Like making a baby, brewing a beer requires a careful blend of ingredients, a long fermentation period, and a certain amount of alcohol. Learn about the beers and the bees with today’s Groupon: for $16, you get a brewery tour for two, with two souvenir pint glasses full of any beer, an Aviator sticker, and an empty growler (a $37 value) at Aviator Brewing Company in Fuquay-Varina. Tours are held from 6 to 7 p.m. every Thursday and Friday, and 4 to 5:30 p.m. every Saturday.
The high priests of hops at Aviator Brewing Company exalt fermentation to a sacred ritual as they brew local and seasonal beers and then baptize their eager acolytes in them during a detailed half-hour tour. As beer enthusiasts admire Aviator's brewing process and facilities—which involves grains and hops sneaking out to a party in the fermentation vat while their parents are asleep—they'll also learn the particulars of how the brewery spices its Saison de Aviator with coriander and how it managed to imprison Satan inside the Devil’s Tramping Ground's heavy tripel belgian ale.
Once the staff has gotten your brain buzzing with the secrets of ale alchemy, you'll be treated to a full pint—be it the perennial HotRod Red irish ale or the seasonal Worthog american wheat, brewed with half barley and half wheat and spiced with a summery twist of sweet orange peel. Aviator will send you home with two pint glasses, a sticker, and an empty growler (filling up the growler will result in an additional fee).
Aviator Brewing Company
Aviator Brewing Company's dedicated brew architects collaborate with a premium selection of seasonal ingredients to craft 16 varieties of pint fillers. Since taking root in 2008 with two 300-gallon tanks in a decommissioned airplane hangar, the suds factory has grown to include four tanks, each of which contains 3,100 gallons of award-winning libations. Inside the tanks, frothy brews such as the Devils Tramping Ground Tripel—a golden Belgian ale with a fruity, spicy, sweet flavor—wait for year-round sampling. They also concoct seasonal brews for Oktoberfest, spring, and winter, as well as rotating beers such as McGritty's Scotch Ale, which they brew from Maris Otter barley malt and crisp malt imported from the United Kingdom in an oversize kilt.
Nearby, on Broad Street, Aviator also operates a tap house, which serves up their draft brews at a temperature of 47 degrees Fahrenheit thanks to a micromatic dispensing system with glycol cooling. Down the street, they also operate a smokehouse that serves up smokehouse ribs, North Carolina chopped-barbecue sandwiches, and pulled pork that has been featured on RaleighLifestyle.tv's Dining Destinations.