Catawba Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 10 | Reviews: 1 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ariceclemson:
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4.3/5 rDev +10.8%
Catawba Valley Brewing Company (usually just "the Brewery to locals) is in the heart of downtown Morganton on the block adjacent to good ol' Sam Ervin's statue. The setup is warehouse like with about half consisting of the brewing operation. The remaining half is split into a bar area with picnic type seating and the other half a stage, pool tables, and some more seating. Atmosphere is usually pretty nice with an extremely laid back and mixed crowd with an average age somewhere in the mid 30s. They have a really cool food policy that greatly adds to the atmosphere allowing any outside food to be brought in even including a selection of nearby restaurant menus for delivery. On any given week at least one band will come through which really livens the place up.
I've been really impressed by the beer in this place (and this is why you are headed to a bar/brewery, right?). Their year-rounds aren't too special with an average rating of around 3.5-4 but their limiteds and seasonals can often surprise. Their fall pumpkin beer is the best of the style I've encountered and a recent batch of pumpernickel rye beer similarly impressed me. Number of taps are somewhere south of 10 with around 5 year round and a few limited batches and seasonals. As of late they've really started to do some interesting experiments including a red wine barrel aged barleywine.
Service is usually quick and friendly although bartenders knowledge can vary wildly. Depending on when you go in those involved in the brewing process may even be your bartender. Never had a problem with the service here and never had to wait more than a few minutes for a beer. Again, service has always been friendly.
Selection may not impress those used to megabars but what they have is solid and some of them are quite excellent with any given visit there being around 10 beers to try. They offer growlers and a limited amount of cans in addition to pints.
I sorta forgot to mention this but pints are $3 here. That's right, 3 dollars all the time no specials needed. This may be one of my favorite things about the Brewery. If you're used to "big city" prices then you will be amazed at how cheap the beer is here, especially considering the quality.
Negatives for me is that the crowd here is a bit old and a bit 'square' for me but this most likely represents the demographic realities of Morganton. I am told by my SO (a Morganton native) that this is one of the hotspots for Morganton Progressives. The year-rounds could be a little better and the bar tenders could know a bit more about the beer. Perhaps the thing that bothers me the most about this place are the extremely limited hours. I do not know of any other bar outside of England that has a last call at 10:30pm! Crazy city slickers like me don't even leave the house to go out until that time. It is usually only open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. That's right, no Saturday. This is perplexing to say the least.
All things said this place blows any other beer place in Morganton out of the water and is better and cheaper than a lot of the better known bars and breweries (esp in the Triangle). If you are in Morganton, or even going W on I-40, this place is a definite visit for a few pints. I really wish that Catawba Valley was in my town.
03-13-2012 17:06:30 | More by VaterRoss
Catawba Brewing Co. in Morganton, NC
89 out of 100 based on 10 ratings.