Awards & Recognition

  1. The James Beard Foundation honored Fullsteam owner Sean Lilly Wilson as a semi-finalist in the Outstanding Wine, Beer, and Sprits Professional Category in both 2012 and 2013.
  2. Fullsteam is the only North Carolina brewery (to-date) to win a Good Food Award, which honors food and drink artisans who make tasty, authentic, and responsibly-made products. We won in 2013 for First Frost, and we’ve been finalists in both 2014 (Hogwash) and 2016 (Brandy Barrel-Aged First Frost).
  3. In 2015, Sean received the inaugural North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild “Industry Impact” award for his work leading Pop The Cap.
  4. Southern Living honored our Summer Basil as “Best Beer” in the 2015 Southern Living Food Awards.
  5. Fullsteam was voted the crowd favorite as “Best Beer” for The Local Palate’s “Brew ‘N’ Cue Showdown,” held at Colonial Williamsburg in September 2015. Carver sweet potato lager and Cack-a-lacky, our ginger pale ale, paired wonderfully with Sam Jones BBQ!
  6. Garden & Gun named Cack-a-lacky a 2014 finalist in their fifth annual “Made In The South” Awards…the first beer ever to receive this honor.
  7. The Daily Meal named Fullsteam one of the top ten brewery visits in the nation, and Yahoo! Travel named us one of the five coolest craft beer tours in America.
  8. Back in 2009 — a year before we opened — DRAFT magazine named Sean one of “Nine Beer Innovators to Watch,” and the Raleigh News & Observer named him Tar Heel of the Week.



  • 2016 FINALIST for Brandy Barrel-Aged First Frost
  • 2014 FINALIST for Hogwash
  • 2013 WINNER for First Frost, our foraged persimmon winter ale

U.S. Beer Open

  • 2015 BRONZE, Carver, our sweet potato lager (Vegetable Beer)
  • 2014 GOLD, El Toro, brewed with 100% North Carolina barley and hops (Cream Ale)
  • 2014 SILVER, Carver
  • 2013 GOLD, Cack-a-lacky, our ginger pale ale (Herb/Spice)
  • 2013 GOLD, Beasley’s Honey White (Belgian Wit)
  • In 2013, we were the ninth best brewery among all competitors, based on overall medal results.
  • 2012 GOLD, Fullsteam Lager (American Amber)
  • 2012 SILVER, El Toro
  • 2012 BRONZE, Kumquat IPA (Fruit/Vegetable)


  • 2015 SILVER, Brandy Barrel-Aged First Frost (Wood and Barrel-Age Strong Beer)


  • 2015 BRONZE, Beasley’s Honey White (Ale)

Independent Weekly’s Annual “Best Of”

  • Best Local/Durham Brewery. We’ve won every year that we’ve been eligible! (2011 – 2015)
  • Best Trivia Night (2015)
  • Best Neighborhood Bar in Durham County  (2014, 2013, 2012)
  • Best Place to Chill in Durham County (2012, 2011)
  • Best place for a Blind Date in Durham County (2013)
  • Best Local Beer (2012)

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