Trophy Brewing Company on W. Morgan St. is no longer a well-kept secret. After the owners of Busy Bee Café–David “Woody” Lockwood, Chris Powers and David Meeker– opened the “nano-brewery” in Feb. 2013, adding a pizza kitchen and extra seating soon after, Trophy was well enough known to be jammed packed every weekend. The beer was excellent, the super-friendly staff was fashionably tatted and bearded (the guys, that is) and the pizza was – is – the best in town, imo.
So now the word is out that “Little Trophy” has a big brother. Finally, the wait is over. The newest Trophy Brewing location recently opened on Maywood Ave., just off Lake Wheeler Rd. near the State Farmers Market. The Trophy team is banking on this being a destination of choice for denizens of Raleigh’s brewery scene. The expansive facility contains a 20-barrel, state-of-the-art brewing operation helmed by head brewmaster Les Stewart, as well as a large, contemporary taproom and ample space for outdoor activities like cornhole and, well, just drinking beer outside.
Meanwhile, former assistant brewer Josh Wing has been named head brewer at "Little Trophy." When I stopped by recently, we tasted one of Wing’s first, original brews, Hop Shake, an IPA with the perfect touch of vanilla at 6.5% ABV, and it was impressive. The original Trophy typically offers five or six beers on tap, whereas the Maywood location will feature more, giving brewers at both locations the opportunity to expand their portfolios. Thirty-two-ounce growlers are available, with 64s on the way.
Currently featured on tap at Little Trophy are Double Death Spiral (8% ABV), an imperial IPA loaded with floral and fruity hops; Miss Golden Valley (4.5% ABV), a table saison with made with Czech Saaz hops and Riverbend Abruzzi rye, a breed native to N.C.; El Hombre (7.7% ABV), a Horchata stout brewed with almond tea, cinnamon and vanilla; Rose Gose (3.5% ABV) a traditional springtime gose style brewed with rosemary and salt; Participant (3.8% ABV), a Berliner weisse; and Perfect Attendance (6% ABV), an American porter.
While I was there, Wing pointed out two whisky casks that were being transported over to Maywood. “That’s a 14%-ABV Imperial Stout that’s being aged in fresh bourbon barrels from Knob Creek,” he said, pointing out that the brew will age about two months before it is tapped.
“What day?” I asked.