that era and to even create his own recipes.

“An excellent bartender can read their customers – they recognize what they want, when they need space or when they need attention. Beyond detailed service, bartending means a deep understanding of ingredients combined with proper execution.”

That definition comes straight from Zack Thomas, bartender and Renaissance man himself. Zack is the Bar Manager and Beverage Director at Clayton’s brand new jazz-influenced cocktail lounge Revival 1869. Revival will be opening the 24th of this month and is the culmination of more than a year’s hard work on the part of owners and entrepreneurs Mike Stojic and Maleah Christie. Both of them immediately knew Zach would the perfect person to be the face of their lounge.



Zack’s background includes work at Foundation, a popular Raleigh nightlife spot. Born in Boston, Zack moved to Raleigh in the early 90s and then back to Boston for college where he started bartending. When asked why he then moved back to Raleigh again, he said it was because he missed it too much.

“I felt at the time that Raleigh was experiencing a cultural revolution, which is also sort of the same feeling that’s led me to Clayton and to Revival. There is a feeling here of being on the cusp of something. The idea that Clayton could have a true nightlife scene is something people are excited for, and I think that what Mike and Maleah are doing with Revival is going to be the moment that kicks it all into full gear.”

So, what will visitors to Revival 1869 experience? Well, excellently crafted cocktails for one. And hot jazz music for another. The bar will feature classic cocktails like the Sazerac, the Old Fashioned, and the Hemingway Daiquiri. A seasonal menu will also feature all original cocktails created in-house. Limited beer, wine, and food items will be available, all with trends towards local and regional sourcing. For example, you’ll certainly be able to find Broadslab Distillery products on the menu. Music will also be a huge focus at Revival. There will be live jazz music every Saturday night and alternating Thursday nights will feature jazz jam sessions and solo pianists and vocalists.



Mike is excited for what Zack and Revival can bring to Clayton’s downtown scene, “We want to go back to the visionary aspects of what cocktail making was 80 to 100 years ago, and get back to treating it like an art.”

Which brings us back to the resurgence of the career bartender. The best our modern-day vernacular can muster up is mixologist. Which makes them sound like alcohol chemists. Which they are. But, they are also so much more. The bartenders you’ll find at Revival, including Zack, will be passionate and meticulous.

According to Zack, his vision for Revival is, “to reintroduce the cocktail culture to Johnston County, which has a long history of spirits. I want Revival to be an interpersonal place of great cocktails shared among people who have a love for good drinks, community, and history. I also want our service to be on-point every single time – fresh ingredients, fresh juices squeezed in-house daily, and a knowledgeable staff.”

Finally, the most important question. What is Zack’s favorite drink? A Rum Manhattan, as it turns out, for its rich, decadent, funky vibe. This could also easily describe the atmosphere at Revival. It’s soon to be one of your favorite places to visit in Johnston County.

There used to places you could go to relax and unwind. Where you could lounge with friends and discuss important or whimsical things. Where the bartender was a magician and every glass full of his own special brand of magic. Where the gin was cold and the piano hot.

And now, in downtown Clayton, there will be again. You could call it a revival.

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Stay tuned-in to everything going on at Revival 1869 by following their Facebook page. Revival will open its doors to the public on Friday and Saturday evening March 24th and 25th. They will be closed Sunday the 26th. After that, regular hours will be Thursday through Sunday with exact times to be announced.

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Looking Forward to Spring in JoCo

Looking Forward to Spring in JoCo

 

 

 

 

 

 


1. Picking strawberries. This activity is perfect for families with little ones. Johnston County has a few working farms that open their fields to pickers, or just show up and buy them pre-picked by the bucket. Click here for a list of berry farms and farmer's markets sure to have this sweet, red fruit.

 

2. With the weather turning warm and breezy, Spring is a great time to enjoy the Beer, Wine, and Shine Trail. In the Spring months our family-owned, award-winning vineyards are green with grapes growing on the vine and waiting for the late Summer harvest. Sit on the porch and enjoy a chilled glass of wine and take home a bottle of your favorite. Don't forget that April is NC Beer Month. Johnston County's breweries will have special release beers and great weekend events happening in celebration. Visit the Beer, Wine, Shine Trail website to learn how to travel along the trail and then click on each trail location's website for more information on events and products.

 

3. For parents of young, energetic kids it's been a long winter of being cooped-up indoors due to the weather. Take the family outside to explore, play, and learn. The Neuse River also offers an excellent opportunity for canoers and kayakers. For a list of places in Johnston County to hike, bike, and play visit our Nature & Recreation page.




4. Explore Johnston County's Downtown areas. All of our historic downtowns are very walk-able with shops, restaurants, and museums. You never know what sort of unique treats your might find, like the Hills of Snow snow cone which is a local, seasonal favorite - opening in March. Spring also starts our festival season. You can learn more about all our events here.




 

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Bringing Our Beer to You

Bringing Our Beer to You

Beer Here. Beer There. Beer Everywhere.


A few very wonderful circumstances come about to make NC Beer Month so amazing that it should bring a hop-filled tear to your eye. That's right, you cry beer. Or, at least, you should.

First, Spring has sprung people. Warm, sunshine hazy, blue sky breezy days turn in to deliciously cool evenings in which to sit outside on the patio of your favorite craft brewery from Murphy to Manteo sipping a cold one.

Second, North Carolina is one of the best states within which to enjoy an entire month dedicated to drinking and enjoying craft beer. There are over 160 breweries and brewpubs in this great state.

Third, brewers from these multitudes of breweries will be brewing special beers in large and small batch quantities in celebration of NC Beer Month. Just imagine, it's easy if you try, that somewhere there is a beer brewing that you've never tried and might never have again. It's waiting for you, maybe at a brewery you've never even been to. But, you can go and you can explore and you can taste it... during NC Beer Month.


What a time to be alive. Am I right?


If you caught my last blog about NC Beer Month, you already know about the amazing beer-fueled events happening in Johnston County during the month of April. And if you didn't read my last blog, flag on the play, you can read it now by clicking here. Enjoy it with a cold one.

But, because I love Johnston County beer so much. Too much? No. I want to bring you, dear readers, even more ways to taste and experience the magic that is Deep River and Double Barley. Like any super popular, highly sought-after, and well distributed brewery (I'm not braggin') you can find Deep River and Double Barley outside of the county they call home. You may even be able to find them in the county you call home *mind blown*. Below you will find all the events that both breweries will be participating in for NC Beer Month across the state of North Carolina.

And remember to like our Beer, Wine, and Shine Trail Facebook page for updates on NC Beer Month and Johnston County craft beverages. Leave me messages about how much you like my blogs, or our JoCo breweries, or just craft beer in general. I'm not picky... except when it comes to my beer.

Double Barley

April 7th - Tap Takeover at Lowe's Foods in Pinehurst

April 8th - Tap Takeover at Back Street Pub in Beaufort

April 9th - 30th Anniversary Celebration for Weeping Radish Farm Brewing
                Tasting, Neighborhood Bottle Shop with live music from Abby Davis 3pm-6pm

April 10th - 4th Annual Bull City Food and Beer Experience in Durham
Abby's Amber Cans from Double Barley
April 12th -  Joint Tap Takeover with Nickelpoint at Town Hall Burger and Beer in Durham
                   Tasting at the Hilton Garden Inn on Miami Blvd. in Durham

April 15th - Tap Takeover at Growler Grlz in Durham
                  Beer Dinner at Beaufort Grocery in Beaufort

April 20th - Tasting at Lowes Foods on Strickland Road in Raleigh

April 21st - Tap Takeover at Lowes Foods on Tryon Road in Cary

April 23rd - Brewgaloo in Downtown Raleigh

April 26th - Tasting at Bull Craft Bottle Shop in Durham

April 27th - Tap Takeover at Ultimate Ales in Mooresville

Deep River

April 7th - 5pm-7pm Sams Quik Shop Tasting and Tap Takeover Event
                6pm Mellow Mushroom Tap Takeover in Cary
                7pm Baileys Chapel Hill Brewery of the Month Tap Takeover

April 8th - 12pm-2pm Harris Teeter @ Cameron Village Free Tasting
                4:30pm Tap takeover at Lowes Foods' Beer Den in Burlington

April 9th - 5pm Tap takeover at the Chapel Hill Lowes Foods

April 12th - 5pm Fresh Market Tasting in Cary
                  6pm-8pm Beer Dinner at the Carolina Ale House in Downtown RaleighDeep River on Tab at a Local Festival

April 13th - 5pm Charlie Goodnights: Laugh Local, Drink Local Event

April 14th - 5pm Tasting at Total Wine in Durham

April 15th - 5pm-8pm Raleigh Beer Garden Tax Relief Tap Takeover
                  6pm-8pm Tasting at Total Wine on Capital Blvd in Raleigh

April 17th - 3pm Tap Takeover at the Durham Hotel Roof Top Bar
                  12pm-5pm Food Truck Rodeo at Pharmacy Beverage in Cary

April 20th - 6pm Pint Night at Tyler's Taproom in Apex

April 21st - 5pm-7pm Tasting at Southern Season’s

April 22nd - 4pm-6pm Tasting at Harris Teeter Green Level Church
                   5pm-7pm Tap Takeover at Beer Dispensary in Apex
                   5pm-7pm Tap Takeover at Whole Foods in Durham

April 27th - 6pm-8pm Tap Takeover at T Mac in Cary

April 30th - 12pm-8pm Anniversary Party at Tyler's Tavern in Fuquay Varina
                  5pm-7pm Tasting at Bottle 501 in Durham

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In Celebration of Beer

In Celebration of Beer

I feel like I say "blank is my favorite time of year!" a lot. Here's the deal. I love Christmas. I do. I also really love Autumn. So, there are seasons and holidays that have my heart. But, I have to put those aside for a minute to exclaim that April is my favorite time of the year! And if you love the state of North Carolina, craft beer, and good times, then it should be yours too.


Get on board the NC Beer Month Train


This year will be my second NC Beer Month with the Johnston County Visitors Bureau. Which means it has been more than a year since I moved home to pleasantly rediscover the county of my youth. And doesn't that sound winsome? As it turns out, in the years since I was away, Johnston County is now home to 2 craft breweries. I moved home from Asheville, so this knowledge came with great joy and consolation. And if you thought that Deep River Brewing Company and Double Barley Brewing brought their NC Beer Month A-game last year, you are in for a pleasant surprise.

It has been an absolute joy over the last year to work with creative, motivated, beer-loving, big-picture-seeing people like Lynn and Paul Auclair (#TeamDR), and Cheryl and Larry Lane (#TeamDB). Both breweries have been busy this year. Between the two of them they've added beers to their line-up, expanded distribution, increased brewing capacity, and started canning.  Basically, their 2015 was a lot like Justin Timberlake's 2002 when he went from being that guy in that boy band to a certified pop star. Started from the bottom, now we here. That sorta thing.


Near, Far,  JoCo Beer is Wherever You Are


If adventure is your natural inclination, and full-of-beer is your natural state, you should spend at least part of your NC Beer Month in Johnston County at both our breweries. I can assure you that you'll be right at home. The barstool will feel like it was molded for your tush. The clouds will open metaphorically and you'll hear the Lion King theme song in your head. Definitely. Probably. Is that just me?

Even better, Johnston County is located conveniently in North Carolina right where I-95, I-40, Hwy 70, and Hwy 301 converge. In a sense, all roads lead to beer. I mean, all roads lead here. Basically, if April finds you transversing the great state of North Carolina, you're going to go right by Deep River and Double Barley. Trust me. It's basic geography.

One thing is a guarantee. You will find a beer you like. You might even find THE beer. You know the one. Because Deep River and Double Barley have a variety of styles to choose from and even more specially concocted masterpieces foaming at the tap for just the month of April. I have included a full list below of NC Beer Month activities happening in Johnston County. You're welcome! Cheers!



Deep River:

The 3 Year Anniversary Party is April 7th - 10th (you read that right, it's a 4 day party). There will be an anniversary glassware giveaway each day to the first 100 customers, special release beers on draft, limited edition mixed 4-packs for sale that include a Tangerine White IPA, Sour Cherry Ale, Hoppy Pilsner, and Munich Dunkel, live music, and food trucks all weekend.

Pinapalooza is April 9th at 2PM and there will be 20 cask beers on tap, all of which were made by the employees. Tickets are $25 and include a limited edition commemorative tasting glass, free samples of all of the cask beer, and a vote for your favorite. Limited tickets available day of the event in the taproom.
There will be a Deep River Beer Dinner with the Cleveland Draft House in Clayton on April 27th at 6:30PM. The 5 course meal will be paired with 5 courses of beer. Ticket prices and availability to be determined at a later date. To keep you in suspense.

Double Barley:

An on-going promotions for the month of April include a $3 pint special every Wednesday and Randy Thursdays. What is a Randy Thursday, you ask? It's a different beer and flavor infusion every week concocted by a Double Barley employee and placed on the Randall system every Thursday. I can't explain more than that because I can't science very well. But ask upon arrival.

Give Em Hell Release Party will be April 2nd from 2PM to 7PM and will celebrate the second release of "Give Em Hell", the Double Barley Imperial Red Ale.  The proceeds from the sale of this beer are donated to the Beer Army Foundation for college scholarships in NC.  Event also includes live music, food trucks, and limited edition t-shirts.

Enjoy Craft Beer Cocktails on April 16th. Double Barley will have a special menu of their beers mixed together with other ingredients to create craft beer cocktails.  Live music with Ken and Cricket will be from 7PM to 10PM.

Double Barley hosts "Q, Brew and You" for the first annual Down East Beer and BBQ Festival and Competition at the brewery.  Nothing goes better with BBQ than beer! Competition starts at 11AM on April 23rd, taproom opens to the public at noon.

For all there is to know on an on-going basis about beer, wine, and spirits in the Johnston County area, visit beerwineshinetrail.com.

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Beer Wine & Shine Trail

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Travel around the county to four award-winning wineries, two breweries and get a taste of brandy along the way!  Receive a Free $30 coupon book when you complete the trail.

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Meeting Planners

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Johnston County offers conveniently located and affordable conference facilities for meetings, reunions, and unique destination weddings sites.  Why not select a historic home or horse farm for your next event?

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Group Tour Operators

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Groups have discovered exits along I-40 and I-95 for outlet shopping, music theatre, museums and heritage sites.  Call today for custom itinerary planning.

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Hotel Packages

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We have created several special hotel packages including a Girlfriends Getaway for outlet shopping, we know you need a break and great deals on shoes!  Click here to book your getaway today.

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