Several thousand new breweries opened nationwide in the last three years. Bond Brothers Beer Co. in downtown Cary is the best one of them all, according to a new poll from USA Today.
“We’re super-excited,” said Whit Baker, the brewmaster and co-owner. “People like us, I guess.”
A panel of craft beer experts picked what they said were the 20 best new breweries – defined as breweries that opened in 2014, 2015 or 2016 – so even being named to the list initially showed some insider credibility.
Then people could go online and vote for their favorite. Bond Brothers whipped up community support and beat out breweries from cities like Atlanta, Chicago and the craft beer mecca of Portland, Ore.
Brothers Jay and Jeremy Bond own the brewery along with Baker and Andy Schnitzer. And although the brewery has only been open for about a year, they had years of experience homebrewing before they decided to turn their hobby into a business.
“We knew we had a good, solid product,” Jay Bond said Friday, after their win was announced. “We did years and years of (homebrewing). We had done festivals, won awards and given away lots and lots of beer over the years.”
They don’t have to give it away anymore. The brewery at 202 E. Cedar St. in downtown Cary is often crowded.
In fact, Bond said, people who show up in the next few days might find a more limited selection than usual since the brewery has been unexpectedly busy.
“We’re actually quite low on beer at the moment,” he said. “We’ve had some really good weekends lately.”
But there’s already lots of new beer brewing for a festival April 1 at the brewery, which Bond Brothers has been planning for a while. Now it’ll turn into a celebration for this new accolade, too.
There will be special beer releases and a show by Durham folk rockers The Mountain Goats. The party will last from noon to 11 p.m. and the Mountain Goats will take the stage at 5 p.m.
Correction: The USA Today contest was open to all breweries that opened in the last three years, not just in 2016 as a previous version of this article stated.
Doran: 919-836-2858; Twitter: @will_doran