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Burial Beer Co.

Raleigh, North Carolina


Crusin’ Rating: B+

Booze Rating: A-


This week we are checking out another brewery from our trip to North Carolina. Perhaps our favorite beer from our trip to the Tar Heel State, this brewery was our single stop in Raleigh and our last stop of our trip. Firmly denying any recency bias, Burial Beer Company sports two locations in the craft beer mecca, Asheville, NC, as well as the heavy metal tasting room we visited in Raleigh. Aptly dubbed “The Exhibit”, the Raleigh location is all about showcasing the Burial Art world.

With our time tight to make our return flight back to Wisconsin, we were able to give Burial just under an hour in what we thought would be a space that would appeal to Hannah’s rocker chick side and hopefully have some decent beer. Although we had tried several breweries and other than Southern Pines Brewing Co, nothing had really jumped out at us in terms of Tarheel beer. There have been a few occasions where I have tried to find a vibey, questionably satanic, metal brewery just for Hannah. Wake Brewery in the Quad Cities area was a spot we had high hopes for, but was, in actuality, just a brewery that played some rock music on the speakers and had a poster or two.

Burial’s Raleigh location - however - was absolutely what we had been looking for. Well, except for the music, but I’ll touch on that later. The space takes up the corner of S. East Street and E. Davie Street and shares space with, what looked like, a pretty sick community food space, Transfer Company Food Hall. Think of something like the Public Market in Milwaukee or Garver Feed Mill in Madison. With what looked like huge patio out back and an list of food vendors, we could tell that Burial had picked a prime location for a tasting room to fit in the one-two punch of having beer and then getting something to eat while artfully avoiding the need for their own kitchen. With plenty of live plants and ample windows, that’s really where the trendiness ends for the space. On more than one wall, there are full-on murals of things straight out of Dante’s Inferno and Boticelli. You know the style, Italian Renaissance oil paintings full of all sorts of creepiness wherein you wonder to yourself what sort of substances artists were getting down with. While we pondered over this, we took stock of the wild music contrast that was coming in over the speakers. Taylor Swift - not Black Sabbath or Pantera - Taylor Swift. Hannah and I chalked that up to the bartender having a sense of either a sense of irony, or a strict break from the music that’s usually playing. Either way, the juxtaposition of pop music and a decidedly goth-punk vibe was very memorable.

Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Beer Wine Distilllery Blogger- Burial Beer Co- Bar Indoors

Almost every beer available had an edgy-emo name that would make Edgar Allen Poe proud. On top of that, there were several with preposterously long names that were almost full sentences, as if pushing the boundaries of what we will accept on a beer label when it comes to naming beer. Hannah and I found some fun in finding the craziest names and wanted to know if someone at the company is busy writing some edgy poetry that often gets used as beer names. Interestingly enough, It would appear as though the Raleigh location is the one that goes hardest into this theme as far as the space goes. From what we can tell, one of the locations in Asheville is very camp-woods-cabin themed, and the other is very much a reclaimed warehouse-turned brewery. As fortune would have it, we found the single location that went hard into the theme of the brewery overall and the beer. Hannah and I were both impressed by the decidedly “dark” space, even though plenty of plants and natural light kept it from being too much of a dungeon.

But how was the beer? We had time for a single flight between the two of us with four beers. Can I just say, they have some of the sickest, perhaps the sickest can labels that I have seen yet?

Crusin' For Booze- Wisconsin Beer Wine Distillery Blogger- Burial Beer Co- Beer Flight

Symptom of Progeny (6.55 ABV) - This spontaneously fermented golden sour was highly cloudy and pale gold in color. Smelling of orange, juicy peach and then a sweet nuttiness, not unlike almond milk or even Orgeat, sweet syrup made from almonds, sugar, and rose water or orange flower water. Hannah and I tasted some light citrus notes and lemon juice but really this was an unfruited spontaneous sour where anything we tasted was coming from the process rather than fruit. Reminiscent of some of the best we’ve had at the late Funk Factory, this was an exceedingly solid sour beer. On top of that, the beer is made locally in Asheville with Asheville City Water, local malt from Riverbend, house-aged hops, and open air under peach trees. No lie. This beer sits outside under peach trees until it ferments and then rests 1-3 years at which point the culture is then used again in another batch. A very cool little beer cycle.

Visuals - Adorn the Alter Cloth: Malbec - (6.0% ABV)- A Brief caveat on this one - Visuals is Burial Beer Company’s Cider and Wine division and while we originally tasted this not fully understanding that relationship and assumed it was a wine-barrel aged beer, we have since come to the conclusion it is, in fact a cider. I do admit that it would have been nicer if this had been more clearly labeled or discussed with us by the beertender at the tasting room and would have avoided a lot of confusion.

Where credit is due, though, Burial is the first brewery website that we’ve seen that contains a full archive, complete with pictures, product descriptions, and brewing details (ABV/IBU) that we have come across and it was absolutely a godsend to be able to go back and check the accuracy of our notes - which is usually done through photos of the menu.

Back to this Cider. Smelling of mulled wine, or sangria - think of light clove and cinnamon, with a little orange zest, this was a very wine-forward tasting cider. In fact, listed as a wine spritz, for all intents and purposes this really just tasted like a canned, sparkling wine. It was fine for what it was and some of the confusion was on our part for not looking closely enough and making assumptions. I do regret not asking the beertender more questions and I wish we had been clearer on what we had ordered, the signage also could have been a little clearer and labeled this as a cider.

Death and the Miser 2023 (8.0% ABV) - This Sour poured a ruddy garnet and was barrel aged in red wine casks. A blend of 1 year old sour cherry ales. Hannah and I got spiced cherry notes, cinnamon and notes similar to a Cabernet wine on the nose. Wine-forward in taste as well, there was plenty of red fruit, sour cherry, spiced cherry, and even jammy notes with just a touch of hops in the finish. To both Hannah and I, this was the closest to wine a beer has ever been in taste and smell, intentional sourness not included, of course. We were intrigued enough to bring a bottle home.

Billows - Dry Hopped Kolsch (4.9% ABV) - This Kolsch poured yellow-gold with brilliant clarity and smelled of slightly sweet grains, I thought, for a moment there was a little grainy pear in there as well, but it was brief. A very low-profile aroma that we had to sniff a few times to pick up anything. Heavy on the grainy sweetness when tasting, and having what I thought was moderately high hop character, with floral notes. Just slightly more hoppy than I have tasted in the past, but still well-within the boundaries of being balanced with a crisp finish. This was a well-executed Kolsch, if not my favorite.

So, I’ve been talking about the naming conventions and you might not be impressed with the names of the beers we’ve tried, but here are some of the other examples, available at the time of writing: Thirty Years of Confounding Outrage and Haunting Disbelief for a Victory That Was Neverthere, Portal of Sound To Explore The Possibility of Nonexistence,And We Stray Further From Our Purpose Until It Becomes No More, and the Atmospheric Impressions of Abandoned Deities.

Yes, the names are a mouthful, but now that we have been there, it’s really part of the charm and I couldn’t imagine now trying a beer with a name that isn’t something reminiscent of H.P. Lovecraft.

While we don’t believe anything other than beer, water, and wine is served, we were told that at least at the Raleigh location, a plethora of N/A beverages and food is available next door at the food hall. In all, this was a brewery that we liked enough to consider making a trip out to Asheville at some point in the Crusin' For Booze future as a beer pilgrimage. We liked it enough to grab multiple beers to bring home in order to try again, and while a cross-country journey to try a brewery isn’t exactly a recommendation I am ready to make to anyone, if you ever have the opportunity and are anywhere near one of Burial’s locations (including one in Charlotte) I would fully recommend an hour trip to give them a try.

Until next time, keep on Crusin’, don’t stop boozin’!

To learn more about Burial Beer Co, please visit their website at: or on Facebook: @BurialBeer or on Instagram: @BurialBeer

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