Food, beer and tiny homes make for a great getaway in this NC town
Located in Edgecombe and Nash counties, roughly 54 minutes from Raleigh, Rocky Mount has a population of 55,373 according to the 2017 census report. Rocky Mount is 44.1 square miles with a median age of 37.8 and an average household income of $37,607. Some of the town’s notables include NBA basketball player Phil Ford, jazz musician Thelonous Monk, actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead and ‘beat generation’ writer Jack Kerouac even had a house in Rocky Mount. The town’s latest claim to fame is Rocky Mount Mills, a live-work-play development.
WHERE TO DRINK
One of the main features when you arrive in Rocky Mount is the Rocky Mount Mills – a 150-acre live-work-play development that lies along the Tar River. The mill is home to a brewery incubator and 5 breweries, which has a little bit of something for all the beer drinkers out there.
BDD BREWING COMPANY: BDD Brewing Company was founded by cousins Chazz Oesch and Matt Nichols. The name BDD stands for ‘Bucken da Dicey,” a phrase heard from Chazz’s father’s mouth one night. The name stuck, but they decided to shorten it to BDD. Take a look inside the brewery incubator, and you’ll see this brewery is very Sasquatch-themed. Be sure to check out their Wampahoofus: a maple bacon imperial porter with great flavors. The beers at BDD average from around $3 to $8, depending on what you purchase. So grab a pint and take it outside to the beer garden and enjoy what the brewery has to offer.
HOPFLY BREWING COMPANY: HopFly wants to let you know that “every adventure is better with a cold beer in your hand,” and that can be anything from hiking, fishing or sitting around a campfire. If you are a fan of IPAs, this should be your stop. The brewery has been releasing some high-ranking IPA-style beers such as Discoteca, Fresh Catch!, SVEN and Trail Magic. HopFly also many other styles as well, such as stouts, lighter beers and a handful of sour ales.
KOI POND BREWING COMPANY: The original brewery to call Rocky Mount Mills home has been making high-quality craft beers since the beginning. The taproom, also know as ‘the pond’ is a family- and dog-friendly setting which features weekly fun such as trivia, open mic nights and live music. From milkshake IPAs to Belgium Saisons and Witbiers – you’ll find it all inside Koi Pond Brewing Company.
SPACEWAY BREWING COMPANY: Spaceway is a nod to Afrofuturism; which seeks to imagine a future in which minorities who are scarcely represented in pop culture are depicted as leading characters. Spaceway Brewing’s incubator is also a place to pick up a six-pack from Harlem Brewing Company.
TARBORO BREWING COMPANY: This is Tarboro Brewing Company’s second location, with its first being in the town of Tarboro. At this second location, you can enjoy tacos while you drink beer. Tacos here are $5, $8.50 or $12, depending on the number of tacos you desire. Try the smoked chicken taco with salsa verde and jack cheese, or the pulled pork with salsa rojo, pineapple salsa and bacon. Or try their take on a classic Banh Mi with pulled pork, Asian BBQ and pickled carrots, onions and cucumbers.
WHERE TO EAT
We already mentioned Tarboro Brewing Company and their fabulous tacos, but Rocky Mount Mills still has a few other places to fill your tummy. Try Tap@1918, a modern-style gastropub. If you are a fan of FoodTV’s Beat Bobby Flay or Chopped, you might have seen Chef Justin Gaines on the network – and he’s teamed up with Lou Reda for a restaurant filled with signature culinary delights, mixed cocktails and a great list of beers on tap. If wood-fire pizza and pasta is your thing, maybe you’ll want to try The Tispy Tomato.
WHERE TO STAY
We suggest staying the night at River & Twine – a tiny home hotel located inside Rocky Mount Mills. Why send you somewhere else, when you can have it all in one place. River & Twine is a collection of 20 boutique tiny houses just minutes off the Tar River. Each of the 20 tiny homes are $129 a night, plus tax and fees, and sleep anywhere between 2 to 4 guests. Amenities include free WiFi, TV, microwave, coffee maker and air conditioning to keep you cool on those warm Carolina summer days.
ALSO CHECK OUT …
A coffee shop/bookstore will open in early October at Rocky Mount Mills, inside a newly renovated mixed-used development reimagined from a 200-year-old cotton mill in eastern North Carolina. Books and Beans, is the brainchild of local professor and New York Times bestselling author Etaf Rum who found great success with her debut novel "A Woman Is No Man." Books and Beans is the latest venture for Etaf Rum and Brandon Clarke, who also co-own the restaurant Barley and Burger in Rocky Mount.
With all that beer, some might want to go to Rocky Mount to enjoy a glass of wine – and Bin & Barrel has you covered. Located at 177 Nash Street in downtown Rocky Mount, this wine bar and retail shop provides a selection of exclusive wines. With around 10-11 wines by the glass as well small bites such as Pimento Cheese Spread and artisanal cheeses and meats, it’s a good escape from all that beer.
If you’re like us, you’re also on the look out for a classic selection of vinyl – and if so, you can stop at Station Square Records: Wax by the Tracks, located at 165 Nash Street. The selection is limited, but if you’re looking for a classic album by Lionel Richie or Don Henley, you might want to pay this place a visit.
If you are in Rocky Mount on a Saturday afternoon, or Tuesday evening, pay a visit to the Nash County Farmers Market. The market provides the local-area farmers with a storefront to sell their goods.
An excellent place to visit with the children is the Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center. The museum is filled with exhibits on the history of the Tar Heel state such as the Secret of Bees and Native Knowledge. Admission is only $6 per person, and 2 and under are free.