Category: location review

Compass Rose Logo

Compass Rose

Here I am, waiting on a friend to join me at one of our new favorite meeting spots.

Compass Rose Logo
Alan & Chris


Compass Rose Brewery is building a decent clientele by offering beers from thier brewery as well as many guest taps. Hidden back in an industrial area off Gresham Lake Rd in Raleigh, NC, the tap room is spacious, open and inviting, with a clear view to thier brewery floor. Tables with various games scattered about invite folks to stay, socialize and let stress disappear.

Sixteen taps that the staff keep pouring are topped with custom pulls reminiscent of globes seen in old adventure films.


Flight of the Beers, CR style

Of their beers, it is obvious that some of them have been polished while others are still in development, but all pleasant to drink. Currently, they don’t bottle, but will fill your growlers right up.

The night I typed this up, I sat happily nursing a flight of six, half Compass Rose, half guest beers. The Saison was light with citrus notes and the floral nose expected of the style. I followed this up with their Sweet Stout. What a treat this was, with a chocolate mocha nose, dark chocolate taste that finishes with a hint of mocha or espresso. I finished with the Compass’ beers with the Molasses Amber. This was a smooth amber, sweet but not cloying, that had a wonderful malt forward take. This went down as easily, leaving a feeling of having almost a toffee or butterscotch after taste.

At the bar, beautiful pulls

Overall, I rate their beers a 3.5 out of 5 on average, the tap room a 4.5 out of 5.

Make the time to adventure here before exploring the world outside.

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Nickelpoint Brewing

Nicklepoint Brewery

Wow!  It’s been some time since I’ve posted a review.  This is not due to lack of beer or visiting places!  Now that I do have a moment or three to catch up, let me tell you about this small, neighborhood, micro-brewery that recently opened in the Five-Points area of Raleigh, NC.

Nickelpoint Brewing

Nickelpoint Brewing is a fairly recent addition to the craft beer scene of North Carolina, focusing on recipes that are more traditional, primarily European and the Brewmaster has over 10 years of brewing experience, and it shows.

Opening about eight months ago (from time of review), the folks at Nickelpoint have done their best to provide a welcoming atmosphere.  All staff, from the owners on down, are friendly, spending time talking about life, neighborhood activities, brewery activities and all of our shared passion, beer.

Nickelpoint is family and dog friendly, having a monthly competition for “Dog of the Month” and putting together small batch, craft sodas for those of us with kids.

Parking is on the street surrounding the brewery.  When you first walk into the main taproom entrance, Lauren or other staff, greets visitors with a smile, will give your puppy a treat,  and then happily offer you a taste (or more) of their phenomenal brews.Nickelpoint Pulls

Seating is inside and out, including taking part of their brewing area, enabling you to enjoy a pint while surrounded by all the brewing equipment.  Normal activities, Giant Jenga and cornhole, are available and they schedule many great activities and special events, from local wrestling matches in a ring built in front of the brewery, to frequent food truck visits and much more.

One of the best things, in my opinion, is their beer.  I am not the biggest fan of the current trend to see who can have the highest IBU and prove their beer is actually a salad made from hops, hops, hops, and more hops, and Nickelpoint does not fall into this trap.  For those who do enjoy higher IBU, there are options, but do not expect to have your palate cleansed with enough hop flavor and astringency that you can use the beer in a hospital as an antiseptic.  No, more complex flavor profiles and purposeful balances between hops and malt are more Nickelpoint’s style.  I could drink their porter ALL day long, happily.  Any of their beers, really.

If you want to have their beer, they can be found in various local stores and restaurants, but you generally have to order growler and kegs direct.  I have not longed for a kegerator as much as after my visit here.


506 Pershing Road

Raleigh, NC 27608


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Crafty Beer – Lafayette Village, Raleigh, NC

Crafty Beer Shop logoNext on our hit list of places to visit, Crafty Beer Shop!  They currently have two primary locations, one at Five Points in Raleigh, the other at Lafayette Village on Falls of Neuse Rd, also in Raleigh.

Crafty Board
Crafty’s Beer Board

I had the pleasure to visit their North Raleigh store on Falls of Neuse with one of my friends.  Upon walking in, the atmosphere was very inviting, warm and pleasant.  Plenty of places to sit, at their bar, at individual tables and outside.  Everyone who was there was very social.

Looking around, there is a very large selection of beers, sold generally by the bottle, not the case or six pack.  On Wednesday, they usually have sampling from various breweries (Aviator the evening I visited) and encourage exploration.  The store also carries some great “craft” snack food from small businesses.  I will tell you, the Ghost pepper peanuts, so worth the burn!

Mike from Crafty Beer
Mike from Crafty Beer

Mike was our bartender for the evening and was very knowledgeable as well as very affable.  What’s on tap is displayed on a bright tv panel and kept up-to-date.  I had a hard time choosing, so Mike offered a flight, so I could try many beers for a reasonable price.  Eight dollar flights?  So worth it!

What a Crafty Flight
What a Crafty Flight




Friendly to families stopping in, as my wife and I have swung by on weekends, the staff are always happy to answer questions that you may have.

If you have a chance, I definitely suggest if you are looking for a spot to be a regular, this is absolutely in my top list.


Lafayette Village location:

Phone: (919) 703-0874
8450 Honeycutt Rd,  Suite 108
Raleigh, NC 27615


Sunday:  12 pm – 8 pm
Monday:  Closed
Tuesday:  12 pm – 10 pm
Wednesday:  12 pm – 10 pm
Thursday:  12 pm – 11 pm
Friday:  12 pm – 11 pm
Saturday:  10 am – 11 pm

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Wine 101 in review

Shelves of beer at Wine 101's Beer Library
Shelves of beer at Wine 101’s Beer Library

One of the reasons I started this blog is the level of excitement I get from discovering new beers and new places to get them. My friends laugh at the almost child like behavior I exhibit when I find something they like as well, or a place where they agree with my love of. The Raleigh/Durham area is full of such places and I have only scratched the surface so far.

For my inaugural location review, I want to focus on one of my favorite locations that friends and family enjoy as much as I do, if not more so. Wine 101 is such a place.

Started in the Fall of 2008 by a gentleman named Joe, Wine 101 initially had a small craft beer presence, with that being secondary to wine. Thank goodness that’s changed! As time progressed, in response to his customer’s desires, Joe has expanded to carry a large selection of craft beers as well as a solid selection of wines. If you love good drink, he and his staff will help you find it.

Wine 101 Beer Library
Beer Library

Recently, the Wake Forest location expanded into nearby storefront space, creating what is now referred to as The Beer Library, which has a great tap tender by the name of Rufus (@BeerLibraryWF on twitter).

What can I say about the staff? They are always friendly and helpful with loads of knowledge to share. The clientele are the same, as Joe and his team make Wine 101 all about the community.

There are two locations you can visit, both with great selections of beer, and wine, taps with fresh kegs, and they do growler fills. They frequently will host events, like Tap Takeovers, where a brewery will be featured for tasting, frequently with a representative there to speak about it and sometimes share swag.  They also have regular tastings on Fridays, 5-7 and Saturday 2-5 in both stores.

Wine101 pulls
Wine101 pulls

Joe has set up membership programs called the Beer and Wine clubs that have great benefits, particularly for those who buy frequently and are well worth the membership fee.

For more information, check out their website at

Store locations:

Wake Forest:

3325-104 Rogers Road
The Shoppes of Heritage
Wake Forest, NC 27587


5910 Duraleigh Rd
Raleigh, NC 27612

A great big THANKS goes out to Wine 101 for being there for all of us who love good drink!

Wine 101 Beer Library
Wine 101 Beer Library

EDIT NOTE: Thanks to the folks at Wine 101 for the pictures!

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