Asheville brewery Burial Beer Co. is expanding its Raleigh presence just two months after opening a taproom and bottle shop in downtown’s newest food hall.
Burial announced Monday on its Instagram page that it already has outgrown its popular beer-only bar at Transfer Co. Food Hall and would take over the adjacent space. The new space adds 1,400 square feet, bringing the total to about 2,000 square feet, and will connect to the rest of the food hall, co-owner Jess Reiser said Tuesday in an interview.
“Once we were underway, it was obvious how quickly the space filled up,” Reiser said.
Previously, Burial’s narrow space could only be accessed from the outside and was cut off from food vendors inside Transfer.
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Most of the addition will be for seating and more elbow room, but there will also be outdoor space added out onto the Davie Street sidewalk as well as bathrooms.
“Our company ethos is we approach things in a way that feels comfortable,” said Reiser, who co-owns Burial with Doug Reiser, her husband, and Tim Gormley. “We wanted to introduce ourselves in a way that was manageable....The feedback we received from folks, we took it seriously.”
The bar made Burial’s beer easier to find in the Triangle, specifically its taproom-exclusive creations. Initially, owners expected the Raleigh location to served as a satellite can shop, but from the get-go, it was clear that there was a demand for Burial miles away from Asheville. Two hours before it had even sold its first beer, a line curved around the corner and beyond the length of the Transfer Co.
And Reiser said it was clear that drinkers wanted to hang out.
“The feedback we got is that folks want to hang out and experience Burial like you can in Asheville,” Reiser said. “It’s more about not knowing (initially) what people wanted from the space. This is so exciting, it’s a place for taproom-only beers and people were looking for a place to set up shop and chill for a while.”
Reiser expects the expanded Burial to open in early summer and for the existing taproom to remain open, with possibly a one-week closure. Drywall separating the spaces will be taken down, and the existing bar will be mirrored into the expanded area.
Burial had called the small taproom “The Exhibit” and made its distinctive can art a prominent part of the space. A mural will be affected, but Reiser expects it will return in some of the new areas.
Burial started six years ago from a small brewery in downtown Asheville, but has grown into one of the state’s most popular, with an international reputation for its IPAs and sour program. That reputation helped drive up demand in Raleigh beyond Burial’s original square footage. Reiser said that growth mirrors the company’s larger evolution.
“I think back to the Asheville taproom, which is not the taproom folks see today,” Reiser said. “It had barely any seating, it had one bathroom. That space evolved over six years and I think that creates a more organic process. We want the involvement and feedback of the community as we grow and evolve.”
Burial’s announcement comes a week after barbecue food truck Longleaf Swine announced it will open a 10-person bar at the food hall. It will occupy 840 square feet.
Vendors currently open are Che Empanadas, Locals Oyster Bar and seafood market, Benchwarmer Bagels and Captain Cookie and the Milkman.
Transfer Co. is at 500 E. Davie St.