Hard Day’s Night at Fortnight Brewing in Cary

IMG_20150605_204925026A fortnight is fourteen nights (and days) long. I would love to spend an entire fortnight at Fortnight Brewing Company in Cary.  A unique brewery and a true treat for any beer lovers, Fortnight is not your typical NC craft brewery experience. Fortnight was started by a couple of British immigrants who missed the beers of their homeland, and so they started producing authentic English ales to share with their new neighbors in Cary.  I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting England, but I’ve enjoyed many an English Ale, none better than the heavenly nectar coming from the cask at Fortnight.

IMG_20150605_205519828 The Taproom is a large comfortable space with textile covered walls and ceiling to absorb sound, plush leather sofas and chairs, dark wood bar and furnishings. This is the kind of place you and your crew will feel quite comfortable in. My friends and I enjoyed our night so much we closed the taproom down. We played a spirited game of darts and a cheeky card game involving creative answers to benign questions. The taproom is dog-friendly; however, I’m not sure my dog is classy enough to pull off hanging out at this brewery. The staff the night we visited was friendly (and her British accent was cool).  I have to believe you would have a hard time finding a better place to watch World Cup soccer than at this brewery. Part of me hoped people would break out in English drinking songs before they left; alas, sadly there was no singing. They don’t serve food at this brewery; however, they are frequented by food trucks.

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My favorite part of visiting a brewery is getting to taste the beers. First, let me say I think English beers are under-rated. Everyone gets excited about German beer, and Belgians are incredibly popular these days, but English beers don’t often excite the craft brew drinkers as much. Hopefully more people will come to Fortnight and discover just how good English beer can be when done right. English-styled beers are served at slightly warmer temperature than American beers, but please don’t let that scare you off from trying them.

  • English Ale: It’s no surprise this beer is one of Fortnight’s flagship beers. It is an ordinary bitter English-style ale with full flavor, lower carbonation so it’s not to filling, lower ABV than many craft beers so it is very sessionable. If given the choice, ask if they have it available from cask.
  • ESB (Extra Special Bitter): This style is becoming very popular among NC craft breweries, but I’ve never had a better example of this style than from here at Fortnight. When you sample this beer, see if you can detect the subtle notes of figs and raisin.
  • Coffee Amber: I’m a big fan of Amber malts, and I was surprised how well it blends with the robust flavor of coffee. For me this was an interesting beer to sample, and I would encourage any beer lover to give this a try. But I’d be more likely to order a full pint of this one in the Fall or Winter.
  • Blonde Ale:The first thing I noticed was the floral notes, which were more subtle than you would find in an IPA but easy to pick up on and enjoy.IMG_20150605_205511042

In case you missed the excitement in my writing, I really enjoyed this brewery, and I am looking forward to my next visit. Try this brewery for yourself and share your experience with us.

Michael Cole lives in Sanford, NC, and loves great food and beer. His taste tends to favor malts over hops so he’s an avid fan of ambers and dark beers.

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