After five years on the frontlines of Durham’s fruit-forward beer movement, Barrel Culture Brewing and Blending will close its doors at the end of this month, the brewery announced yesterday.

“We have had our shares of ups and downs, and have continued to navigate through them to keep our doors open and taps flowing,” owners Caroline and Ethan Barbee wrote in a Tuesday Instagram post. “We have reached a point where we can no longer do that and it’s time for us to step away.”

The INDY Week reached out for further details about the closure but brewery ownership did not respond at the time of publication. 

Barrel Culture—which houses its brewery in Research Triangle Park and hosts an additional taproom on Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh—launched at a time when breweries were proliferating across the Triangle at breakneck speed, following closely on the tails of ventures like Cary’s Bond Brothers, Durham’s Durty Bull Brewing Co., and Raleigh’s Trophy Brewing.

In the crowded market, Barrel Culture set itself apart with beers that centered around berries, citrus, and stone fruits. Some glittered with the tangy rawness of a pineapple or a tangerine; others, like the bananas foster and strawberry milkshake ales, offered a more indulgent iteration of their fruity foundations.

And flavors aside, Barrel Culture shone in its embodiment of the Bull City ethos, with a mission built around community and sustainability and a roster of beer names that included the “I Voted Today” hazy pale ale, the “Black is Beautiful” pastry stout, and the “I Don’t Know If You Know This But I’m Kind Of A Savage” wild braggot. 

Barrel Culture’s taprooms will be open through the end of December.

“Come by and see us this holiday season,” the Barbees wrote Thursday. “Have a beer. Share a memory. Thank you for the experience!”

Support independent local journalismJoin the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle. 

Follow Staff Writer Lena Geller on Twitter or send an email to