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Craft City Sip In offers best brews and fun

by Rich Lewis

| @RichLewis4Ink

Every neighborhood needs a local hangout where you can relax, have a good time and be with your friends. If you happen to be in the Brassfield area of New Garden Road, then Craft City Sip In is just that place for you.

Owners Kevin Duhaime and Brian Perdue opened the bottle shop two months ago. The pair brought the project up from the ground floor themselves. They’ve created an open design with a reclaimed Southern industrial feel to the fixtures and tables, with a great looking granite bar top. And in that space they offer one of the best selections of beer you’re likely to find anywhere around.

“We wanted this place to be inviting,” Perdue said. “We wanted people to be able to come in and have a good time. We’ve got stuff to do here like Trivia Night on Thursdays, we’re going to be doing live music Fridays, there are board games, comic books. You can come hang out with your friends and just relax.”

The place definitely took on the personalities of its owners – upbeat, laidback and cool with a wry sense of humor. There’s not a lot of pretension and visitors will feel welcome from the very beginning.

These guys put a lot of work into bringing Craft City into being, and it hasn’t always been easy. Both Perdue and Duhaime have been fans of the craft beer movement since the state of North Carolina opened up to small brewers in 2005. While they wanted to be the first to open a shop like this in Greensboro, it took a while to get things going and then it almost didn’t happen. There was a difficulty in getting a variance for the business from the local Board of Adjustments, but it was eventually ironed out as they were able to explain Craft City wasn’t a bar or nightclub, but actually a retail establishment that would develop 70 percent or more of its revenue from retail sales. Perdue said that craft beer storeowners in the area really helped in getting that point across, in addition to helping them clear other hurdles along the way.

If bottle shops live and die by their selection, these guys should be in for the long haul. The beer selection is staggering and wine enthusiasts will definitely be able to find what they are looking for as well.

“We’ve got over 252 different bottled beers to choose from,” Perdue said, “and 79 different varieties/labels of wines. We carry a lot of sours and have a big IPA selection, plus we have a lot of locals on tap and in bottles.”

The bottled beer selection is really astounding, with small breweries from around the country represented alongside some great imports. They even offer the opportunity to make your own six-pack with whatever catches your eye.

“We’ve got 12 taps and we keep an eclectic blend,” he said. Generally, on tap they’ll have four different IPAs, then a selection of pale ales, Pilsners, stouts, porters, wheats and a choice of seasonal brew s. You can also get flights of beers to taste the selection, in sets of four, eight or 12.

And if you really know your beers, Perdue has a challenge for you.

“If you can name eight out of 12 by taste,” he said, “I’ll buy the flight for you.”

Growlers are also available if you’d like to take home one of the drafts as a new favorite. Kegs are available for big events, and with only a 20 percent markup, Perdue said it would be hard to find them at a better price anywhere.

So what if you are new to the world of craft beers and your experience runs more to the big name brewers? Don’t worry, they’ve got you covered.

“Most domestic beers have a certain style – Pilsners, lagers,” Perdue said. “Just let our staff know what you’ve been drinking and they can make suggestions. And we offer tasters for every beer we have.”

Craft City doesn’t serve food, but they have made arrangements with local restaurants like Big Burger Spot and Giacomo’s to deliver right to your table. Couple that up with Thursday Trivia Night ($20 tab prize for 1 st place, $10 for 2 nd ), half priced wines on Tuesday nights and music on Fridays and this could be your new great hangout.

Special events will also be held throughout the year, such as Hops for Hope, which raised $3,000 for breast cancer research this year at Craft City. They also offer NFL Sunday Ticket on their televisions during football season. !

WANNA go?

Craft City Sip In is located at 2130 New Garden Road, Greensboro, NC 27410 across from Brassfield Shopping Center. Hours of operation are M-Th 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., F-Sa 12 noon to 11 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 7 p.m.

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