Thursday, July 18, 2013

Checking it out: Good Bottle Co.

Craft beer is exploding so fast, I can't visit the new businesses fast enough. My latest stop: Good Bottle Co., 125 Remount Road, less than a block from South Boulevard and Ideal Way.

Guys and bikes: Watching the Tour 
I got lucky finding it open when I pulled in on a Thursday on the way back from an interview. It's usually open noon-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, but owner Chris Hunt had unlocked the doors a little early so some of his customers could sit at the bar and watch the Tour de France.

So is it a bar or a store? Hunt says the aim is to be both: He stocks a wide selection of bottles and growlers, but there is a small beer bar across the back with seating and a half-dozen taps.

The section of N.C. beers is truly inspiring:  Fullsteam, Mother Earth, Pisgah, French Broad, even Beer With No Name from Raleigh. There is a small section of imports, and that's by design. Hunt said he aims for 85 percent to 90 percent American craft beers.

When he was visiting bottle shops and planning his own, he said, he was really struck by all the stores that said they made a mistake in having too many imports. These days, he says, American craft beer is the way to go. Even with a big section for NC brews, he's running out of room, he says.

"Craft beer should be as local as possible," he says. I'll raise a toast to that.

Follow Hunt on Twitter, @goodbottleco or find him online,