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Kelly’s Haw River Recap

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014

Our latest Taste the Triangle event was last Wednesday at Haw River Farmhouse Ales. Kelly Holt took a few notes and was kind enough to share her thoughts with everyone…

The Place

The trip to Saxapahaw from Holly Springs was a little longer than our typical jaunts, but well worth it. It reminds us that back roads still exist and good things are worth going the extra mile for. Haw River Farmhouse Ales is no exception. Ben Woodward and Dawnya Bohager’s extra mile was a four-year journey from great idea to fully-licensed brewery and tap room. Upon arrival in this quaint township of Graham, you see the Haw River, a cotton mill repurposed, loft apartments and a small crowd of people who adore and support their town.  Set your GPS to 1713 Saxapahaw-Bethlehem Church Rd, Saxapahaw, NC 27340.

Haw River’s taproom is usually closed on Wednesdays, but they were kind enough to open their doors to let the 919 Beer followers in for a pint of deliciousness, tour/Q&A, and a beautiful HRFA stemmed glass. What a deal for $10, eh? My favorite brewery tours are those where the personality of the brewers/owners is revealed through the stories that make the brewery and beer what it is. 919 Beer followers include many home brewers, professional brewers and brewery owners, as well as the “I just like to drink beautiful beer” people. I’m the latter. And to me, part of what makes the beer interesting is the story behind it. HRFA has a great story. Listen to the 919 Beer Podcast to hear them tell it.


The Beer

Haw River Farmhouse Ales’ current tasting room hours are 4-8 pm Thursday and Friday and 2-8 pm Saturday and Sunday. There you’ll have to choose which to drink first (which will be difficult, as you’ll want to try them all first). I chose St. Benedict’s Breakfast Dubbel. It was a great choice! Here’s their description, as I cannot say it better:

“Brewed with organic flaked oats, dark chocolate and locally-roasted Sumatran and Ethiopian Harar coffee beans from Morrisville, NC’s Muddy Dog Roasting Company, our Trappist-style “Breakfast” Dubbel is a smooth, silky, eye-opening take on a classic style, with floral aromatics of deep-roasted coffee, spiced fig and rich, creamy cocoa”.

I will add that its stout-like character was quite memorable. This could’ve been my first dubbel (not sure), but definitely not my last.

My second was the Memorial Day 2012 which is collaboration with Hillsborough’s Mystery Brewing. This beer is a blend of barrel-fermented Saisons with both breweries’ yeast strains, in two types of barrels. The result is a delicate, layered, complex farmhouse ale. Several of us left with a growler of this beauty.

What’s on Tap

Available now! At the tap room!!

  • Newlin’s Original Belgian Oatmeal Pale, 5.4%
  • Rustic Grisette Farmhouseale, 6.2%
  • Regent’s Rye Tripel, 7.8%
  • Benedict’s Breakfast Dubbel, 6.4%
  • Major Arcana Belgian Black Sour, 7.2%
  • Dust Bunny Barrel Aged Wild Saison, 4.8%
  • Memorial Day 2012 Wild Saison, 5.4%
  • Picklemania Dill Gose, 4.0%
  • Woodfruit Mushroom Brown Ale, 5.4%

Guess what! Haw River’s ales are likely already in your town! Check your favorite Tyler’s Tap Room, local bottle shops and growler fill stations. And last but not least, (shameless plug alert!) if you were lucky, you’ve already enjoyed their ales at the 2014 Beericana. Next year’s date is already set for September 12, 2015 so mark your calendars, get babysitters, and join us again!

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