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    The Porch — drinking

    Porch Fly Spring Release Party!

    Porch Fly Spring Release Party!

     

    I know what you're thinking. "It's not spring yet, what are they doing?" Well, you're wrong. The weather is amazing, and it's time to officially put winter in a body bag. What better way to kick off the spring of 2017 than with a bunch of new tees, tanks, hats, candles, and more!

    We'll be hanging out from 2-5pm at Neuse River Brewing Co. with our entire collection! Don't worry, we'll have you home in time for the ACC Championship! Check the full schedule and event info below. 


    FOOD: Food trucks on-site throughout the event.
    Chirba Chirba (http://bit.ly/1URssC9)
    Cocoa Forte (http://bit.ly/2m06f9l)

    OTHER WARES: We're bringing some talented friends with us.
    EmoJugs (http://bit.ly/2m10iqU)
    The Noble Woodsman (http://bit.ly/2lEK31G)

    BEER SPECIALS: $4 Misfit Wits throughout the event!

    RAFFLES: Pieces from the new collection will be raffled off throughout the day, with all ticket proceeds going to benefit two amazing non-profits we support:

    The Nature Conservancy (http://bit.ly/2lyIKk6)
    The Scott-Free Scholarship Foundation (http://bit.ly/1LfpfZ5).

    FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC - See you on the 11th!

    To learn more about Porch Fly Clothing, visit porchfly.com and follow us on Instagram @porchflyclothing

     

    - Josh

    Calling All Raleigh Drinking Team Members

    Calling All Raleigh Drinking Team Members

    You know the palpable feeling of excitement and energy whenever a group of people gathers together in support of a singular objective? Whether that be to score a touchdown, goal, home run, or any common intention. Did you know you can get that same feeling when you and all your friends dress the same when you're out drinking? Well. Welcome to the Raleigh Drinking Team.

    Let's take it back in time for a moment. Back to 2014, during the previous World Cup. Seeing large groups of friends and strangers come together to publically to rally behind their team. Seeing the camaraderie and unity achieved really inspired us to want to create something that could give that same feeling to the amazing people of Raleigh. We wanted to have our own team in support of one of our favorite industries. Local breweries.

    The design started with the lone squirrel, but no team is complete without a proper crest. Even with the design almost complete it still felt as if it were missing something. That’s when the beer bottle was introduced. Once we gave the bottle to the squirrel the design seemed complete.

    If we’re being 100% honest with each other right now, we didn’t have a lot of faith in this design early on but once we saw how people reacted to this design we grew to love it. Groups of people would stop by our booth at various events all repping Raleigh Drinking Team gear and that’s when it really hit us that we had created a tee for the beer lovers of Raleigh.

    After the design had been out a short while we received a call from a kids clothing store asking if we made the design but for babies. Because let’s be real, who drinks more than a baby? (And we’re talking milk here) We made a quick swap to a baby bottle and created the jersey for our youngest team members!

    Currently, you can get Raleigh Drinking Team gear in Men’s Tees, Women’s Tees & Tanks, onesies, and koozies.

    Check out the collection and join the team today!

    RALEIGH HUSTLES HARD - NEUSE RIVER BREWING CO.

    It seems like every week there’s a new brewery popping up in Raleigh. Of course, nobody is complaining. The economic impact of the beer industry across North Carolina is undeniable. In 2014, it brought nearly $8 billion into the states economy, while creating over 26k jobs and over $213 million in state and local taxes (National Beer Wholesalers Association). One of the most recent and exciting breweries to call Raleigh home, is Neuse River Brewing Company (NRBC). Owners, Ryan Kolarov and David Powell, both NC natives, moved back to Raleigh in 2012 from Northern California to be a part of the movement. We sat down with David and Ryan for our latest installment of Raleigh Hustles Hard, to learn more about how they went from home brewers with a dream to a couple of Raleigh’s coolest new small business owners.

    David and Ryan have been home brewing for as long as they can remember. David’s passion began while living in Brooklyn, NY, working in the film industry. At the time, Ryan was brewing his own beer at home, over 1,600 miles away in St. Thomas. As fate would have it, life brought them unknowingly, six miles from each other in Northern California. By complete chance, they reconnected in 2009 and almost immediately starting brewing. “We both had such unique styles that complimented each other”, said Ryan. In early 2010, they began brewing in Ryan’s garage. Ryan was working in the brewery and winery industry at the time, so they were blessed with a lot of resources and great ingredients to pull from. “We just started experimenting and playing around with non-traditional ideas, and it turned out well”, said David. They were focused from the beginning. “From the moment we started brewing together, everything we created was working towards the dream of opening our brewery.”

    David and Ryan made the move back to Raleigh in 2012. With two growing families and Raleigh’s growing market, they saw a great opportunity in coming back home. “We grew up here. Raleigh is home for us. We have an awesome beer, food, and art culture that’s been emerging for the last ten years. It’s created a great atmosphere for this market.” Once back, they hit the ground the running. David began working at World Of Beer, getting a crash course in cost analysis and purchasing, as well as gaining invaluable insight into the current market value and consumer habits. “It really helped us understand the kind of beer and even particular flavors that the client was after.” While David was learning at World of Beer, Ryan began market research, scouting locations, and building the business plan for the brewery. Even with the years of experimenting and planning, opening NRBC did not come without huge risk. Both Ryan and David, along with their families, made significant sacrifices, even at a point moving back in with their parents and cashing out retirement accounts to purchase the necessary equipment. But with a lot of hustle, some help, and a bit of luck, Ryan and David broke ground at 518 Pershing Road, the eventual home of Neuse River Brewing Co., on July 1st, 2014.

    We were lucky enough to see this piece of property transform from a relic of a building into one of the coolest brewery / taprooms in Raleigh. It was truly a family effort. Ryan's wife Jennifer, who is also NRBC's Director of Sales & Marketing, was instrumental in the overall design of the taproom. David, Ryan, and his stepfather, Bob, built literally everything from the 30-foot concrete slab bar, to the 15+ picnic style and high top tables around the room. The real centerpiece is the industrial size fan that looks like it belongs in an airplane hanger. Even in the middle of the summer with no air conditioning, it’s still the coolest spot in town. The taproom shares an indoor and outdoor area separated by two large garage doors. On most days, you can find one of the Triangle’s many amazing food trucks, parked outside. NRBC is kid-friendly, and even has a kiddy table with toys and books.

    Neuse River Brewing Co. officially opened on July 31st, 2015. Right now, they offer three beers on tap; a 9% Neusiok Imperial Saison, a 7.8% Caleb’s High Noon Imperial IPA, and a 10.5% Affluent Tripel. “The Neusiok had a running start as soon as it was sampled. Everyone wanted it. So for the open, we focused on adding some other beers to give people something they weren’t expecting”, said David. The high gravity beers on tap are delicious. “Sometimes a high gravity beer is really nice because you can take your time with it and really enjoy the beer, your friends, and your surroundings.” However, don’t expect only high gravity beer at NRBC. “Soon, we’ll be a little more well balanced than how we came out of the gate. We wanted to come out with a bang, but you can expect many more exceptional beers at the 4.5 to 5% level.” With 10 open taps, and seven new beers on deck, expect that sooner than later. “We’re really excited about our next release, the Riverkeeper’s Wit”, said David. This special 4.8% Belgian style wheat beer will be a cornerstone of NRBC and go far beyond the stomachs of those who drink it. For every beer sold, 5% of the revenue will be donated to the Neuse Riverkeeper Foundation, which restores and preserves the Neuse River basin through education, advocacy, and enforcement. “We grew up stomping and playing on the Neuse River. It’s been a huge part of both of our lives. Because of that, it’s really important for us to give back.” Ryan and David’s hope is that eventually, others carrying the beer will contribute to the conservation by matching or adding to the donations.

    Ryan and David believe their focus on authenticity will help distinguish them from the rest. In addition to a strict yeast management program, which they said was the real worker bee in all their beers, Ryan stressed the importance of the water profile being unique for each beer they make. “Our goal is to mimic the origin of where these beers really come from. We take a lot of pride in that. For example, when we make a Saison, we work hard to make sure our water profile is the same as Wallonia, Belgium. Water chemistry changes the whole flavor profile of the beer.” Ryan and David have put the entirety of themselves into NRBC and it shows. “There’s a lot of pride that goes into your work. When you’re a small business owner, every inch of what you accomplished has a meaning within your life. Every time I see a piece of wood that I cut, I remember that day, and what we were working towards.” Very soon, you’ll start seeing a lot more of these guys around town. “We’re about 60 days away from distribution. We want to make sure that we don’t run out of beer for our customers! Look out for NRBC on tap at World of Beer and Bottle Revolution (Lake Boone Trail location) in the coming months. In 2016, NRBC will begin bottling and distributing to local bottle shops and bars. “We’re excited for the future, and look forward to creating something that people really enjoy.”

     

    Ryan’s favorite Beer: Consecration – Russian River Brewing Company

    David’s favorite Beer: Avec Les Bons Voeux - Brasserie Dupont sprl

     

    Learn more about NRBC, and some of Ryan and David’s favorite small businesses in the area below:

    Thanks for stopping by the porch,

    Porch Fly Clothing

    RALEIGH HUSTLES HARD - TROLLEY PUB

    Kai Kaapro, owner of Trolley Pub, first had the idea for a pedal powered party machine in 2010 after seeing a similar vehicle while traveling in Amsterdam. At the time, an eco-friendly, pub-crawling trolley was a novelty. After returning to the states, Kai contacted his old fraternity brother, and soon to be business partner with a great new idea. Fast-forward to 2015, Trolley Pub operates pedal powered booze cruises in five locations across the country. We sat down recently with Kai for our latest installment of Raleigh Hustles Hard to learn more about how Raleigh’s favorite mobile party came to be.

    Kai, who was attending law school at the time, said he never had an entrepreneurial spirit. “This wasn’t planned. I never expected to be anything but an attorney. We really just wanted to build the first one out of curiosity. We thought it was a really cool idea and wanted to see what would happen.” After painstaking research, they finally found a manufacturer in Bend, Oregon willing and able to build the first Trolley Pub prototype.

    In 2011, Kai and his business partner founded Trolley Pub, LLC and opened the first location in Tucson, AZ. “I tried to run it while I was still in law school in Pennsylvania. It didn’t work out very well, if you can imagine. Eventually, a large streetcar project caused the Tucson location to lose viability. “Luckily, I had a good friend in Jeff Murison, the president of the Hillsborough Street Association in Raleigh. I was discussing my situation with him at a conference and he immediately suggested Raleigh as a perfect location.” Trolley Pub Raleigh opened in the spring of 2012. “The environment in Raleigh is perfect. After visiting, I quit every obligation I had and moved out here. I met my wife the first week I was here, on the Trolley Pub! Raleigh has been so good to me.”

    It was hard for us to categorize Trolley Pub. Is it a transportation service, a downtown Raleigh tour operator, a mobile bar? Technically, it’s all of the above, but Kai assures me it’s much simpler than that. “People are renting it out for a fun group experience, while getting to know the area better better. At the end of the day, Trolley Pub is just entertainment.”

    While it’s all entertainment for the customers, owning Trolley Pub is not easy. There is a lot of moving parts and liability when it comes to operating a mobile BYOB bar for 14 people. However, Kai admits that the biggest challenges were the legal hurdles when launching. “Between both the city and state regulations, licenses for motor carriers, alcohol licenses and laws, the hardest part was being granted the right to legally operate.” He says he was a bit naïve in the beginning, which helped him to jump right in. “I had never been out of college in the real world so I was very over confident thinking this would be easy.” There have been numerous obstacles unique to each location, but Raleigh was an outlier in terms of the launch process. “In 2012, Raleigh basically just said OK. They wanted to work with us from the beginning and we’ve still never really had an issue with this city.” Unfortunately, that’s not been the case elsewhere for Trolley Pub. Opening in Arlington, VA was much more difficult given its proximity to Washington, DC. “We had to take our case up to the state level, and eventually try to have a bill passed for our business to operate.” Even with all the regulatory hurdles, Trolley Pub Arlington opened in 2013. In 2014, the Madison (WI) and Houston (TX) locations were born. Most recently, Trolley Pub opened a location in Charlotte and has plans to expand into the Virgin Islands in November. Kai has a vision for further expansion, focusing on emerging markets like Wilmington (NC) and Detroit.

    On a more local level, Kai’s vision for Trolley Pub Raleigh is focused on transforming the warehouse at 323 W Davie Street, which is currently the trolley take-off point, into a hang out spot. “We’re still in the preliminary planning stage, but our ultimate goal is to build out a gift shop / bottle shop in the front of the store selling local merchandise and have a sandwich bar style restaurant in the back connecting to a rooftop bar.”

    Even with all the positive forward motion, Trolley Pub has had its fair share of detractors. Some downtown Raleigh residents have called it loud and obnoxious, while others have had issue with the vehicles slowing down traffic. Kai tells me, even though he was a bit thin skinned at first, it was important to him to be attentive to feedback and open to criticism while maintaining his vision and goals for the customer experience. “It hurt my feelings at first because I’ve thrown everything into this but ultimately it’s more important to me to be a good neighbor to the folks who live and work downtown. If someone has an issue, we try our best to be extremely responsive. If someone doesn’t want us near his or her house, we’ll change the route. We’ve even changed hours of operation to be more accommodating, late night. We’ve also spent a lot of time training our staff to be responsive and enforce the rules strictly."

    Although Kai had no plans to be a small business owner, he finds that this lifestyle suits him better than he expected. “Once I dipped my toes in, I enjoyed being a business owner so much that I stuck with it. My favorite part is finding ways to please the customer and making sure they are happy with the money they’ve spent. Selfishly, I love the time management, control, and creative freedom it allows me, but more importantly I love seeing people walk away happy.”

    Learn more about Trolley Pub and some of Kai’s favorite small businesses in the area below:

    Thanks for stopping by the porch,

    Porch Fly Clothing