Raleigh Beer Garden on Glenwood Avenue claim to fame is that they “are proud to offer the world’s largest selection of draft beers available in one restaurant” I read that they are actually in the Guinness book of records for having the most beer pumps, 366 I heard. I like to try a few different beers so this seemed to be a good place to be to do just that.
There are two floors, a rooftop space and a large garden drinking area outside. I like the style of the place it is like an big old brewery house, a kind of beer cabin, with open windows letting the air flow through the space. The place was packed when I walked in on a Friday evening, but there was still room and space to chill out with my beer
Pumps galore at the Garden
I sat upstairs at the bar where I could get a seat and as it happened a good view of some of the hundreds of pumps at Raleigh Beer Garden. Downstairs is a bar with all the local beers, upstairs it is beers from around the country and abroad. I didn’t know that when I picked my spot.
The menu is up on a couple of TV screens that scroll through the list alphabetically page by page. There was a lot to ponder over. If you had any questions or just needed an idea the ladies behind the bar were happy to provide samples to get you a beer that you liked. They seemed to take pride in finding you one you liked and it was no trouble at all if you wanted to try several before making up your mind.
Getting a beer
My choice was easy as I picked a pint of Goose Island Green Line from Chicago. I had really missed drinking this beer since I had moved away from the ‘Windy City’ so the chance to get a couple of glasses was most excellent indeed.
This beer first introduced 6 years ago had until this year only been available in Chicago and had traded on that fact. I was happy enough to see it here though on tap at the Garden.
Green Line is an American Pale ale and it is quite an easy drink, flavour wise it is hard to place, I have read it described as having a pine-like or floral aroma, and a citric lemon or orange flavour. This is interesting as many years ago when I was a plant physiologist one of the ways to identify different pine trees was to crush the pine needle in your fingers and the smell of the phenol released told you which tree it was.
Perhaps this also applies to hops? anyway, whatever I really like Green Line! I find it to have a bitter afternote, with a crisp slightly citric flavour and yes it does have a bit of a pine smell 🙂
Some Bar Food?
I didn’t really explore the food options as much as I could have while at Raleigh Beer Garden as I was really just here for a couple of cold beers. I did however find myself in need of a little bit of a bar snack so I chose a plate of the Pork Belly Cheese Fries which was supposed to be frites topped with ‘diced pork belly, beer cheese, and topped with shaved green onions’
It was ‘ok’ as bar food goes, but I have to say I was more excited reading about it that I was earing it. It did the job of mopping up that beer I was drinking, but just missed the spot to get me really excited.
Having said that, perhaps that is a good thing, after all this place is all about the beer, so maybe the food is just something to fill a bit of space and help you get a few more beers inside your belly 🙂
614 Glenwood Ave
If like me you are staying near the airport, you can get an uber here for about 11-15 bucks