Our Aviator Brewery Adventure

AviatorBrewery-3Jay and I decided to have another Living Social/Groupon inspired adventure on Saturday.  This time, we visited Aviator Brewery in Fuquay Varina, NC.  Their logo looked familiar, but upon looking at the list of places where I can find Aviator beer, I’ve never been to any of them nor are any of them in Raleigh.  Unless of course the list isn’t up-to-date…

Anyway, we had a pretty kick ass Living Social deal for the following:

  • $19 ($38 value) for a brewery tour for 2, 2 Aviator pint glasses, + 2 Aviator stickers
  • Also comes with a 6-pack of HotRod Red or HogWild IPA + a 4-pack of Devil’s Tramping Ground Tripel

The weather was sorta iffy on Saturday, so we were considering not going, but I’m really glad we did.  They had a bunch of beers on tap and although we didn’t get to try all of them at the brewery, we did end up picking some pretty damn good beer to try.  Jay tried the Devil’s Tramping Ground Tripel while I tried the Horsepower Double IPA.  Both brews were excellent, but we both liked the Devil’s Tripel better.

AviatorBrewery-4When we got there, it was packed.  We weren’t expecting it to be busy, but it was packed wall-to-wall.  I’d say 90% of the clientele were waving either Living Social or Groupon deals at the bartenders.  Although the deals were different, neither of them included an actual drink at the brewery, so most people were getting a beer while they waited for the tours to start.  That’s what we did.  The tours started about every 15 minutes.  You could bring your beer along to nurse on the tour (it was encouraged, haha).  Tours lasted about a half hour and took you through the “factory,” showing you the beer-making process and giving you a little history lesson of Aviator Brewery and beer making in general.  At one point, our tour guide passed around a cup filled with whatever the grain is that’s used to make hops.  Most people wrinkled their nose at it, but I thought it smelled good.  Then again, I don’t mind a little hoppiness in my beer.  [Side note: someone should use that for a slogan if they haven’t already.  You’re welcome.]

After the tour, they gave us our pint glasses, stickers, and the 4- & 6-packs of beer.  I was a little bummed to discover in the car that one of the pint glasses was chipped, but oh well.  I love them because they say “Beer is my friend” on them.  I want to take my dad to Aviator Brewery the next time my parents are in town to visit.  I think he’d really like the brews.

AviatorBrewery-TapRoomWe heard that Aviator had a pub “in town,” and decided to hit that up for dinner.  However, we weren’t paying close enough attention because Aviator has two additional places in town – the Smokehouse (which has a full menu) and the Tap House (which only serves appetizers).  They’re across the street from each other!  We didn’t know there were two different establishments, so when we saw the Tap House, we assumed we had the right place.  Needless to say, we were very confused when we didn’t have a waiter, saw that no one had food at their tables, and found that the menu only had options such as cheese fries on them.  It wasn’t until we walked outside, looked across the street and saw the Smokehouse that we realized we had just eaten bacon cheese fries at the wrong place!  I think Jay may have wanted to kill me for not realizing there were two places, haha.  In all fairness, I was sitting in the passenger seat and the Tap House was on my side of the street, so really, he was the one who wasn’t looking around properly, lol.  We did end up sitting at the bar, though, and the bartender let us sample the other brews on tap, so I can’t really say our unhealthy non-dinner was a total bust.

One final thing to add about our adventure at Aviator Brewery.  When we got to the last part of the tour, our guide showed us the machine that puts the beer in cans and packages them.  I thought that was cool enough, until our tour guide said, “We got this from an old vineyard run by Italians in New York.  We nicknamed the machine Luigi.”  Luigi, for those of you who may not know, is Italian way of saying Louis.

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If you’re ever in the area and like hitting up local breweries, I’d recommend checking out Aviator Brewery or trying one of their brews if you ever come across them in a store, bar, or restaurant.  There’s some pictures below after the jump if you’re interested.  Big thanks to Jay for taking most of them.

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