Introducing Bull City Burger and Brewery
Burgers and beer. The only thing that could make this combination better is if the burgers were fresh off a charcoal grill on the back deck, and it was a beautiful summers day. With November being right around the corner, I don’t have the opportunity to decide to fire up the grill at the drop of a hat. However, I can still get an excellent burger and a great beer or two at Bull City Burger and Brewery.
Seth Gross founded Bull City Burger and Brewery in March of 2011, after previously being involved with Wine Authorities, a wine/beer bottle shop in Durham. He created a sustainable restaurant, using recycled building materials during construction, and utilizing efficient lighting solutions and other electronic systems. In its short existence, BCBB has become an important figure in Durham’s downtown community. Fundraising events take place here, and the restaurant also donates to different organizations throughout the community in gift cards, apparel, or beer forms. It also does its part to encourage the growth of the home brewing community by hosting the annual “Brew for a Cure” competition. The entry fees for the competition benefit the “Durham, City of Moustache Movember Team,” which promotes awareness of prostate and other men’s cancers in November. The winner’s home brew is scaled to a seven-barrel batch to have on tap at the bar.
BCBB’s menu is wonderfully simple, being made up of several appetizers, French fries, sweet potato fries, and creamy duck frites. The entrees are where it’s at. Freshly ground, pasture-raised, antibiotic and hormone free North Carolina beef goes into both the burgers and house made hot dogs. These can be topped with anything from a list of ‘add-ons,’ including chili, pimento cheese, a fried egg, and anything from a mouth-watering list of condiments. Aside from vanilla ice cream, corn syrup-free ketchup, and sodas from the fountain, everything on the menu is made in-house. The food menu is only half the reason I visit.
Every visit to Bull City Burger and Brewery must include at least one beer. All seven craft beers on tap are produced in house. They can be purchased as pints, pitchers, growlers (which can also be found at Wine Authorities and Sam’s Quik Stop), and in a “Tower of Beer Power”. On my most recent visit, after ordering an Over Easy burger with cheddar and mayo, I went to the bar to get a flight so I could sample all the brews that BCBB had to offer.
The Bryant Bridge Gateway Golden Ale – This golden ale poured a very golden-yellow with a light head. It has a very light scent, sweet and citrusy, with a matching flavor. The citrus flavor is accompanied by a slight yeast presence and has a nice bready finish.
Parrish Street Pale Ale – A distinctly orange/copper pour with a light head. Its scent is made up of notes of citrus and light hops. It has a distinct hoppy flavor, just slightly bitter, giving way to a light apricot finish.
Honeycutt Milk Stout – Deep brown/black in color, it had a deep roasted scent with slight notes of coffee. It has a wonderful roasted flavor, nice and thick mouth feel due to being brewed with lactose sugars. It has a bold coffee finish with a lingering sweet bready flavor.
Honorable Bell’s Big Brown Ale – A copper brown, this brown ale has a distinct brown ale scent with notes of caramel, nuts, and roasted malts. It has a nice roasted malt flavor, along with a tangy hint of spices, and a nice robust malt finish.
Boggan’s Wee Heavy Scottish Ale – This Scottish ale poured a deep brown/penny-like color and has a sweet scotch scent. It has an immediate sweet flavor, followed by roasted malt flavors, and a smoked peat finish. Scottish Ales typically aren’t on my list of go-to beers. I think what puts me off of them is the peat flavors that are sometimes present.
Blind Boy Fuller Black IPA – This BIPA is a very dark brown/black, with a light head. It smells of roasted malts, with slight notes of coffee and chocolate. It has a heavy roasted flavor, with a strong hop presence and a coffee finish.
Harvest Ale 2012 – The Harvest Ale poured a deep amber color. It has a very citrusy scent, with notes of yeast. I thoroughly enjoy the flavor of this ale. It has a fruity flavor, with hints of spices, and a distinct piney taste.
If you’re rolling through the Triangle, for business or pleasure, I highly recommend a visit to Bull City Burger and Brewery. You won’t be disappointed.