I was invited to be part of a Fayetteville, NC blogger and influencer meetup hosted by the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitor Bureau. This is not a sponsored post. All views and opinions are my own.
Once upon a time, only a few years ago, I ate and drank whatever I wanted without worry. Then one-day celiac came along and my gluten loving days were over. While gluten is no longer part of my diet, I don’t keep those close to me from enjoying it. My husband loves a good beer and in Fayetteville, he has several great breweries he could visit but what am I going to do at a brewery? I can’t drink beer, what could there be for a non-beer drinker at a brewery? After visiting 5 breweries in Fayetteville for NC Beer Month, I have 5 reasons to visit a brewery when you are gluten-free.
Craft Beer is becoming big business in the United States. In 2017 there were 6,266 craft breweries in the United States and that number keeps growing. With good reason, craft beer is good stuff but that is not all they offer. You may be hesitant to visit a brewery, and think what is there for me at a brewery? I did the hard work to find out why someone would want to go to a brewery when they are gluten-free.
Reason One: There is more than just Beer!
Breweries mean BEER, that is what they make after all. Delicious craft beers.
While I did talk to a brewer at Huske Hardware about the possibility of creating a gluten-free beer, I don’t see one coming anytime soon. Making beer is a huge process, and to make a gluten-free beer they would need dedicated machines. Cross contamination is a huge concern. So if a girl wants some alcoholic refreshment what is she to do? She has a cider.
At the five breweries in Fayetteville, I was able to order a cider at all 5 of them. I’m not saying I did, but I could have. Lake Gaston and Bright Lights even had a North Carolina Cider from Bull City Ciderworks on tap! Their Ciderworks is on my NC bucket list of places to visit!
If cider isn’t your thing, wine, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages are usually available also.
Reason Two: Food, Food, and some more Food!
At the Fayetteville breweries, they all had some sort of food option. They either made food in-house or they offered food trucks.
At Dirtbag Ales and Bright Lights, both breweries offered food trucks on a regular schedule.
Lake Gaston, Huske Hardware, and The Mashhouse had their own restaurants on site. During our tour, we had lunch at Lake Gaston on behalf of SpouseLink. After talking to our waitress and their kitchen staff, they had multiple gluten-free menu choices for me to choose from.
The Mashhouse has a rather large restaurant in addition to their brewery. It is also the first brewery in Fayetteville that I ever visited back in 2002. While some go there for the beer, I go there for the food and it was perfectly sauteed spinach that made me fall in love with them. It was an added bonus talking to the chef and learning how knowledgeable he was on gluten-free diets.
Reason Three: Family Friendly Fun
When going out to get drinks most people think of bars and their stereotypical atmosphere. This is where breweries are often times different. The majority in Fayetteville are family friendly and are a place I would take not only my kid’s but my niece and nephews. You can even bring your (well behaved) family dog like Chuck the Bulldog!
Now that isn’t something you can do at most bars!
Dirtbag Ales new facility has a playground and a fenced in area for your 4 legged friends to play. Their new facility is the perfect place to go on Sundays to pick up some goodies at the farmers market.
Bright Lights is another great family-friendly spot. Not only do they have games (inside and outside) that kids are welcome to play BLBC often teams up with other local businesses for events such as fun runs, painting/craft events, and more!
Reason four: Meet Great People!
Breweries are a great place to meet other people and I’m not talking about pick up lines and things along those lines! While I’m sure that kind of thing goes on breweries are laid back places filled with happy people that you will find having in-depth conversations about everything from what they are drinking and eating to just what is going on in their lives.
Then there is the brewery staff, everyone I have met at Fayetteville’s five local breweries from the owners, to brewmasters, to bartenders and wait staff have been incredibly knowledgeable about what they serve (to include the ciders) and all were just great people to talk to.
Reason Five: Drink safe, be the Designated Driver
Craft beers often have a higher ABV (Alcohol By Volume) percentage so that drunk feeling may sneak up on your beer drinking friends so be a modern day hero, be the designated driver! Being the DD has a bunch of perks in itself from not having to worry about hangovers, to saving money, and watching your friend’s drunken antics. The biggest perk of being a designated driver is you will be helping prevent a drunk driving incident and possibly saving lives.
What do you think? Are you ready to head to your local brewery?