Find your next favorite at Potent Potables

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(photo by Kat Bodrie)

You never forget where you found your favorite beer. For me, it’s Potent Potables in Jamestown, a stone’s throw from Greensboro and High Point and down the street from my other employer, GTCC.

Drive down Main Street on any given afternoon, and across the street from River Twist and Blue Moon Oyster Bar, you’ll likely see people hanging out on Potent Potables’ patio under green awnings, drinking wine or beer and eating from a nearby food truck.

The small brick storefront belies the large interior, which is cozy with dark wood, low black ceilings that don’t feel claustrophobic and designs on light covers that dim the fluorescents.

Groups can sit at a couple tables up front, but walk beyond the wine and beer aisles as the hardwood creaking underfoot and you’ll find the bar in back. Half a dozen stools face the flatscreen; several high-tops provide other seating. Although visitors typically take to the TV, their cell phones or their friends, board games stand at the ready on nearby shelves.

I’m no wine connoisseur, but the selection in the pour-it-yourself machine seems decent, with a variety of styles and no run-of-the-mill brands. Same goes for the wine aisle, although California vintages are more common than others.

But Potent Potables is known for craft beer. Every time I’ve dropped by since January, the menu has been different, and the store’s handful of taps carry breweries I haven’t heard of before, like Alesmith out of San Diego.

Some local breweries make appearances, too; I recently had a double IPA from Wise Man in Winston-Salem that I haven’t seen at the brewhouse, and an India Pale Lager from Four Saints in Asheboro rotated through a few months ago.

The bottle selection alone is worth the trip though, and many people stop by just to take something home. Some are seasonal, like the elusive Big Bad Baptist imperial stout from Epic Brewing in Salt Lake City, which I’d only read about prior. In January, I found a 22-ounce bottle of Yeti whiskey barrel-aged imperial stout from Denver’s Great Divide Brewing, my favorite beer I’ve ever tried. It’s a good idea to snag something when you see it since there’s no guarantee it will be there next time.

A few brands dominate the shelves: Cascade Brewing from Portland, Ore., Grimm from Brooklyn and Fullsteam out of Durham. Wicked Weed also had a significant presence until recently; it’s been relegated to the “pre-AB InBev” display near the bar since its sellout to the Big Beer powerhouse.

Popular styles include saisons, lambics, Trappist ales and mead, but the inventory is so extensive, you may want to ask one of the knowledgeable staff members — like local Girls Pint Out co-founder Carmen Allred — for recommendations.

Since 2012, Potent Potables has cultivated a following among local employees out for post-work drinks and local residents, including a run club that meets on Thursdays. Though located one of the Triad bedroom communities, this bar and bottleshop is well worth the short trip.