Small Business Spotlight: Craft Beer Cellar Cary

The Craft Beer Cellar in Cary usually has a dozen or so beers on tap, most from North Carolina.

Andrea Cross-Dial has been a fan of craft beer since the 1980s, long before small-batch brewing exploded in the U.S. Starting in college, she would spend her free time visiting breweries and tasting European beers.

With that expertise as a foundation, she opened the Cary Craft Beer Cellar in fall of 2018. The business was the Triangle’s first location of the national franchise, and it was one of the first tenants in the Shops at Town Station. Besides the wide selection of beer, the shop also stocks ciders, wine and spiked seltzer.

Cross-Dial also makes sure there is plenty to do while you are enjoying a beverage.

If you don’t find anything to your liking on draft, there are plenty of other choices to try, just chilling in the cooler.

“We host weekly trivia, occasional food trucks, brewery tastings and other special events. We have seating indoors and a spacious patio out back, and are dog-friendly inside and out,” she said.

“So in addition to being a beer and wine shop, we are a community gathering spot.”

We asked Cross-Dial about her long-time hobby and how it became a business.

Why did you want to work for yourself?

After working as a nuclear engineer for large companies (and getting laid off), I realized I wanted something to call my own, to learn new things and challenge myself.

How did you get started in the beer business?

I’ve been a beer fan for a long time. When I was in college, before the craft beer movement took off in the U.S., I discovered the amazing world of English, German and Belgian beers. As craft brewing took off, one of my hobbies became visiting breweries and tasting different kinds of beer. I did just enough homebrewing to know I didn’t have the patience required for that. There are so many good breweries now, and a great local beer scene, that I decided selling other people’s beer would be fun.

Owner Andrea Cross-Dial also rents out her space for special events like bachelor, engagement, retirement or holiday parties.

What attracted you to the franchise?

A former co-worker of mine, who moved to Virginia, opened a Craft Beer Cellar there. I had never been a business owner before, so having the help of a franchise to get started was attractive. Also, the knowledge and passion for beer that the Craft Beer Cellar franchise owners have impressed me.

What makes your store unique — special services, classes?

We strive to provide a welcoming environment for beer enthusiasts and those new to drinking craft beer.

Our staff enjoys talking about beer and helping you make selections. We also carry wine, cider, hard seltzer and non-alcoholic selections. Everything we sell is available in singles, allowing you to try new things without committing to a pack. We keep a variety of styles on tap and provide tastes to let customers figure out what they like. If something on tap doesn’t appeal to you, there is a large selection in our coolers to drink on-site. We also take requests for ordering things we don’t currently carry, including kegs if you have a kegerator at home or are throwing a party.

Owner Andrea Cross-Dial has lived in Cary for over 20 years, and has loved craft beer for longer than that. She is excited to be part of the thriving beer scene in the Triangle.

What’s been the best, or most surprising, aspect of owning a business?

Meeting people from all sorts of backgrounds who share the love of craft beer. The pandemic certainly threw a curveball to small businesses, especially in the service industry. But the support from our customers through it all has really meant a lot! It made me realize that we aren’t just a business to them, but neighbors and friends.

What are you drinking these days? Do you have a favorite beer?

My favorite style of beer is IPAs, but I also like Belgian and dark beer styles. I’ve even come around to enjoying some sour ales. There are just so many good ones out there, and new ones to try every day, I can’t pick a favorite.

A hops-inspired light fixture adds to the fun atmosphere at the Cary Craft Beer Cellar.

Craft Beer Cellar
1103 Ballena Circle, Cary
(919) 377-8811

1 Comment

  • Mary Jane Moseley says:

    Hello, I am interested in hosting an Engagement Party for my daughter and her fiance. Could you please send me information about renting your place for an event and what is involved.

    Thank you,
    Mary jane

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