The theme of family goes beyond the sibling owners.
Within seconds of our arrival at Bond Brothers Beer, we realized this was not the typical brewery crowd. For patrons of this brewery, this was a family outing. People brought their kids, who enjoyed playing on the outdoor patio area while Mom and Dad appreciated the suds. We have been to a few other breweries during our travels that had a similar family friendly community feel: Nickel Point and OBX Brewing Station come to mind. This brewery seems to be a new community center in the Cary area. While I haven’t lived in Cary for over 20 years, this reminds me of a Cary from long ago – neighborhood block parties, Cary Lazy Days and Cary Band Days spent with your family and neighbors. In a way, Bond Brothers seems to be tapping into something that has been dormant in this community for some time. Twin brothers Jeremy and Jay Bond anchor a group of four founders of Cary’s newest brewery. These two brother are joined by fellow former home brewers Whit Baker and Andy Schnitzer. But, don’t expect these beers to taste like amateur efforts at beer making, these aren’t your neighbors’ homebrews. To our experienced but untrained taste buds, the beers sampled were complete and polished examples of the styles they represented.
Just a few weeks since its grand opening, Bond Brothers doesn’t seem to be short of fans. We visited it right after work on a Friday evening and we weren’t alone in kicking off the weekend at this establishment. This downtown Cary brewery was packed with craft beer lovers ready to kick off the weekend with a cold beer. What a great venue for enjoying quality craft beer this is becoming. Parking was a real problem, but we notice they are constructing a new parking lot next door to the brewery that I’m sure will address this issue. Besides the beer at this brewery is worth having to walk a few blocks.
Like many North Carolina breweries, they have repurposed an old industrial building. The taproom, while crowded at the time of our visit was a great space and the rollup (former loading dock) doors helped to keep my self-diagnosed agoraphobia in check, even in the crowd of patrons placing their orders. Don’t let my mention of crowds at this brewery or parking blocks away keep you from joining the fun. It was refreshing to see that the people we encountered in our visit were not in a hurry; they had no complaints, this laid back atmosphere created by Bond Brothers was a pleasant distraction from the rush of deadlines, the all too common in the modern drive thru world we live our lives in on weekdays. We felt like we were in the “weekend zone” where it was okay to take your time and enjoy a beer. We didn’t experience live music the day we were visiting and from looking at their calendar this is not going to be a priority for Bond Brothers. No food truck was serving of the Friday we were there; however, I’m told that food trucks are usually present on the weekends.
The Staff was busy but friendly and the beer selection was great, especially given that we were visiting just weeks after the grand opening. Ten beers were on tap the evening of our visit. Unfortunately for us they do not serve flights. This was disappointing because as most loyal readers of First in Flights know I like to drink my craft beer 4 ounces at a time. But they do have half pours, so we went that route. So let’s talk about the beers for a moment. We were more than a little impressed by the beers we sampled, below are some of our favorites…
Farmer’s Dance- A good Belgian Blonde, the kind of beer that is perfect for patio drinking. Well balanced with just the right combination of dry and sweet, common in the Belgian style.
Latte Variant- This stout has understated notes of vanilla and coffee I really like. It dangerously hides a fairly high ABV (10.5%) nicely.
Sorcery– Sours!!! I like the fact that this brewery puts a Sour on tap right out of the gate. This shows their commitment to having diverse selection. This was not my favorite American Wild Ale but is was a fairly good one. Sour lovers will enjoy.
Cary Gold-Here is your intro to craft beer choice. I think that while a mild Cream ale will never be my favorite beer at a brewery it is an important one to have on tap. It helps those who are new to craft beers make the transition to the more flavorful beers.
Peasant Brawl– My favorite beer sampled at Bond Brothers (It is worth noting the Local IPA was not tapped at the time of our visit). This Belgian Strong Ale is full of flavor; a bit of a ginger note caught my attention. The “Untapped” average rating is far lower than it should be for this beer.
As someone who grew up in Cary, perhaps I’m biased. But no matter where you are from, I think you will be able to appreciate the nostalgia of going to a place where we actually sit at a table with friends, family and neighbors and kickoff the weekend. A place where coworkers can gather for refreshments after work. A reminder of a time when having face time wasn’t a reference to an app you downloaded to you phone. If you’re in the Triangle area, you won’t regret stopping in to Bond Brothers. Then, let us know what you think.
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. Follow him on twitter @barbqguy44