Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll share “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about locally crafted beverages of many persuasions: beer, wine, coffee, spirits and more.
The local craft beer scene was no longer really in its infancy when Fullsteam Brewery opened its large, sliding door painted with a backwards “F” in Durham’s DIY District. But everything “beer” seemed new again in late 2010 because Fullsteam beers were so unique. Fullsteam’s mission, to craft a distinctly Southern beer using local, seasonal ingredients, seeks not only to create a quality beer but to build a “Southern Beer Economy…one pint at a time.”
How do they do that exactly? Well, wherever possible they source ingredients from North Carolina farmers and foragers. Fullsteam’s El Toro Cream Ale is 98% local, using NC malt barley and corn grits. The Summer Basil Farmhouse Ale sources basil from Triangle area farms. Carver Sweet Potato Lager features NC sweet potatoes. The seasonal First Frost incorporates locally foraged persimmons along with NC farm-raised persimmons. Even their website URL ends with “.ag”. Really can’t be that much more committed to local agriculture than that.
In the last two years (2012 and 2013) Fullsteam beers have been raking in the awards too. At the 2012 US Beer Open they took home the Gold for their namesake beer, Fullsteam, in the American Amber/California Common category and a Silver for El Toro in the Cream Ale division. In 2013 as the US Beer Open Fullsteam ranked as ninth best brewery among all competitors and brought home two gold medals for their newest year-round offering, Cack-a-lacky, in the Herb/Spice division and for Beasley’s Honey White in the Belgian Wit category.
If all that fine award-winning craft beer isn’t enough cause to seriously consider a backwards “F” tattoo on your person, then the community tavern in Durham, with its quirky yet gracious and welcoming spirit certainly warrants a weekly (if not daily) visit. Go get you some and bring your best beer friends.