Carolina Brewing Company

Barley, hops, yeast, water: the base ingredients of beer. In a time when many craft brewers are experimenting with adding any and everything else to their brews, Carolina Brewing Company keeps things simple.

The Holly Springs brewery’s year-round offerings, Carolina Pale Ale, India Pale Ale and Nut Brown Ale, attest that it’s hard to improve on a good thing. Since the brewery opened in 1995, CPA has been a top seller, retaining 50 percent of all CBC sales today.

In addition, CBC releases a beer for each season, available for retail only at the brewery. The summer selection, Carolina Summer Wheat, is usually released at the start of June. On the brewery’s anniversary, July 3, brewers produce a single batch of anniversary beer. This year’s will be a Belgian tripel.

One peculiar offering is an annual Groundhog’s Day beer. The holiday has no particular significance, which is why the brewers chose to commemorate it. “Nobody else in the brewing world makes a Groundhog’s Day beer,” said co-owner Joe Zonin.

Everything from writing recipes to brewing, bottling, kegging and marketing is done by four owners and one additional employee. That’s impressive considering CBC distributes to about 120 bars and a similar number of grocery stores, in addition to selling kegs and bottles on location.

Free tours are offered each Saturday at 1 p.m., and yes, samples are included. More than likely, tours are led by Zonin — “51 of the 52 last year,” he said.

CBC also has its own cycling club, supporting fundraising efforts for the fight against multiple sclerosis.

The brewery is open for retail sales Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.

140 Thomas Mill Road, Holly Springs,

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