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Have you ever seen a Ponysaurus?
Picture of Anna Marie

Anna Marie

Have You Ever Seen A Ponysaurus?

A woman sipping coffee outside
Hi, I’m Anna Marie. I’m a wife, mother, Irish dancer, and pug mom living in North Carolina. I also love to travel. Come along for the ride! If you see something you like, don’t be afraid to say, ‘Pull over and let me out.’

Have you ever seen a Ponysaurus? 

These mythical creatures hadn’t been seen in ages. That is until Ponysaurus Brewing appeared on the landscape in Durham, North Carolina.

Today, the fabled beings are thriving and garnering attention in the flourishing North Carolina craft beer scene. Ponysaurus Brewing is a fun, popular, hip gathering place where folks congregate to enjoy good beer, conversation, and community. I took a tour of the brewery and not only did I learn the legend of the Ponysaurus, but I also received an education in the art of brewing.

Exterior of Ponysaurus Brwing in Durham, NC
Food trucks and picnic tables on the lawn make Ponysaurus a delightful gathering space in downtown Durham, NC.

Ponysaurus Brewing in Durham, North Carolina

It’s a cloudy summer day and folks are gathering outside in the beer garden for beer and the tasty Mediterranean fare provided by the food truck, Soom Soom Pita Pockets. The crowd is a mixture of people and pets which as a pug mom brings a smile to my face. On the roof, people sip and chat in the open air seating area. There’s a laid back vibe to my arrival at Ponysaurus Brewing with an overall atmosphere that says, “join us!” 

I’m here for a special tour hosted by the folks at Discover Durham. I head inside to meet my tour. The spacious taproom is alive with friendly faces and busy employees pouring beer. The décor features tall tables, black stools, cement floor, and an outstanding wooden bar in front of an impressive beer tap.

Ice cold beer is on tap at Ponysaurus Brewing .
Two beer glasses at Ponysaurus Brewing in Durham, North Carolina.
Delicious craft beer and conversation at Ponysaurus Brewing.

Our 6,000 square foot brewery specializes in a combination of traditional and experimental American, Belgian and European style beers, yielding an approach that can be described as forward-thinking and backward-tasting.

Brewery Tours

Our happy group gathers in the taproom where we meet our guide, Margot. It’s here we file behind the bar and taps to commence our beer education.

I’ve been on brewery tours before, but this is by far the most educational and informative yet. Margot is a walking encyclopedia of beer brewing knowledge which makes our time with her all the more fascinating. 

Ponysaurus Tour sign on the bar at Ponysaurus Brewing Durham, NC

IPAs, Lagers & Ales

Behind the scenes at Ponysaurus Brewing in Durham, NC PullOverAndLetMeOut
A behind the scenes look and beer brewing education is a highlight of the tour.

Margot gets into the nitty-gritty of beer. We learn the science behind brewing. We get to see, smell, and taste the key ingredients. The barley has a sweet taste and when roasted, its flavor is similar to coffee. And we’re warned, whatever you do, don’t eat the hops!

She leads us into the cold room where she explains how the beer is chilled and shows us the daisy chain system of keeping the cool brew flowing into the taproom. Additionally, we learn different types of beer. We find out what makes a brew an ale, a lager, or a stout. She explains terms such as  IPA which stands for India Pale Ale. We also learn the interesting story behind this popular beer’s origins.

My inner geek surfaces on this tour because Margot knows so much about beer’s history. In fact, beer’s past dates back thousands of years. I’d love to sit and chat with her one day over a cool pilsner to learn more!

Best of all, while we’re learning about beer, we’re sampling, too. Ponysaurus beers in several styles complement the tour and whet the whistle. Scottish Ale, Biere de Garde, IPA, Witbier, and a Golden Rule Saison called “Don’t Be Mean To People” all provide a tasty example of this local brewery’s popular beverages.

Beer samples at Ponysaurus Brewing in Durham, NC
Sampling as we learn.
AM in safety goggles at Ponysaurus Brewing in Durham, NC PullOverAndLetMeOut
Safety goggles are a must on the tour.

Pull Over Pro Tip - A microbrewery can produce no more than 15,000 (460,000 US gallons) per year and must sell 25% or more of their beer onsite.

Other Cool Stuff

The tour is a great introduction to craft brewing, the brewery, and its beers. However, Ponysaurus is more than a place to drink. It’s a social hub of the community. In addition to beer, there’s a rotating lineup of food trucks serving a variety of cuisines in the beer garden. We enjoyed a delicious spread of appetizers from Soom Soom after the tour. Plus, there are grills in the beer garden available to rent along with a grill menu. Call ahead, reserve your meal and grill then enjoy the pleasure of cooking with a beer in hand. 

Even more fun; they have a summer movie series and you can purchase cases and cans of their staple offerings for take-away. They also offer keg rental. 

Getting There

Ponysaurus Brewing is located at the corner of Ramseur Street and Fayetteville Street in downtown east Durham. The taproom is open 7 days a week and there’s street parking available. That being said, I noted several people walking or cycling to the brewery which adds to the relaxed, come-as-you-are mood.

Visiting Durham from out of town? Ponysaurus is a great spot to add to the itinerary and tap into Durham’s craft brew scene. Furthermore, it’s within a short distance of several nearby hotels and other popular downtown attractions making it perfect for unwinding after a day of touring the Bull City

If you’re interested in taking the tour, which I recommend, brewery tours are at 1:00 pm on Saturdays and cost $10. Reservations for the tour are suggested. 

The beer garden at Ponysaurus Brewing.
The beer garden at Ponysaurus Brewing.

What's a Ponysaurus?

Still wondering what is a Ponysaurus?

Simple. One of the founders was a school teacher and as Margot explained, he put it to his students to come up with an animal he could easily draw. It was a tie between a pony and a dinosaur.

The rest is history. Beer history!

Ponysaurus Brewing Co.
219 Hood Street
Durham, NC  27701

  • Although my visit was hosted by Discover Durham, all opinions are honest and my own.
Ponysaurus Taproom Durham, NC PullOverAndLetMeOut

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