Busy Bee Cafe

We put the BEE in BEER

The Buzz

State of Beer Radio NC

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Chris, Les, & Special Guest Toby Hooker

Tune into Little Raleigh Radio every Thursday 5pm-6pm to hear Woody, Chris & Les talk about Craft beer from near and far.

We will keep you informed on local beer events, beer styles and interview various voices from the craft beer world!

Follow State of Beer NC on Facebook!


Beer News Roundup

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Check out this incredible beer map!

CNN’s Best Beer Towns

Learn all about Trappist brewers and their beer here!

Bored?  Check out some beer news on one of our favorite sites, Beer Advocate!

Shameless Self Promotion
Trophy Brewing is open!

Vletern, Belgium, home of the world’s best beer
Westvleteren 12, brewed by Trappist Monks, has made the town a mecca for beer fans

Message in a bottle keg
Mary, Queen of Scots was done in by a keg of beer.


asheville beer book 9-19-12

“Asheville Beer” Discussion and Book Signing

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All About Beer Magazine, which has been the most respected source for the growing beer culture over the past thirty years, along with the North Carolina Brewers Guild, is proud to bring Anne Fitten Glenn, author of “Asheville Beer: An Intoxicating History of Mountain Brewing,” to The Busy Bee Cafe Friday, November 30, 2012, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. We will also be tapping a keg of Win Bassett’s Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Brew, The Headliner!

Anne Fitten Glenn has been blogging as Edgy Mama (will trade kids for beer) since early 2005. She writes a weekly humorous parenting column of the same name for Asheville’s newsweekly Mountain Xpress. She also writes a biweekly column on craft beer for Mountain Xpress and has a second blog called Brewgasm (intense shudder of delight imparted by the taste of a great craft beer). She works as a freelance writer and photographer a variety of other print and on-line outlets when she’s not kid-wrangling or drinking beer.

Join her for a book signing and a discussion moderated by All About Beer Magazine’s and NC Brewers Guild’s Win Bassett about her research into the Asheville brewing community.

Writer Josh Bernstein and Dogfish Bitches Brew

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All About Beer Magazine is proud to bring Josh Bernstein, a Brooklyn-based beer, spirits, food, travel and bicycling journalist, to The Hive August 2, 2012, from 6-8 p.m.

Josh has written for hundreds of newspapers, magazines and websites, including Time Out New York, Saveur, New York, Imbibe, New York Post, Edible Manhattan and The New York Times.  He is the author of Brewed Awakening, a take on the global craft beer revolution. Join him for a book signing and discussion of all things craft beer moderated by All About Beer Magazine’s Win Bassett.

In addition to the chance to win World Beer Festival-Durham VIP tickets and All About Beer Magazine subscriptions, a few special beers (including Dogfish Head Bitches Brew) will be tapped in The Hive for the occasion!


Brooklyn Beer Dinner

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Garrett Oliver hosted a very special beer dinner for us on May 16. Guests were treated to an amazing dinner featuring dishes created by Chef David Mitchell and beers from Oliver’s Brooklyn Brewery.

A slight variation on the typical beer dinner, Chef created the dishes and Oliver chose the beers to compliment the food palate. Known for his food-pairing prowess, Oliver did not disappoint. He augmented a few standards from Brooklyn’s repertoire (East India Pale Ale, Local 1, Black Chocolate Stout) with some rare brews.
Ama Bionda, a new beer that Brooklyn has created and brewed in Italy paired perfectly with Chef’s Brie and truffle tortellini. Dinner guests were some of the first stateside to sample the beer which is brewed specifically to pair with pasta. Cuvee Elijah, Cuvee Noire aged in Elijah Craig barrels, played well with the braised short ribs. This is one of Brooklyn’s “Ghost Beers” brewed for special events and brewery pours. Dessert was a sweet and malty treat, pairing Black Ops and Black Chocolate Stout with a dessert of flourless chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse and caramel corn.

Oliver was at turns hilarious and informative. His passion for beer was evident through playful jabs at wine (beer is better food compliment) and evangelizing for craft beer culture (your first pint should always be a local brew). It was a great night all around, special thanks to Garrett Oliver for spending the evening with us at the Busy Bee.



First Friday with Cortney Mosholder

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First Friday is March 2 and Cortney’s paintings will be up all month.  Learn more about First Fridays Gallery Walk here.

This month we are exciting to be hosting Cortney’s first public showing. This New Hampshire native turned NC resident describes her art as “a collection of things I like, whether it be from my memory, imagination or the everyday moments that you want to romanticize. Day to day life isn’t always pretty, so my goal with art is to help put a little more pretty back into the world.”


Barreling Through

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As a warm up for our annual birthday celebration, here’s a Draft Magazine article on the Busy Bee’s barrel program:

My business partner Woody Lockwood and I met each other about 12 years ago in a high-volume martini bar. After getting our butts kicked for five hours a night, we’d naturally sit around and talk about all of the things we’d never do if we opened our own bar. The company we worked for also owned a brewery, which really inspired our love of beer, and it just grew from there. We dreamed of opening our own spot, and we always kept our eyes peeled for locations; we were just waiting for the right opportunity. Through a lot of hard work and a bit of good fortune, it did: We finally opened the Busy Bee Café on April 6, 2009.

In the beginning, when we were considering our beer selection, we couldn’t help but notice that a lot of breweries in other cities were able to produce special barrel-aged beers. So, we made the rounds to our local breweries and asked them, “Do you have anything like this in the works?” or, “What are the changes you guys could barrel-age your beer?” Unfortunately, the answer was always the same: “It’s too expensive, and we can’t get the barrels.”

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January First Friday: Bobby Logic

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First Friday in January 6th starting at 7:00pm.  Bobby’s “Endless City” show will be on display through the month.

Rob Logic brings his modern work to the Busy Bee for the month of January. He believes that “art is a time machine with the ability to bring people of all cultures together on an intellectual and physical level of thought and being. Colors emotionally electrify or soothe minds and bodies of all who allow its radiant beauty in. The insight of art sends the imagination on a magical journey through time and life.”

See more of Bobby Logic’s Modern Works of Art at his website.


December First Friday: Zeke Krautwurst

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First Friday is December 2, Zeke’s art is up all month.

‘Found Light Through Found Objects’ is a series of pinhole photographs I created using everything from kitchen pots, to shoe boxes, igloo coolers, briefcases, and electric stove burner inserts. Light filtered through pinholes into unique containers highlights the extraneous range and behavior of light that humans rarely see due to the focal properties of our eyes and traditional camera lenses. This series is meant to address ideas of what it means to capture a unique and aesthetically pleasing imprint of reflected found light.


November First Friday: Peyton Hale

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First Friday is November 4 starting at 7:00pm.

We’re featuring Peyton Hale’s landscape images printed on 20×30 fine art canvas for the month of November. Peyton describes himself as an outdoor enthusiast and entirely self taught.  He “tends to focus on the backcountry for his imagery.”

Purchasing a print will get you more this month, as 50% of the proceeds generated will go to Pocosin Arts School in Columbia, NC. The school was devastated by flooding following Hurricane Irene. With your help the school will be able to replace damaged equipment and restore studio space.  Read more about Peyton Hale, his art, and Pocosin Arts School at his website.


October First Friday: Elizabeth Testa

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Elizabeth Bukley Testa started art classes as a child in Youngstown, Ohio. A degree in Fine Arts led her to Ohio State University in Columbus, but you can find her now with her husband and 19 month-old daughter Kitt in Holly Springs. In Ohio Elizabeth’s passion led her to be an active part of the artists’ community, something she is continuing in the Raleigh area. She enjoys working on custom pieces for clients, incorporating special dates, words, colors, or quotes that the client finds special.  Her website liztesta.com should be up and running soon.

Elizabeth uses words and color to express emotions. In her most recent works, she has explored working with various metals and wood creating sculpture-like paintings.  The paintings are three dimensional and have a marked range in size.  She says her art is like a journal, expressing her inner-most thoughts and emotions.  “In art,” she says, “the possibilities are endless.”


First Friday: Emily Price

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Emily’s photography will be showing for the month starting Friday September 2nd at 7:00pm.

In celebration of the return of the Hopscotch music festival to Raleigh, local concert photographer Emily Price honors local music and musicians with a photo show featuring photographs taken primarily at last year’s Hopscotch festival.

The photos represent performances at a variety of different venues during the festival, as well as both local performers and those who traveled to take part in last year’s event.


PineCone Bluegrass Jam Year Anniversary

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It’s been a year since we started hosting the PineCone Bluegrass Jam up in the Hive.  The bimonthly jam is held on the second and fourth Monday of every month, from 7:00 to 10:00.  Read more about how we celebrated the year anniversary and more about PineCone, the Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, on their website.

Whether you’re a first-time jammer or a veteran, you’re welcome to learn the tunes and play along, or just listen and observe! For more information, please contact jam leaders Doug Pratt ([email protected]) and David Hedrick ([email protected]).

alisha gard 2

May First Friday: Alisha Gard

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Alisha Gard is from Raleigh, NC by way of Placerville, California. She enjoys working with film cameras using both 35mm and 120 film. Her work most often features the places she loves—as close as Carrboro, NC, which she calls home, and as distant as Berlin, London, and the island of Inishmore off the coast of Ireland. The photographs on display were taken using a Canon EOS Rebel G and a Holga 120N.

First Friday is Friday May 6.  Alisha’s work will be on display all month.

Beer Trip Diaries: Extreme Beer Fest

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We spent months preparing for this trip by following Beer Advocate roster updates as well as researching which beer bars to fit into our short trip. Feeling confident that our livers were adequately trained and our schedule was fully prepared, we headed north to Boston.

Day 1:

We arrived at the hotel and the very first person we saw, right next to our car, was Sam Calagione! We said hi and told him we’d be at his pre-EBF event at Lord Hobo shortly. By the time we arrived there was already a line down the street. Knowing that the line wasn’t going anywhere for a while, we decided to make our way to Cambridge Brewing Company right down the street.

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Bells Double Cream Stout

Upcoming Beer & Food Events

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11/10 Bell’s Stouts Brunch – As we get into cooler weather let’s keep warm with some dark beer:  A CASK of Double Cream will be on the engine along with Java, Double Cream & Expedition on draft and Ranger will be on hand to tell you all of Bell’s secrets!

11/17 Sweet & Sour Brunch! At noon we’ll be pouring De Proef/Cigar City Tropical Tripel and Bruery Tart of Darkness!

Upcoming Drafts: Kasteel Rouge, Great Lakes Oktoberfest, Lagunitas Czech Pilsner, and lots more…
Upcoming Cask: Bell’s Double Cream Stout

iphone app2

Busy Bee Cafe iPhone App Now Available

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The Busy Bee?  Yeah, there’s an app for that.

This app allows you to get the latest draft beer list, menus, events, and articles.  Never miss another beer release.

Check it out here



ob inside tent 7-31-10

Beer Trip Diaries: Belgium Comes to Cooperstown 2010

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Woody and Chris made the trek up to Ommegang Brewery for their beerfest a few weeks back. Here’s a quick summary of their trip.

Even after last year’s antics, they invited us back for another BCTC.  We touched down in Syracuse, NY to perfect beer drinking weather.  We were greeted at the airport by our good friend and Duvel Moortgat employee Dave Gonzalez.

We headed straight to the Ommegang Brewery for dinner.  Upon arriving, we were each handed a 750ml bottle of Ommegang Zuur, which is one of our favorite brews.  The dinner went on to showcase all of Duvel Moortgat’s offerings from Chouffe, Maredsous, Duvel, and Ommegang.

About 400 of us attended the dinner, and we were all entertained with some great bluegrass throughout the evening.  Ommegang brewery sits on what was once a hop farm in beautiful Cooperstown, NY, so it was exceptionally scenic.  As dinner ended, we moved the party across the field to the fire pit and enjoyed the cool weather with more great beer.

More after the jump.

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Woody and Chris’ Trek to Philly Beer Week

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Posted Tuesday June 22nd, 2010. 

Obsessed.  Consumed.  Call us whatever you want.  We’re ok with it.  We LOVE beer.  That’s why it was perfectly normal for Chris to ask Woody if he wanted to drive to Philadelphia and back in 24 hours to attend a lambic “summit” during Philly beer week.  It was also perfectly normal for Woody to say yes.

We were thirsty for ideas for Raleigh Beer Week.  So Woody, who had to work that night, bought the lambic tickets, booked a room, and packed the car.  We grabbed Penny (Woody’s girlfriend) and Drew, the manager who creates all your favorite drinks at Foundation, and took off at 1am.  Once in Philly, the great beer began flowing with an Ommegang event at Ladder 15.  The feature was Oxtail cheesesteaks with cheese that had been soaked in Ommegang Abbey for a week!  We also ran into Phil Leinhart, the Ommegang brewmaster we met last year at the brewery.  Next we headed to Grace’s Tavern for an event featuring Tomme Arthur and Lost Abbey.  Lost Abbey is a small California brewery producing world class beers that are not available in NC.  Tomme and his brewer were taking it easy as they had about 14 hours worth of events lined up that day.  They were nice enough to talk with us over a beer while we also realized that we had about 12 more hours of events ourselves.

More after the jump. 

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Hosting a Party or Event?

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Available spaces include the mezzanine (up to 65 people) and Mash and Lauter (up to 100 people).

Great for all types of events: office parties, work meetings, fundraisers, engagement parties, wedding parties, birthday parties and any other special event.

We also do private beer tastings where groups can taste rare beers with the experts here.  You can be involved with the beer selection or just let us handle it for you.



New Years Eve 2016!

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Join us as we celebrate the New Year with a 3 course menu from Chef Nicholas Fay and of course our regular menu!

At 9pm there will be a $20 cover to enjoy the DJ in Mash & Lauter and finishing out the night with a champagne toast!

Check out the menu below and call 919 424 7817 for reservations or email [email protected]!

3 Courses, $40 — with optional beer pairing $15

First Course–

Grilled octopus, nduja, blood orange, greens

Poached beet salad, candied pecan, blue cheese, thyme

Second Course–

Cornish hen, collards, blackeyed peas

Flank steak, head on carolina shrimp, dirty rice, chimichurri

Raviola al uovo, ricotta cheese, egg yolk, butter parmesan sauce


Lemon pound cake, vanilla ice cream

Banana pudding, nilla wafers

12/13 Mash and Lauter Holiday Bottle Share!

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We wanted to throw a party for our beer loving friends and what better way than with a bottle share? Hey, let’s throw in a white elephant gift exchange too!

We will provide appetizers, just bring along a bottle, of course, worthy of sharing and an optional $15 or under unwrapped gift for the white elephant!

We will also be taking new toy donations for the Helping Hand Mission!
Eventbrite - Holiday Bottle Share!


Do I have to bring a gift? NO

Do I have to bring a toy donation? NO

Do I have to bring a bottle? YES at least one bottle per guest worthy of sharing

Will I have a frickin’ blast? YES!!!!

12/13-12/24 12 Beers of Christmas Vintage Release!

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From December 13th up until Christmas Eve, we will be releasing a vintage beer each day from the Busy Bee Cellar each with very limited quantities! Every Morning, we will announce the beer of the day and make a small amount available to our loyal guests to purchase!
Check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram daily to find out the day’s beer!

11/17 Prodigal Farm Vintage Beer Dinner

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Join us with Prodigal Farm in Rougemont NC as we celebrate thier fantastic goat cheeses and goat meat with 5 courses from Chef Nick Fay.
We will be pairing each course with vintage beer offerings from the Busy Bee Cellar!
Menu will be posted soon!
Prodigal Farm creates handcrafted farmstead cheeses, breads, produce and farm-crafted specialty items on thier 97-acre farm in rural Rougemont, North Carolina. The family farm is centered around thier pastured Animal Welfare Approved goat herd.

Eventbrite - Prodigal Farm Vintage Beer Dinner

10/31 Fantôme Fest

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Join us upstairs in Mash and Lauter this Halloween for Fantôme Fest!

Join us for 5 special beers from Fantôme:
Fantôme Saison
Forest Ghost
Dark Ghost
Artist #2
Paired with hors d’ouevres from Chef Nicholas Fay!
Tickets include 5 4oz pours and pairings for each.
Costumes optional!

Eventbrite - Fantôme Fest

10/23 Stone Brunch!

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We’re tapping some vintage beers from the cellar with this one!

’13, ’14, ’15 Imperial Stout, 12.12.12 Vertical Epic, and Wheaton Woot Stout!!

10/12 Champion Beer Dinner

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champion logo

Join us as we welcome our friends from Champion with 5 courses from Executive Chef Nick Fay.

Course 1: 

Rye blini, cured NC trout, Crème Fraiche, smoked trout roe


Course 2:

Salt baked celeriac, apple two ways, Aleppo pepper


Course 3:

Lamb heart tartare, quail egg, cornichon, tarragon, merguez


Course 4:

Duck breast, golden beets, golden raisin, duck demi, mustard greens


Course 5: 

Black Forest cake


Eventbrite - Champion Beer Dinner

10/2 New Belgium Collaboration Beer Brunch!

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Join us as we tap some on The Lips of Faith Collaboration beers with some awesome breweries from the Busy Bee Cellar!!

Red Rock collaboration Paardebloem

Dieu de Ciel collaboration Heavenly Feijoa Tripel

Cigar City collaboration Belgian Ale with peppers

Vivant collaboration Biere de Garde with orange peel

9/22 Sour and Wood Aged Rarities from New Belgium!

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To celebrate the greatest week in Raleigh, we have dug deep in the cellar. We’re tapping some of our Sour and Wood aged rarities from our friends New Belgium Brewing as we celebrate Raleigh Beer Week in Mash and Lauter!

Draft List includes:
Eric’s Ale
La Folie
Le Terroir

Apple Felix!

5pm until we run out!