Best Bottle Shop: Ramblers


By Corey Davis

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A bottle shop established in the Triangle has helped in the redevelopment of the Rocky Mount Mills.

Ramblers Rocky Mount, owned by Justin and Brittany Tipper, opened its second bottle shop location in Rocky Mount earlier this year after starting its first craft brewery in downtown Durham in 2015. Ramblers is located at what once was an old carpenter shop at the Mills, while occupying 1,200 square feet of space adjacent to Nash Community College’s 360 Degree Brewer Program facility.

Ramblers features more than 250 types of beer, and more than 100 varieties of wine coming from areas like the West Coast, South America, Europe, rotating taps and house wines by the glass. Ramblers also allows people to come in and grab a case of craft beer or a bottle of wine to go.

Ramblers has been named Best Bottle Shop, as selected by readers of Carolina Brew Scene magazine. The shop’s sucess is largely owed to its great staff, great selection of in seasonal beer and a welcoming environment where customers are able to enjoy a cold beer, according to Justin Tipper.

“We’re honored and thrilled to be selected,” he said. “We know there’s a lot of great stores out there providing quality beer. We appreciate the support from the community and want to continue doing good things for the Eastern North Carolina region.”

Ramblers goes about curating a wide selection by choosing the best products from each brewery that showcases their strong work, Tipper said.

“Basically, it comes down to trying a lot of products,” he said.

Under a North Carolina law, breweries that produce more than 25,000 barrels of beer annually are required to sign a contract with a distributor, which serves as a middleman handling delivery and sales. For many years, craft breweries and wholesale distributors were on opposite ends of the longtime distribution law.

Tippers said working with distributors or dealing with breweries directly both have their advantages.

“Each has their place in the world of craft beer,” he said. “North Carolina is able to get a lot of great, out-of-state breweries due to distribution and obviously we have amazing local brewed beers here, as well. We would choose both since each place has its own individual portfolio.”

There is an important element a good bottle shop must do to keep people interested in craft beer, Tipper added.

“It’s crucial to make sure you’re keeping up with the changing taste buds of the people drinking it,” he said.

Ramblers Rocky Mount is excited about the continuing revival of the Rocky Mount Mills and the positive momentum happening in the local economy.

“Things are going well and we’re ready to see what the future holds with the growth of the city,” Tipper said.