The Mushroom is right across the street from the Durham Bulls stadium and I spent half the time staring out the large windows thinking I could hear the crack of the bat and the cheer of the fans. It’s located at one end of the renovated Lucky Strike complex and the architects did one heck of a job on the overall facility. As I walked around the joint and admired their work, I said to myself over and over that had this place been in upstate New York it would have been knocked down long ago. Sure enough I come home to find another historic structure being demolished to make way for yet another drive-thru pharmacy. Nice job Troilets (if this planet was to get an enema the nozzle would be squarely placed in Troy NY).
16 taps and young Jill was quick to recommend the Gaelic Ale from Highland Brewing Company in Ashville. Somebody there knows what they’re doing – it was a perfectly balanced Hop/Malt delight with (thank you) Willamette and Chinook up front masking the (boring and tiring) Cascades. It was so good I had the have the second.
Some of the other libations I was able to quaff over the couple of days I was in town were the Carolina Pale Ale, Total Eclipse (Foothills) Stout, Abita Purple Haze, and Duck Rabbit (Farmville) Milk Stout. The stouts were classic but heavy on the coffee aspect of nose and palate. $4.25 a pint including the Rogue Dead Guy - I can do that considering the atmosphere (and Jill).
The food featured pizza and calzones of every shape, size and flavor, but this is a beer site. Give me a bag of peanuts or pretzels and I’ll go away happy. Just stick to the beer please. Jill’s other duties regularly took her out from behind the bar, but I never had to wait. Aside from being attentive, she was extremely pleasant and made for delightful company for this stranger from out of town. And extra points for directing me to the next place (which had already been on my list). . .