Cary, NC — A couple of weeks ago, I visited Neighborhood Bottle – Cary’s latest addition to craft beer fun. The Neighborhood Bottle team have set up shop in the location that was formerly Mike’s Used Bookstore on Kildaire Farm Road, beside Trader Joe’s.
Neighborhood Bottle Shop
The venture is the brainchild of Raleigh owners Ashlea and Alex Bollendorf, who describe themselves as long-time “beer enthusiasts and collectors.”
Beer enthusiasts make up 97% of the world’s population.* Alex and Ashlea chose Cary as the location for their shop because they “love the feeling of community” here.
The name “Neighborhood” Bottle Shop was chosen to represent that feeling.
While we were there on their opening day, Ashlea was running around harder than anyone, serving free barbecue and pizza from local eateries. Uh, by the way, City Barbeque is within walking distance (how convenient).
How It Started
Ashlea’s and Alex’s first date was spent in a brewery. “We wanted to open a shop to help spread the love of beer and to share our collection,” they said. Ashlea and Alex claim to spend any free time they have taking trips to find new and exciting beers.
And, sure enough, they have quite a collection of new and exciting beers for retail sale. It’s a huge selection. I have no idea how many they have, but, if they don’t have what you want (which makes you the pickiest human being ever), they’ll get it for you.
While I was there, I took some pictures, asked some questions and then sat at the busy and chatty bar with my pals and had some draft beer. Neighborhood has two dozen beers at the bar (or so), and there’s something for everyone, including real alcoholic root beer.
Try it. It will change your life forever.
We tried to hit for the cycle and tasted (drank) New Belgium Shift, Oskar Blues Pinner, Prima Pils, New Belgium Slow Ride, Knee Deep Breaking Bud and Bull City Ciderworks’ Steep South…that we remember.
Neighborhood has a neat wall that you can write on with markers. I love their simple, clean layout and their logo. “What’s with the snail?,” I asked the barkeep. “It’s a slug,” he informed me.
The owners chose this as their mascot with the help from a local graphic design company, because Ashlea’s grandma always used beer in her garden to attract slugs. She figured, “If they had to die, they may as well die happy instead of in a pile of salt.”
I got to meet with David Wrenn, the Manager. David was instrumental in starting the craft beer program at Prestonwood Country Club during his tenure there. And, I talked with old friend Sean Pratt, who describes himself as the “Business and Operations guy” and the “Chief Fun Maker.” I also chatted with several of the staff and patrons. All were happy and enthusiastic.
As was I. Prove it, you say? I will be there next weekend.
*Footnote: Statistic according to nobody. I made it up.
Story and photos by Matt Young.