Beer Study 

2501 University Drive, #4, Durham; 106 North Graham Street, Chapel Hill; 

The original Beer Study, in Chapel Hill, has a wall stacked with craft beer, a well-chosen assortment of local and craft brews on tap, and a dozen or so crowlers you can grab to go. The second location, a collaboration with Starpoint Brewery in Durham, takes this beer-cathedral motif to another level: more taps, more beer, more space, games, events, tap takeovers, you name it. 

Bottle Rev

Multiple locations,

The erstwhile Bottle Revolution has five Triangle locations, some owned by founder Ted Gross, others licensed under operating agreements. But the idea is the same: great beer, drawing largely from North Carolina and the region, and a shop staffed by suds enthusiasts who will help you find whatever you’re looking for. 

Carrboro Beverage Company 

102 East Main Street, Suite A, Carrboro, 

Though humble in footprint, this crumbly brick building houses a towering array of beers, with a knowledgeable, friendly staff drawing numberless North Carolina brews, exotic imports, and interesting specialties. Taste from the taps and then grab a bottle to go. 

Drink Drank Drunk

905 West Morgan Street, Raleigh,

Small, friendly, lots of regulars—there’s good beer in the cooler, on the handful of taps, and on the shelves, with a few seats inside and more on the patio out back. Also: nice name. 

The Glass Jug Beer Lab 

5410 N.C. Highway 55, Suite V, Durham, 

The Glass Jug is part bottle shop, part beer garden, and part microbrewery, making experimental suds befitting the Beer Lab name. There are events almost every night, from live music, beer-release parties, and food trucks to a running club and disc golf putting league. 

Paddy O’Beers 

121 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh, 

Paddy O’Beers is as much a DTR neighborhood hangout as anything else. The small shop is packed with six-packs from floor to ceiling. It also offers a handful of beers on tap and a sunny outdoor patio on which to enjoy, ahem, patio beers.

Pelagic Beer & Wine 

300 Pace Street, Raleigh, 

Families and dogs are welcome at this smallish, friendly, low-key Oakwood spot. Pelagic dedicates its nine taps to the best of N.C. brews and ciders—Burial, Fonta Flora, Bhavana, Ancillary* Fermentation, etc.—and sells only craft bottles only from independently owned breweries.  

Sam’s Bottle Shop

1112 N.C. Highway 54, Durham, 

At the end of 2018, John Boy surrendered to the inevitable and sold Sam’s Quik Stop, the Erwin Street landmark that has since been razed and will soon turn into apartments for Duke students. Sigh. But his other bottle shop remains. And though it doesn’t have a half-century of history under its belt, Sam’s website boasts that it has the largest beer selection in North Carolina, and, well, we have no reason to doubt it. There’s also good beer on draft and a nice upstairs patio on which to enjoy it. 

State of Beer 

401 Hillsborough Street, Suite A, Raleigh, 

A bottle shop and sandwich spot from the guys behind Trophy Brewing, State of Beer has about a dozen beers on tap—a few offerings from Trophy, but also interesting brews from the likes of Florida’s Cigar City and San Diego’s Mikkeller. On shelves and in coolers, you’ll find loads of other smartly curated beers from North Carolina and beyond. Grab and beer and a sandwich and sprawl out on the street-side patio or take home a crowler of your fave. 

Tasty Beverage Co. 

327 West Davie Street, Raleigh, 

Located in an old train station, Raleigh’s first bottle shop set the standard, and it still has one of the city’s largest selections of craft beers in bottles, cans, buckets, and crowlers, including lots of rare gems you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. The nine taps run the gamut from California barley wines to Charlotte dark ales to Brooklyn sours, and change up all the time. 

2018 Readers’ Picks, Best Retail Beer Selection:

Sam’s Quik Shop (closed), Durham County

Beer Study, Orange and Chatham Counties

Pelagic Beer & Wine, Wake County