The Distillery Scene In Raleigh

The Distillery Scene In Raleigh

When it comes to city visits, there are almost always too many to choose from. Yes, everyone wants (and really should) to visit places like San Francisco, New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Chicago, being the best-known ones.

But these names always come up in ‘Cities to visit in the US’ lists. Whether it’s about the history, the culture, the food and drinks, or, in our cases in particular, distilleries and breweries that look interesting.

What about the cities and parts of the US that don’t seem to always make those cities that are every bit as exciting, but don’t always get that chance to show it?

For us, Raleigh, the state capital of North Carolina, is a perfect example of this kind of city. A city that is one of the up and up for places to live and visit needs a little better rep and hype built around it. There’s so much to check out here if people know to visit it.

That’s exactly what this guide is here to do. We’re going to shine a light on many of this city’s best amazing attributes that are sure to get people interested, from its culture to its history, places to see, and, of course, the best distilleries in the state!

About Raleigh

So, before we start talking about the specifics of Raleigh that we love, let’s just go through some of the background info that folks visiting this city might want to know.


Of course, who doesn’t want to know about where things, people, and places come from?

Raleigh is named after the famed English Explorer, Sir Walter Raleigh, who helped sponsor and establish the first mainland English colony In North America, the Roanoke Colony.

Being one of the earliest places to be settled in the modern United States, Raleigh is a city that has a deep connection to its roots as a major point in history, something that is reflected in the many museums and exhibitions, both paid and free, that you can find across the city.

Largely an agricultural center in North Carolina for much of the 18th and 19th centuries, Raleigh was still a major center of many historical events, such as the nearby Battle of Mooresville in the American Civil War, and the first African American College in the American South, Shaw University, was founded in Raleigh in 1865.

The population of Raleigh started to expand in the mid to late 20th century, which has continued into today, creating the ever-expanding vibrant city that we know and love today.


North Caroline, being a South East State, shares a lot of the subtropical weather, climate, and environment that much of the South Eastern United States is known for.

With generally high humidity all year round, the summers of Raleigh are warm and tropical (perfect vacation weather), while the winters are mild to cold.

Thanks to the Appalachian Mountains relatively close by, many high-humidity weather conditions often hang over the city, creating common overcast conditions, and a decent amount of rainfall, as well as pretty intense snowfall when the conditions are right.

Being located on the East Coast, the city is no stranger to major sea storms, including several major hurricanes that have blown through the region throughout history.

The Culture

If we had to sum up the general vibe and atmosphere of the city in one word, it would probably be something like ‘youthful’. Which, yes, is a pretty vague term, especially to describe a city’s character, but it’s true!

Many of the city’s residents are much younger than other major cities, with the median age being 34.2, much lower than many other places in the United States.

It’s a must-go palace for the younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z, who make up the vast majority of the population.

This lends much of Raleigh’s young, energetic energy, where it feels like plenty of people have their finger on the pulse of what’s new, trendy, or otherwise interesting in the world.

It feels like a city that coming into its own, like the young folks that have made their home here!

Another thing that many people will notice is the vibrant greenery that you’ll find across the city. Raleigh is even known as ‘the city of oaks’ among some people.

This is thanks in part to its warm, subtropical climate that we mentioned before being the perfect environment for a variety of flora and fauna to thrive, including the signature oak.

It’s this climate that has also made Raleigh a place of natural beauty, something that the city takes great pride in.

Local Distilleries

Okay, we’ve covered a little of the background, and what the vibe of the city is like. And the answers are: Fascinating, and amazing, in that order specifically!

The Distillery Scene In Raleigh

However, we are spirit and distillery enthusiasts, at heart. So, you can imagine that we’re interested to see what the city of Raleigh has to offer in this particular industry.

As it turns out, quite a lot!

Pinetop Distillery

With Raleigh being the state capital of North Carolina, it should be no surprise that this is also where some of the best distilleries set up shop.

Pinetop Distillery is a perfect example of this. Only just established in 2014, this 9-year-old distillery has already made waves for its creative spins on classic spirits and food, in a city that is already known for its creative, forward-looking approach to culture and produce.

The minds behind this distillery had only a little experience with distilling before starting, but all came from high-skill backgrounds, from engineering, biochemistry, and marketing. Three skills that help make a truly one-of-a-kind distillery, as it turns out!

If you’re looking for recommendations, we recommended checking out their bourbon and gin brews!

Raleigh Rum Company

Known best for its craft beers and cocktail combinations, Raleigh Rum Company has expanded out of its spirit-focused background, without losing that edge that makes it a must-visit place for spirit enthusiasts.

Raleigh rum isn’t just a catchy label, either. Not only is the distillery based in Raleigh but the founding folks who helped establish this new distillery and brewery in 2014 were also people who had lived and grown up in Raleigh, North Carolina too.

So you’re not just promoting good drinks when buying Raleigh Rum, you’re promoting local business too. It’s the best of both worlds!

Oak City Amaretto

Drawing from the oak-friendly history and background of Raleigh itself, Oak City Amaretto is a distillery and business that thrives on community and heritage.

After all, it was one of the founder’s grandmother’s signature Italian Amaretto recipes that you get to taste in every bottle!

Things To See In Raleigh

Being a Capital City, there’s so much to do and see in Raleigh. These are just some of our favorite stopping points!

Gregg Museum Of Art & Design

If you’re looking for places that showcase Raleigh’s modern identity when it comes to its art scene, then you need to check out this museum!

With a variety of exhibitions, and massive collection that can be viewed when booked in advance, and a ton of outreach programs for newcomers to get interested in, it’s as much a general activity center for local artists, art enthusiasts, and visitors as it is a gallery.

North Carolina Museum Of Natural Sciences

With the several universities and colleges in the state being some of the best, it’s no surprise that the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science is a show-stopper too. Its prehistoric section is a particular highlight for kids and history enthusiasts, especially!

Pullen Park

Sometimes, you just want to enjoy yourself during a city visit, away from the museums and indoor items.

Well, how does a day out at a theme park sound?

Pullen Park is the perfect place to check out if you’re looking to entertain younger kids, with carousels, miniature train rides, and activity centers.

Plus, it’s one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, so you still have your history buffs and enthusiasts covered too!

Accessibility In Raleigh

Of course, all these places to see, distilleries to drop by, and monuments to stop at are great, but they’re only great if you can, you know, go and see them.

If accessibility for different folks is difficult to come by in Raleigh, a lot of those great places might as well be on Mount Everest!

Fortunately, Raleigh, being a modern city with a forward-thinking population, is also a place where great strides are being made to help make these many locales accessible to everyone.

Many businesses, both commercial and entertainment-focused, are encouraged to be accessible to both locals and tourists.

Many of the places you can visit, including the Gregg Museum of Art & Design, have options for both wheelchair access and hearing aid tours, amongst the many others out there.

Final Notes

So, there you have it!

Raleigh is a place with tons to do, and a thousand sights and smells to see (especially when it comes to the distillery scene here!

The only thing you have to do now is organize your next vacation here!

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