The Brewlog: Regulator Brewing Company Blog

News, etc. from Regulator Brewing Company. Updated sporadically.

Posts marked ‘About’

Happy Birthday to Regulator!

Last week, Regulator celebrated the one-year anniversary of our launch party. It’s hard to believe we’re one year old already!  It’s been a blast, and we wouldn’t be here without such a supportive community. Just for fun, we thought we’d take a look back at the year in numbers. Stay tuned for some new seasonals this Fall/Winter (and maybe even some anniversary brews!)

Regulator 1 Year Infographic

What’s Making Us Happy to Brew in NC, Part 3: Kegs and Hops and Yeast! Oh My!

In our previous post, we talked about how lucky NC breweries are to get great raw ingredients from local agribusinesses (shout out to Farm Boy Farms in Pittsboro for fresh hops).  Did you know that NC breweries can also source just about everything else they need from local companies? One of our main goals as a small business is “keeping our beer dollars in North Carolina” (thanks, Glenn and Dave!). We do that by working with local suppliers as often as possible–and this week, we want to spotlight two more NC businesses that are pivotal in closing our supply chain loop:

Deutsche Beverage Company

Deutsche Beverage is a boozeness in Charlotte, NC. Since 2007 they’ve helped breweries, wineries, and distilleries across the country quench your thirst. While their brew systems are too big for our operation, their INK Kegs are perfect; they’re made out of high-quality 304 stainless steel to help fight off flavors, and they’re stackable (great for a brewery that’s tight on space!). Not only is the product great, the customer service is even better–they’re always ready to fill an order and they usually have it to us the very next day. Next time you’re touring the breweries in South Charlotte, take a second to duck into their showroom and drool over all the beautiful stainless (surely that isn’t just a brewer thing, right?)

Bull City Homebrew

What do you do when you need supplies, but you’re too small for most suppliers’ minimums? You turn to the homebrew shop that’s been there for you from the beginning! We’ve been visiting Kyle and his Bull City Homebrew team from our very first homebrew sessions and we’re thrilled to keep working with them now that we’re a brewery. They’re always doing their best to keep us in hops and yeast, along with all the other tiny parts we need on a given brewday. This is a great relationship for us–we get to keep supporting one of our favorite local businesses, and get access to hops we wouldn’t be able to order on our own. If you’re a homebrewer or thinking about homebrewing, make the trip over to Bull City. You won’t be disappointed.

These are just a couple of the local suppliers we couldn’t bring you delicious Regulator brews without; we also lean on the homebrew shop at  Fifth Season Gardening in Carrboro and get our CO2 from the fine people at ARC3 Gases in Durham.

What’s Making Us Happy to Brew in NC, Part 2: Local Maltsters using Local Grain grown by Local Farmers

In part two of our NC Beer Month series, we’re taking you back to the beginning of the beginning – where the grain in our beer comes from and how it gets to us.  Since we use at least 75% local ingredients in each batch of our beer, this is really important to us.  Did you know that we also tell which what’s in each batch? For us a big part of “local” means “transparent” – so you know exactly what you’re drinking.

Here’s our bold, 100% true claim: Neither our brewery nor locally-sourced-NC-grown Beer from Here would be possible without folks like Brent Manning, Brian Simpson and their team at Riverbend Malthouse.

Brent and Brian started and run Riverbend in Asheville, and they work with and buy from grain farmers (our heroes!) within a 500-mile radius of the malthouse.  That includes a growing network of farmers in NC, VA, and KY (pun and double entendre intended).  This regional variety is crucial to make sure things like the weather/pests/plant disease don’t ruin an entire year’s crop.  We are, after all, making an agricultural product derived from agricultural products.  Getting that cold pint into your hot little hands depends on A LOT of things beyond human control going right.  We’re pretty sure that makes beer a miracle.

Back to Riverbend! Last fall, Brent was kind enough to give us a tour of their new and bigger facility, explain their floor malting process, and tell us more about how Riverbend is connecting farmers and brewers – or using the food systems lingo, closing the supply-side infrastructure gap to make Beer from Here possible.  You can also tour Riverbend – they think transparency is cool, too!

They can certainly tell their story better than we can, so we’d really encourage you to check out their website and blog.  Full disclosure: Their pictures are way better than ours, but here’s a few we took on our visit!

Stay tuned for next week’s installment of “what’s making us happy to brew beer in North Carolina,” and don’t forget to drink a North Carolina beer in honor of #NCBeerMonth! To find Regulator on tap in Hillsborough, keep an eye on where to find us, or catch up with us on facebook or twitter.

What’s Making Us Happy to Brew in NC, Part 1: Happy Cows

You may have heard: April is North Carolina Beer Month! In honor of NC Beer Month, and inspired by Pop Culture Happy Hour‘s segment, “what’s making us happy this week,” we’re doing a series here on the brewlog: “what’s making us happy to brew beer in North Carolina.”

For part one, we’re starting at the end of the brew day. Depending on the beer, each brew produces a tub or two of “spent grain:” crushed malt that’s been soaked in high-temp water to extract flavor, starches, and the sugars that make for good fermentation.  “Spent” is kind of a misnomer, though, because the brewing process leaves behind a lot of good stuff: spent grain is particularly high in protein and fiber, not to mention particularly tasty to cows.

Regulator’s spent grain doesn’t go to waste: Kim and Chad Woods of Spring Crest Farm (just up the road in Hurdle Mills) take it off our hands and put it to good use. In addition to being wonderful people, they’re a part of Firsthand Foods‘ network of conscientious local livestock farmers. Our contribution is small, but we’re proud to support this humane, sustainable North Carolina food system in any way. (To read more about Kim and Chad, visit their page on Firsthand Foods’ site.)

That’s a lot to be happy about, but if you’re not convinced, take a look at this:


Photo thanks to Kim Woods.

Stay tuned for next week’s installment of “what’s making us happy to brew beer in North Carolina,” and don’t forget to drink a North Carolina beer in honor of #NCBeerMonth! To find Regulator on tap in Hillsborough, keep an eye on where to find us, or catch up with us on facebook or twitter.

On “Locally Sourced:” an explanation of our 75% promise.

First and foremost among Regulator Brewing Company’s values is our commitment regarding local ingredients: we’ve promised that we’ll buy at least 75% of the ingredients of each batch from local farms. This investment (even if, like us, it’s relatively small) keeps us in lockstep with our local economy and we couldn’t be happier about that. We’ve been asked some questions about what that means, so here goes:

The Good:

We are incredibly lucky to be located in central North Carolina. Not only does North Carolina farm over 400,000 acres of wheat a year, we’re home to two malt houses (soon to be three!). Research and services at NC State and Appalachian State, combined with NC farmers willing to experiment, are developing hops and small grain varieties that are hardier to our climate. Farm and food businesses in NC are supported by a growing number of initiatives to increase supply and improve access to local products: ECO, based in Durham, Pittsboro’s Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, and Farmer Foodshare in Chapel Hill, to name a few.

…the Confusing:

We define “local” as “within state borders,” with the odd addition from nearby South Carolina or Virginia. The closer to our brewhouse, though, the better. It’s been educational for us to learn how others define local: sometimes it’s shipped in from somewhere else and processed or packaged locally. Other times a blended product may be labeled “local” with only a small percentage of actual local ingredients. In short, there’s not one definition.  We’re doing our best to find the most transparently-local products we can, and in turn, our labels don’t promise anything more than we can deliver: “at least 75% local.” Check out our beer list: you’ll find an ingredient list for each batch on each beer’s description page.

… the Challenging:

If it were up to us, every batch would be 100% locally sourced. You may have noticed the brewery business in North Carolina is growing (whaaat?), and fortunately, so is interest in local food and drink! Securing the local ingredients we need for our recipes before they’re gone for the season hasn’t been easy–especially when supply is also subject to weather, pests, and diseases. We may be small, but we still need 3,000 pounds of grain a year and we can’t command the kind of contracts the big guys can.  In response, we’ve taken a strategic approach: we’re optimizing our recipes to minimize the effect of one ingredient’s availability on the end result.

The Takeaway

Rest assured that Regulator beer is as truly local as we can make it, with an eye toward keeping the beers you love consistent.  We’ll keep our supply chain open to you at all times. All we ask? Keep drinking local beer! The more interest there is in local food and beverage, the faster our agricultural supply chain can grow.

Like hearing about the nuts and bolts of the local food economy? This is just the beginning: as a regular feature here on the BrewLog we’re going to highlight a local agribusiness. Stay tuned!

Regulator is Legal!

Regulator is North Carolina’s newest brewery!  Yahoo!

So, we’re gonna crank up the system this weekend for a double brew day.  Is there a better way to celebrate Labor Day and our final permit approval?


Nope, we didn’t think so.

If you wanna know more about what we’ll be brewing, scroll down for details on beer names and the label design.

And we’re pretty sure that your now-burning questions include when and where to get Regulator beer. We hear you!  Details are coming on our beer releases, which we’ll share via our email list and on our events page.  If you want updates delivered to your inbox, sign up for the email list.  You can also catch us on Facebook and Twitter.


The folks behind Regulator Brewing, L to R: Stephanie, Dustin, Ryan, and Anna.
Stephanie, Dustin, Ryan and Anna


Putting a Label on It

Aaaaaaaigh, our first labels!  After settling on some names to get excited about, it was back to the drawing board for label designs.  We could work on these forever–well, I could–but what are business partners for if not to sit you down and say, “We like these. Let’s use them, for your sake. Also, take a shower.”



The “process”


So revision 4,821* is our winner. How did we get there? Inspecting the refrigerator case at Weaver Street, poring over excellent sample packs from local labelries,** having weird pitchfork-heavy dreams, and ultimately, going simple:


Tavern Alley
Six of Twelve


[Insert “Will they stick?” joke here.] We’re still navigating the federal and state label approval processes, but we’re fairly certain that what you see here will resemble something you’ll soon be able to find in a store. Keep an eye on our progress on the front page, and stay tuned!

*Number is approximate

**If this isn’t a word, it should be

Have you met… beer? On naming our flagships.

Hello BeerWhen there are over 3,400 breweries in the US, producing lineups that contribute to the over 500,000 types of beer listed on Untappd, naming a beer is no easy task.

So how do you approach choosing names for flagship brews, when there are so many out there already?  If you’re us, you throw around ideas for six months; you might even have fun with a beer name generator.  You pick a few names, only to discover that a fellow North Carolina brewery already uses them (well, two out of three, but what are the odds?) Finally, after mulling over your mission, vision and values, you land on a few names you think will represent local agriculture, the Hillsborough community, and, of course, the Regulators.

Without further ado, we’d like you to meet the Regulator flagship lineup:


Capsheaf Kölsch

Grain from North Carolina farms is the foundation ingredient of our beer, and using it is a large part of our commitment to the local economy. Meaning ‘cream of the crop’–the topmost shock of a sheaf of grain–we think Capsheaf is a name worthy of our crowd-pleasing, easy-drinking Kölsch.


Tavern Alley Brown Ale

We were pleased to learn that by continuing to gather around ale and spirits at local watering holes, Hillsborough folks are keeping a centuries-old tradition alive.  Tavern Alley in Historic Hillsborough hosted a variety of community events in the 18th and 19th centuries: we pay homage to the likes of Faddis’ Tavern with our hazelnut brown ale.


Six of Twelve IPA

After the Regulator riot in Hillsborough and the Battle of Alamance, Governor William Tryon executed six of twelve captured Regulators in Hillsborough as a warning to those who might continue to fight oppressive taxation.  Our IPA is dedicated to the men who died in support of what some call the first conflict of the American Revolution.

So there they are: our flagships, and the first three beers we’ll produce.  Let us know what you think on facebook or twitter, and stay tuned for a post featuring label designs!

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Hillsborough, North Carolina
(919) 589-BREW