In what now might become an annual tradition, I flew down to Durham, NC for a quick birthday weekend of fabulous food, friends, and (mostly) local craft brews.
First stop, Criterion! Located in the heart of Durham’s downtown, this vintage-feeling bar is meticulously designed from wooden booths to the tin ceiling and cinephile light fixtures. Quickly becoming a local favorite, Criterion specializes in classic cocktails. The weather was so warm and sunny that I opted for a sparking rose to start the evening. Although it was quiet early on a Friday, I am sure it gets quite busy in the evening.
Our next stop for the evening was local brewery Durty Bull. Armed with take-out from Zen Fish, I was ready to try some local beer samples. Before I go into those, I have to say how incredibly awesome Zen Fish was! A build your own Poke bowl spot, Zen Fish specializes in using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. You pick your base (rice, quinoa, noodles), add your protein (mostly different fish), then add veggies, sauce, and the crunchy stuff. Incredibly delicious with a super friendly staff.
On to the brews! Specializing in sour beers, I was surprised at how much I really enjoyed Durty Bull (sour beers aren’t usually my favorite). Their Imperial Rice IPA was my favorite. Although it had a high ABV, it was still refreshing, crisp, and hoppy. In their low-key garage-like setting, it was fun to try sample sizes of their different brews.
Our final stop for the evening was Beer Durham, my favorite local brew shop. What makes Beer Durham so unique is not just their incredible selection of beers for purchase but their friendly, knowledgeable staff and rotating beers on tap. It was great to try a variety of local and not-so-local beers.
And that was all just my first day in town! Don’t worry, I will be posting more Durham adventures soon.