german-inspired food + drink with a year-round patio
by Avivah with Offline
Clouds Brewing 101
If you’re looking for a way to keep your head in the clouds, we’ve got just thing: pretzels that are larger than your head, creamy, homemade Beer Cheese you’ll want to eat with a spoon, DIY taps, and juicy burgers that’ll tempt even the most resolute vegetarians.
Drooling yet? Then it’s time to swing by Clouds Brewing, a casual, German-inspired spot in Glenwood South. They’ve got a year-round patio (or Biergarten if you’re feeling festive), their very own brews, and an extensive menu with a little something for everyone. And when we say everyone, we mean it: even Fido can get in on the action here with their weekly “Bark Bites” menu that’s basically too adorable for words.
Clouds Brewing might technically qualify as a Sports Bar, but it’s clearly much more than that. Their food menu weaves in their signature brews and finds inspiration from Southern, German, and—albeit to a less *official* extent—Mexican flavors. You can thank Cloud’s passionate kitchen staff for creating fan faves like nachos with bratwurst and Peanut Butter Pie made from scratch.
Here, brunch is always bustling (the Mimosa Flight and build-your-own-bloody bar are a massive draw), while lunch and dinner lend themselves to a more relaxed pace. That is unless you’re here during a big game. In that case, prep yourself for a rowdy watch party with many rounds of expertly crafted brews.
What to order
At Clouds, you can expect to find beers, brats, and burgers, inspired by German cuisine. You’ll also find a wide variety of crisp salads, hearty entrees, veggie options, and bar bites perfect for sharing. What’s more? They’ve got a certified Master Brewer on hand who creates primo brews that aren’t just great for sipping, but also for injecting rich flavors into their food.
Here, Burgers are always a solid choice, with their most popular options being their signature Clouds Burger and the Beer-Gur, made with beer bacon onion jam, hop mayo. These giant, juicy burgers are served with fries, which are absolute F-I-R-E. Beer-battered and seasoned to perfection, these are fries worth hoarding, so be warned that a fight may ensue if your beau forgoes them just to “steal a couple of yours.”
A word to the wise: try and come here with a friend or two because the menu’s got just one too many craveble apps to share. Their Nachos remain an ever-popular choice, and the Stuffed Mushrooms are a surprisingly hearty option that vegetarians can get in on too.
But the pièce de résistance? The Soft Pretzel, hands down. Roughly a foot in diameter and served on its own little hanger, this baby is nothing short of a showstopper. It’s a buttery, Barvarian beauty, with a crispy, salt-flaked exterior, and a slightly sweet, chewy interior. You get your choice of dip (dijon mustard, beer cheese or pimento cheese) with it, but we strongly recommend shelling out the extra couple bucks so you can taste ‘em all.
One more thing: save room for dessert. They’ve got a homemade Peanut Butter Pie with a cookie crust, creamy peanut butter filling, chunks of chocolate candy, and dark chocolate ganache on top. It pairs perfectly their Midnight Delight Nitro Dark Chocolate Milk Stout, trust us.
Of course, you’ll need something to wash this all down with. Luckily, you’ve got loads of options. They’ve got a full-bar, their own European house brews, and DIY taps. In fact, they were the first to bring the pour-your-own beer concept in the Triangle back in 2014. Since then, Raleigh’s seen plenty of similar spots pop-up (hey, imitation’s the best form of flattery), but their “Downpour” wall, featuring 10 unique taps, is still a hit.
Now, let’s talk brunch for a sec. They’ve got your classic Southern faves like Chicken and Waffles and Shrimp and Grits. But if you want to embrace their uniquely-German POV, you’ve got to order the Bratwurst Benedict, featuring fresh brats, hop-infused hollandaise, and a pretzel roll.
And if you’re a boozy bruncher, wow, are you in for a treat here. They’ve got make-your-own bloody mary bar with all the savory mixins and accouterments you could ask for. Armed with a pint glass of vodka (upgrade to their house-infused pepperoncini vodka if you’re feeling spicy) and a skewer that’s essentially an appetizer all its own, you’ll be free to customize your bloody with anything from homemade tomatillo juice, to local hot sauce. If you’re not Bloody drinker, opt for the Mimosa Flight that’ll let you sample four fizzy cocktails at once. Bottoms up, y’all!
- Mexican Monday features a rotating menu of authentic and handcrafted Mexican dishes for lunch and dinner. It’s got a serious cult following.
- Tuesday features $4 NC drafts
- Wednesday is Trivia Night. Once a month, it’s got a special theme, too.
- Thursday is Yappy Hour, from 5p to close, out on their patio. They feature a special menu exclusively for pups and proceeds benefit a different animal charity each month. They’re also known to keep a few surprises up their sleeves, for both you and your fur baby. If this isn’t THE place to take your dog on Thursday nights, we don’t know what is.
- You’ll score half-off bar bites, Monday through Friday, from 4-6p