Natty Greene’s Pub and Brewery made its debut in Greensboro in 1996, and after several successful years, a second location opened in Raleigh in 2008. Specializing in craft beers and tasty pub grub, Natty’s has become a favorite among beer enthusiasts. We caught up with pub brewer Thomas Vincent to get his take on the perfect beer, pairing selections and the Raleigh craft brew scene.
How would you describe the perfect beer?
The full glass in my hand I am about to drink. What is in the glass depends on the season or the meal at hand. As long as the beer was crafted with love, I’ll be satisfied.
What do you like most about working in the Powerhouse Square area?
What other local beers do you enjoy?
Big Boss beers are great and will always hold a special place to me. Lonerider has been making some great seasonal offerings lately like their Saison and ESB.
What do you like most about the Raleigh craft brew scene?
The People. They are crazy, inventive and wonderful folk.
How has the the craft-brew scene changed over the last few years in Raleigh and how has that affected the way approach brewing?
The Raleigh beer scene has exploded. When I moved here just over four years ago there were only a handful of breweries around the Triangle, since then we have seen that number rise to nearly 15 with more in the planning.
What would you change?
That is tough. The people are great here, ditto for the food. If I was to make a change, I love the mountains and those crisp, cool mornings, so if I could get it a little colder I wouldn’t complain.
What are some of Natty Greene’s signature dishes that pair best with the beer you make?
I would pair our Greek Salad topped with Blackened Salmon and our Wildflower Witbier. The spiciness of the Salmon would work well with the orange peel and coriander in the Wit. For something a little more hearty I would take the Black and Blue Burger with our Colonial IPA. The crisp hop bite would cut the richness of the tangy blue cheese and mushrooms.
If we were to find you enjoying a beverage at Natty Greene’s, would you most likely be in the War of Independence room, the main bar, the game bar or the bar out back?
The Main bar.
Outside of Natty Green’s, where should visitors stop first in Raleigh?
The shops by the train station are a great starting point, you have a quality beer store, Tasty Beverage, Videri Chocolate is there and you can’t go wrong with The Pit. Finish with a pint or two at Natty Greene’s—it’s just a wander up the street.
Where are some of your favorite place to unwind before/after work in Raleigh?
What’s Raleigh’s best-kept secret?
The State Farmer’s Market, I talk with people all the time that haven’t been to it. Rainbow Meadows farms has amazing meats and the range of fruits and vegetables is impressive. Every booth has something unique to offer.