If you’ve traveled along I-95 or I-40 on your way to and from Carolina beaches or outlet centers, you may have passed through Johnston County without realizing it, and now there’s a good reason for you to stop over – the Beer, Wine & Shine Trail.
Johnston County, NC (affectionately known as JoCo) is the only place I know of to combine beer, wine and shine into a single trail, because they’re lucky enough to have all three being produced within county lines.
And that’s something to celebrate… with some sippin’.
I hopped the Beer, Wine and Shine Trail as a guest of Johnston County.
Deep River Brewing Company (Clayton) – Johnston County’s first legal brewery sits inside a historic cotton mill. It’s cozy and inviting, and I loved it the moment I walked in. The taproom is absolutely beautiful! The bar and wall behind it are made with reclaimed wood from an old tobacco shed, and the brewery vibe is very family-friendly. Deep River patrons can enjoy weekly live music and food trucks.
Double Barley Brewing (Smithfield) – Owner Cheryl Lane gave her husband, Larry, a beer brewing kit for his 40th birthday, not knowing it would result in their opening a brewery just two years later! The taproom decor is modern meets rustic with plenty of reclaimed wood, and the brewery boasts a cozy beer garden as well.
The majority of Double Barley beers are “big beers” meaning high APVs, so they also serve eight different menu items for patrons to enjoy along with their brewski. The most popular beers on tap right now are the Revelation Pale Ale and the Abby’s Amber.
It’s all about the muscadine grape in North Carolina, and admittedly, it’s a grape I don’t much care for. It produces a sweet wine, and I like dry wines. That being said, it’s always fun to taste, and every winery manages to surprise me with at least one wine I enjoy within the varietal.
Hinnant Family Vineyards and Winery (Pine Level, NC) – The vineyard began in 1971 to plant vines and sell grapes to market, but 14 years ago the family decided to start the winery, and the vineyards have since grown from the original 16 acres to 100 acres. It’s the largest muscadine winery in North Carolina, but they do grow a hybrid blanc du bois grape as well.
Having just visited the Ava Gardner Museum, it was fun to see the three wines celebrating the Hollywood legend: Barefoot Beauty, Santa Baby and Ava’s Allure.
Gregory Vineyards (Angier) – Owners Lane and Teresa Gregory are about the sweetest couple you’ll ever meet. Lane started out tobacco farming, and when that industry changed, he opened a restaurant. Twice he leased it out over the years, but it never thrived when not under his care, so he finally took it back for good.
When they started doing weddings, Lane planted vineyards for a beautiful backdrop, and a couple years later he opened a tasting room and began making muscadine wine as a hobby. It went over so well that they’ve expanded by 20 or 30 acres, and Gregory Vineyards is now producing 67,000 bottles per acre. All of the wine they sell comes from their own vineyard.
Broadslab Distillery (Benson) – Jeremy Norris, owner and master distiller, grew up in a moonshine-making family. His granddaddy had his own still by age 13, and the extremely smooth “shine” Jeremy distills today is a direct result of five generations of whiskey distilling expertise. It’s an ultra-smooth moonshine aged in oak with no artificial colors or sweeteners.
Jeremy is a one-man moonshine show too. He does it all from dirt to bottle: growing the corn, harvesting, graining, mashing, distilling, bottling… and he’s fastidious about every single step of the process because “you can taste the difference.” Let me tell you, this is as craft as it gets, and it’s good stuff.
For more information on the Beer, Wine & Shine Trail – Johnston County, NC, visit www.beerwineshinetrail.com
What’s your favorite for sippin’ – beer, wine or shine?
Comments & Reviews
I love how the wine is celebrating Hollywood legends. I don’t really care for muscadines either, but this looks like a really fun place to visit.
Rosana @ Hot&CHilli Food and Travel Blog says
The Hinnant Family Vineyards and Winery wine labels look so glamorous! R
Thomas Bedernik says
Life as Mum says
This looks like a fab place to visit! My partner would love it there
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
Oh wow. I think my husband and I need to take an anniversary trip to Johnston county! Everything about it looks wonderful. I love that architecture at the restaurant.
I know, it sounds like the perfect place for a couple’s vacation, doesn’t it? I would love to visit one day.
Jasmine Eclipse says
What a fun little trip! I would love to go beer/wine tasting, it’s always looked like so much fun!
GiGi Eats says
Well Well! Looks like a good time can certainly be had in Johnston County!
Neely (@Neelykins) says
We love beer/wine tasting! Texas has some good options for it but when we travel we always try to!
Guess I’ve been living under a rock because I didn’t know people still made moonshine. It looks like you had a blast on the trail. Hope to be able to get out that way soon.
Jenn @ EngineerMommy says
I have some relatives in North carolina. I’ll share this post with them! These places look so quaint and lovely to sample some wines. The ambience looks so inviting!
Rachel Mouton says
What a fun trip! It might be a trip I would want to take every week LOL
Christine Tatum says
This is great! We are going to NC in the fall. I am putting this on the list. My kind of place. Thanks!!
Jess Benoit says
I’m not a beer or wine kind of gal. I’m more of a whiskey drinker, so I think I would enjoy the shine. 😉
Amy Jones says
What an awesome place, I love that type of decoratin and style
Sounds like a fun trail! I have been to a few moonshine tastings before. It always amazes me how many flavors there are!
Heather Johnson says
What a fun tour! I would especially love the beer part!
samantha rickelton says
This looks like my sort of day! I have never visited a vine yard but would love to! We visited a distillery last year and it was v interesting x
Sarah Bailey says
Now that sounds like an amazing day – I know a lot of people who would just love to take this tour! x
My hubby would skip over the wine and spend extra time with the beer and shine. I am positive this is a tour that would make him giddy (with drunkenness, I’m sure.)
I don’t drink but would still love to take a tour of the area and brewery. I could be the DD.
This looks like so much fun! Too bad I’m so far away from NC!
Nellwyn | http://www.thecardinalpress.com
Now this is my kind of tour! Sound like a lot of fun (I mean, how could it not be lol!)
Sounds like a super fun trail to go on, for sure! Glad you were able to share your experience there!
Shauna Torres says
Wow, now this sounds like a great time. I am into wine and hubby is into beer, so it would be the perfect combo for the both of us. VERY cool. Thanks for sharing
Paula Schuck says
How fun! Gregory Vineyards sounds like an excellent wine. I love their interesting take on labels.
How come I never knew this place existed! I have to visit this place one day. Thanks for sharing!
Lindsey Paris says
Heck yeah to the beer and wine, but the shine will leave me on the floor, no matter what kind it is! This might be close enough for a weekend vacation for me.
Tonia @TheChattyMomma says
What a fun experience. Your photos look great. Making me all thirsty!
Jessica McDonnell says
Your photos look lovely and it sounds like you had a great time. I’d love to do one of those tours.
Actually I don’t drink any of the above–but would love to see how moonshine is actually made!! I do know some people who would really like to visit all 3 places and taste test along the way.
What a great experience! I actually don’t drink wine or any of the above actually but still fab! Also love the photos you took!
Kira C says
Honestly I don’t drink at all really, and if I do I drink rum but a trip like this seems so interesting!
Enricoh Alfonzo says
what awesome tour. my mom and big sis are major wine fans will share with them. loved the pics and detail you put in
Catherine S says
This is a trail that I would like to visit. My preferred drink is hard ciders.
Cinny @Whirlwind of Surprises says
That’s so fun and I love the background story! That’s definitely a place my hubby and I would love to visit.
Lady Lilith says
Oh wow this looks like fun. I am not much of a drinker, but I do like a sip every so often.
Vera Sweeney says
I have never heard of this!! This would be right up my husband and I’s alley for a weekend getaway, looks like a lot of fun!
Rhian Westbury says
A beer and wine trail this sounds right up my dads street x
I love supporting small wine makers. Not much of a beer drinker, but my husband would love that. And that cocktail at the end looked delicious!
I don’t really drink either, but I do like the atmosphere of each stop. I’d go just to soak all of that in!
I don’t drink at all. But vinyards sure are beautiful! And anything that’s less government and more mon and popen shop style I’m for! Haha
I’m always fascinated by the amount of work that goes into a glass of beer or wine. This looks like a great time!
Michelle Rogers says
This is awesome! I drive that way on my way to the beach, and especially want to go to the Ava Gardner museum.
I don’t drink at all but this looks like some fun! Looks like a really fun trip. Would be a fun little place to visit with some friends and catch up!
Sam Jeffery says
The wine looks great, and so cool that you got to see how/where it is all made!
Tara Noland says
Each of these places are so unique, I would love to visit them. It is always a great day with a winery or brewery is on the agenda! I have to admit though I don’t think I have ever had moonshine!
I have just discovered my love of wine!! What a great trail to do, would be a fun getaway or girls weekend too!
This would make for a great date night! Hubby can enjoy beer, me wine and both of use the location!
Kelly Hutchinson says
I love living vicariously through you when you go on these trips. I love tasting new beers, especially locally brewed.
Amber NElson says
What a cool story! This would be an interesting little place to check out for sure.
Lisa Favre says
My best friend would thoroughly enjoy this place. We’ve been trying to think of places to vacation together and this may make it on the list!
Melanie Edjourian says
My dad would love this he loves trying different beers and wines.
Marcie W. says
Now this is one trail I would love to take. I am totally a fan of all things alcohol, but tend to stick with beer or wine, depending on my current mood.
Chrishelle Ebner says
My husband would love to take this tour. It wounds like a great way to check out some of the local spirits. I planning on checking this out.
I have never heard of this before, but it sounds like it would be a fun night out for a date or with the girls. The wine would definitely be my choice.
I love how unqiue each of these places are!! What a fun tour to get to go on, and a great way to see the country side!!
Melanie Smith says
I should go there, I love wine so much. And the style of that place looks really good.
Ashley @irishred02 says
Looks like I need to take a road trip! This sounds amazing!
Looks like you had a great time. I love the history behind the first one – how it started with a birthday present!
Elizabeth O. says
I’m not much of a beer or wine drinker but this tour sounds like a lot of fun. I’m sure a lot of people will love this kind of tour, especially couples. It would a nice stopover during your trip and what a way to enjoy what the locals have to offer, right? This is a tour that’s worth going to!
Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green says
This looks like a nice little spot, I’ve certainly driven past this and had no idea. I love me some wine, beer, not so much.
Ann Bacciaglia says
This would be a great spot to spend the day. I like to sip on a nice frozen drink.
That sounds like an amazing place. Sounds like a great place for some wine too. That’s about the only thing I’ll drink too.
One of the best experiences is to see where do your drink come from and how each of them is made. Fabulous trip you had!
Autumn @Mamachallenge says
That sounds like a great trip! It would be perfect date for me and my husband!
This must have been such a fun tour! I absolutely love this sort of thing! Your pictures are so great, I hope you had the best time!
Bella B says
This would make for such a great date idea or even a girls day out! I love this, your pictures are beautiful!
Looks like a fun place.
What a fun outing! I need to do something like this with my husband, I know he’d enjoy it. Perfect date night or date day.
Nikki Jenner says
Oh, I want to visit this place. I want to bring my girl friends here, they will surely love it!
I love these kinds of trips, its so cool to see where they make everything. And a little tasting session afterwards never hurts either.
Ana De- Jesus says
I love cider and wine – rose preferably but due to medication it is very rare that I drink. A glass will do.
I don’t drink but even I think this looks like a great day out.
Ryan Escat says
I want to go to this place. My wife will surely like to stay here for a vacation.
Karlyn Cruz says
I like to go to a winery. I am so curious how it is done and I want t experience it.
What a fun journey! Love North Carolina, such a beautiful state!
Rebecca Swenor says
Now this sounds like it would be an amazing time indeed on the Beer, Wine, and Shine Trail in Johnston County, NC. It sounds like a lot of fun to stop at each place so if we are ever down that way you can bet we will be visiting each one. Thanks for sharing your awesome experiences.
Looks like high quality products are made over there. I’m not a big fan of alcohol but indeed it’s a cool experience.
Tanya Brannan says
What a fabulous day out! I love the look of the place, and those Ava Gardner wines are just divine!!
Ivan Jose says
Wow, looks like a nice place to relax and unwind.
Amanda Love says
This is an awesome tour, something you can’t miss doing if you’re in the area especially if you’re on a trip with your husband or a few friends! I don’t really drink often but it’s nice to go on tours like this despite that. I’m sure it was fun!
Donna Bailey-Taylor says
For non-drinkers, the wineries offer grape juices, jams, jellies and specialty foods, plus a day out on the vineyard or on the farm is an outing all by itself. Shopping for unique gifts in the gift shops is fun too!
Seattle Travel Blogger says
Vineyards and Distilleries sound like a good time.
I am sure my husband would agree!!!
Kitty Kaos says
That looks like my kind of place I love any excuse to try new things especially boozy items x
Miss Kitty Kaos – Adventures Of A Riot Grrrl
Amy Desrosiers says
This place would be my husband’s dream come true! He loves trying new and unique draft beers.
This sure looks like a fun place to visit ..definitely on my list
nathalie porbes says
I bet this is so fun, My husband would love to go in a winery, Glad you share this
Nice! I love learning about local breweries, wineries, and establishments you can get local alcohol.
Kristen from The Road to Domestication says
I’m not a drinker, but I do enjoy touring wineries! So I’m sure I would enjoy this one!
This sounds like my idea of utter heaven! Sign me up please!
This sounds like a lot of fun, it’s always nice to try local specialities!
i would definitely enjoy this trail as with a lot of my friends too
I know a couple of people who would love to do this – will have to send them this post to have a read 🙂
Bella B says
Looks like such a lovely place, wineries are so pretty and in the summer time its always something nice to do!! Great share Liz
This looks like a super fun excursion! I must admit, between the three, my poison is wine. I thought moonshine was illegal?? I’d love to try it!
This will be the perfect place to visit with friends especially in summer! Love the interior and I’d love to try the three Hollywood legend wines!
I am not the beer fan, but I love wine.
Angie Scheie says
What a cool area! I’ve never been to either of the Carolinas but they look like a lot of fun.
Never been to this county, but that’s a lot of drinking!
Ahhhhhbeer and wine! Two of my favorite things! Visiting breweries and wineries is always such a fabulously fun time!
Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen says
My husband is into beers and I am a beginner wine drinker. This place looks awesome and I’m wishing I could visit it
Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas says
This looks like such a fun experience! I would love to do this with my hubby, or even for a girls’ trip.
This is right up my alley. I like going to places like that.
Liz, I love this! You are so speaking my language! This looks like such a great way to spend a Summer afternoon or evening. Glad you had a great time! XO
Anna || A Lily Love Affair
I’d love to visit this place whenever I will be traveling on I-95 or I-40! I went to a similar winery in St. Augustine and really enjoyed out there!
What a great place, my partner would love this tour x
Sounds like lots of fun! I would love to try this place one day.
I really have to keep your post in mind, as I am planning to organise a road trip on the west coast for next year 🙂 thanks !
Stephanie of The TipToe Fairy says
This looks like a totally fun trip! I just love the vintage photos of Ava Gardner on the wine bottles.
Amber Starr at Mommy Gone Healthy says
So much fun! We love going to wine tastings when we travel up north to the Traverse City, Michigan area. I love being able to try all the different wines (and bringing them all home too). 😉
Alexis AKA MOM says
Looks like a ton of fun! I would love to go there!
Sounds like a great place to visit! I’ve never been to NC, I love wine and beer!
Lizelle Cruz says
I have been to the States, but not in Carolina yet!! Looks like we have something to check out there
You pictures are stunning I must say :). I would love to visit this place soon.
You had me at beer and wine! We are actually going to be in NC next month, so off to check Google Maps to see if we can make this a pit stop!
What a fantastic trail! So unique and interesting, I would love to visit here!
Ayesha Heart says
I’d love to pay a visit and have fun with my best friends or with sisters yay 🙂 This is amazing! Thanks 🙂
Nicole Escat says
Oh, nice trip! I want to explore this part of the world with my best friends! They will all love it!
Mel Sak says
Looks like a great place to stop,
Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche says
I tend to drink wine more than beer because it’s a bit lighter – I always get so full on bubbly beer!!
Looks like a nice place to catch up with friends over some drinks and chips.
Laura H says
Lovely that a birthday present turned into a business! Must have been the best present he ever received ;p
I’m not much of a beer drinker as I find it a little too gassy for me to drink a lot of it but I do like a white zinfandel rose wine! It does give me a mighty headache though! xxx
parpar de real says
Such a nice place to go with the friends, My brother would loves to go in a winery
This place sounds amazing! Especially the muscadine wine. I would love to visit.
I am not big on beer or wine but I would give shine a try.
Now that sounds like an amazing day and definitely is my kind of tour!
I love how the wine celebrates the past. Looks like a place that my husband and I would really enjoy!
Alissa Apel says
I can’t drink as much as I used to be able to. Dang allergies! I love the taste of it all for the most part. I don’t have a problem with expensive beers that do not have a lot of crap in them. I have to go to Trader Joes, World Market, or Whole Foods for my drinks. This could be the place for me, since it’s upper scale. 😉