One day I’m sure we’ll find ourselves saying, yes, we were there, we were at opening day of Fullsteam R&D, the tavern on the premises of Fullsteam Brewery, Durham’s “plow-to-pint” beer maker. Out-of-towners, put this on your must-visit list.
Its stated mission? “To craft a distinctly Southern beer style using local farmed goods, heirloom grains, and Southern botanicals. We’re making beer with sweet potatoes, corn grits, summer basil, and malted barley house-smoked over hickory. Ultimately, our vision is to craft a year-round, sustainable, scalable, and distinctly Southern beer brewed 100% with local ingredients. That’s the quest. We’re a long ways from realizing this vision, but we hope you enjoy the adventure as much as we expect to.”
Uh-huh. In fact, we Durhamites (and beyond) have been frothing at the mouth waiting for Fullsteam to open.
Here’s what’s available now:
El Toro cream ale
Rocket Science IPA
Carver sweet potato lager
Summer Basil farmhouse ale
Hogwash hickory-smoked porter
Fullsteam/Carolina Common (almost; still fermenting)
These are on the horizon:
Working Man’s Lunch (MoonPie Stout)
Fig Dessert Bomb
6:14 American Mild
Mothervine (scuppernong sparkling ale)
Southern Culture dampfbier
Kudzu Jesus (a long-term project)
300 Mile (a long-term project)
Fig dessert bomb
While you can’t buy Fullsteam in a bottle or in a store (yet), it’s on tap at some spots in the Triangle and Asheville and you can order growlers at two farmers’ markets – Durham and Carrboro. Sign me up!
Fullsteam’s vibe is as vibrant as its beer. Thanks to friendly founder Sean Lilly Wilson, along with beer brainiacs Chris Davis and Brooks Hamaker, Fullsteam’s “Wall of Awesome” is lined with “Certificates of Awesome” bearing names of the hundreds (thousands?) of fans who have donated at least $99 to the startup. (OK, folks, while you’re at it, go sign up for Durham Central Market, the co-op to be. We need your support!)
Sometime soonish, Fullsteam will be selling savory pies (yes!) and meanwhile you can BYOF, a very generous option, I think.
My favorite little touch at Fullsteam? The sign over the hallway to the restrooms: Fullstream.