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Horniblow's Tavern

Not Rated.
Horniblow's TavernHorniblow's Tavern

27 Ratings
Ratings: 27
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 11.56%
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar ]

1249 Wicker Drive
Raleigh, North Carolina, 27604
United States
phone: (919) 834-0045

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

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(Place added by: GCBrewingCo)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 27 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Highbury09
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Highbury09, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev +0.5%

dbrauneis, Dec 09, 2013
Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

By looking at this place, one would not guess a brewery and tap room resides inside the nondescript, white metal walls. However, upon entering and ascending the stairs, the beer is revealed.

I must admit that nothing is mind blowing or overwhleming about this place, but it is cozy. Very small bar area with 7 rotating taps and a cask tap. I was unable to partake in the cask but the ALt beer and Imperial Brown were both nice selections. The only food is dried edamame which basically dries the mouth like crackers and urges one to consume more beverages.

Service was okay. The bartender seemed to be all over the place yet lazy and conspicuously absent. I never had a problem getting a refill but something was certainly amiss.

My hotel was right down the stree, the beers were good, and service was serviceable, so I would come back again.

SaCkErZ9, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of spenceanderson
3.86/5  rDev -3%

i've been going to this place for almost 3 years and i like it better every time. it brews all the beers it serves on premises at the brewery works below this bar (ps- they offer a free brewery tour every month).

they don't allow smoking in most of the rooms. they have a (free) pool table, ping pong, & darts. very low key atmosphere. i see people in flip flops and shorts milling around with the after 5 business types. the people behind the bar are helpful and knowledgeable. there's 3 year-round brews ($3.50)and usually 3-5 interesting seasonal ones ($5) at any given time. they have growlers-to-go and will fill other breweries growlers. no food but they don't care if you bring your own.

there's some picnic tables outside. there's 2 TV's behind the bar and they usually have some good music playing on the satellite radio. i only wish they were open sundays...

spenceanderson, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of jimmyjames8
2.33/5  rDev -41.5%

July 2010, cask conditioned High Roller IPA smells and tastes like stale pee. And what is up with the prices changing daily and the flunky bartenders that cannot do math in their head. It's bad enough when you over charge for stale beer and then you short pour because you are either too lazy or drunk or stoned to care. Last few times in this hole, we were the only ones there. BRING BACK BIG STINKY IPA. High Roller IPA is a pale imitation. Still don't like your bottled beer.

Hello Horniblows, we're back for the Big Stinky IPA in late October '09. Nice crisp IPA with lots of hops. For once, the place had the featured beer on tap and pouring by 5pm the day of release. Also, where as when the place first opened many moons ago, it looked like the previous tenant, Edenton Brewing, had smashed up all the furniture and the new tenants had nailed it all back together, the place looks like they spent maybe $50 or so on some new used furniture. Finally took my wife there and she did not run out screaming. She likes their current seasonal pumpkin beer that is not very pumpkiny. Their current Monkey Buisiness 9% beer will put you under in short order if you haven't had anything to eat. Horni's does have pub mix nibbles now but you have to ask.

Back at Horny's on 8/6/09 for their English Strong Ale put up in a Woodford Reserve Whiskey barrel. We got there about 5:15 and the keg was supposed to be tapped at 5 and they were still futzing around with it. I told the bartender who appeared to be drunk or stoned to let me know when they could serve me one. About 15 minutes later one of the hired hands who also appeared to be drunk was wandering around with a beer in his hand and I asked if the Woodford beer was ready and he said yeah and kept walking. I finally got one and it was just OK. Just not enough flavor in BB beers to pay $5 a pull. Newsflash: Horny's now has newer and better furniture, a non smoking area and pub mix nibbles. The place is still a dump and I still do not like their beers except for Mrs. Charlotte's IPA. All their other beers taste burnt.

Been to Hornys several times in the last 3 months. Have not been since they supposedly made some areas non smoking. That would be good but soon to be moot as NC will be no smoking in bars and restaurants in January 2010. This place will have to go private club (sell memberships) to be smoking or send smokers outside.

In a word, this place is a dump! But hey, it's a tasting room/brew pub. They don't serve food, not even popcorn or pretzels. I think there is a bathroom but have never been able to get in it. The decor is early american dungeon/pool room. There is a bar that maybe seats 10 and there are some picnic tables and wobbley chairs strewn about. There is or was a dart room and pool room last time I was there.

They have at least 6 beers on tap. They bottle and distribute at least 3. I have tried all their regular beers and do not care for them at all. They alternate between tasting burnt, flat or skunked, to me. Their one offs, specials and seasonals have been great. The Miss Charlotte's IPA was/is very good but not as good or consistent as the Mash House IPA from just down the road. These beers are spendy too. I think most are $5 a pint in the tasting room and the place is always packed so go figure.

Not a place to take your best girl unless she is into dungeon/dive/biker bars. The brewery is in the same building and they do tours and free tastings once a month.

There are lots of good beer bars in Raleigh now serving lots of good NC beers for a lot less than $5 a pint so I only go here now when someone else is paying. Cheers!

jimmyjames8, May 17, 2009
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.21/5  rDev -19.3%

I stopped here after finding it on beerfly, and expected more from the stop. As mentioned in other reviews, this is part of the Big Boss brewery, and easy to find by address but also easy to miss by looking at the building. It's located in an industrial zoned area and looks like a warehouse of a small manufacturing operation. The bar is upstairs, very smoky (NC loves the cigarette industry), with arcade games and an old ping pong table and pool table. There were 4 Big Boss beers available, <$4 each. Mostly the crowd seemed local, almost all college age males, not the kind of place a discriminating business traveler wants to hang around. If you're in town for only 1-2 nights, choose the Flying Saucer, better atmosphere + better selection.

TurdFurgison, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of CampusCrew
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%

This is a taproom atached to Big Boss brwery. They best micro brew in the area. I would recommend this to any beer lover.

atmosphere- really cool, ping pong tables and arcades.

quality- no food and beer was top notch.

service- well our service was great and the bartender was exteemely knowledgable and recommended places arounf town

selection- all big boss brews, that were awesome

food- not even sure they had food, but this was a beer place only

value - great beer for $3.50. I'll take that all day

CampusCrew, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of GJ40
3.86/5  rDev -3%

I made a visit to Horniblow's Tavern when I heard that Big Boss was doing an IPA series that they offer only at their tap room.

I liked the atmosphere at Horniblow's from the moment we got there. It's my kind of place. It's comfortable, well worn, authentic and not the least bit trendy. The crowd varied in age and was very down to earth.

There are several rooms in the tavern. The main room has a bar and several tables. It's decorated with beer bottles and Big Boss paraphernalia. There's another room with a pool table, another with a dart board and a third small nook with a sofa.

The service was great. The kid behind the bar was very helpful and seemed to take good care of everyone.

The only thing that didn't impress me was the beer. It's not bad, in fact it's pretty good. But it's a bit tame. They had five on tap including their three regulars (Kolsch, Belgian Blond & Brown) along with an IPA and a Belgian. The prices were very reasonable. The regulars were $3.50 and I think the specials were $5. I had a couple of pints of the IPA. It was good but not hoppy enough. I was given samples of the four I didn't get and they were good too but not something I would seek out.

I hope to get back there soon. I'll keep a close eye on the seasonals in hopes that they'll offer something with a bit more bite to it.

GJ40, Aug 17, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
3.7/5  rDev -7%

We recently hit up this "official" tavern of Big Boss Brewing on our way through Raleigh. We were here on a Saturday night around 7pm to find only a fairly moderate sized crowd. How crowded would have gotten later in the night, I've got no idea. It's definitely a pretty interesting place, looking like some of the dives that I used to frequent in college. Lots of tables and chairs and other places to sit or stand everywhere, as well as some video games for entertainment as there are no TVs. I'm assuming from the promos on the walls that a lot of local musicians ply their trade here as well. There is no food available but it looked like they had no problem with you ordering out. Actually, I really dug the atmosphere, as it was the kind of no nonsense drinking vibe that I like. Grab a beer and socialize. It doesn't get any easier than that! I will say that my one big complaint is the smoke. It's just everywhere as the place doesn't seem to be too well ventilated and really hinders your ability to smell or taste your beer. What are you going to do though, when you're on "Tobacco Road"?!

The bar along the far back right wall was where the action was happening, as they were pouring 5 Big Boss house beers. This included their Hells Belle Belgian Blonde, a Kolsh, Coffee Stout, Bad Penny Brown Ale, and a Tavern Ale. We tried a pint of the Bad Penny, which wasn't half bad, and a glass of the Coffee Stout, which was pretty darn solid. They also do growler fills, of which they appeared to be doing a pretty brisk business. Pint prices weren't too bad with most being in the $4-5. They also sell a full range of Big Boss Merch at the bar as well, also priced pretty reasonably. Our bartender appeared to be the only employee in the place but did a bang up job taking care of everyone's needs. All in all, we enjoyed our limited visit here. If you can get by the college bar vibe and smoke, it's a pretty good place to socialize and try some of Big Boss Brewing offerings.

Kegatron, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of CWiggins
3.54/5  rDev -11.1%

I've been trying to get to this place for the past year or so. I did visit the brewery for its monthly tour back in September; it was well worth the trip from Durham. After spending a full day in Raleigh visiting the science & history museums I treated myself to a visit to the tavern. Upon arrival, the place was pretty full. I ordered the brown ale and seated myself in a quiet, unoccupied room to contemplate the brew and work a Sudoku. Within a few minutes, five college-age males entered and began smoking, playing ping-pong, and getting a little tipsy. One dropped and broke his pint glass, and merely informed the bartender he had done so, without any apology or assistance in cleaning up the mess. Everyone else in the joint seemed well-behaved.

Only four beers were on tap tonight: brown ale, kolsch, Belgian blonde, and IPA. They were very good, and, at $3 a pint, seemed like a good deal. I must admit, this is not a place I'll come back to hang out alone. Since no food is available and there are minimal amenities, it seems this would be an okay place to sit and chat for awhile, but not much else.

CWiggins, Nov 29, 2007
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Horniblow's Tavern in Raleigh, NC
90 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.