Aaron Caracci and Chris Atkins are brewers at Top of the Hill Restaurant and Brewery in Chapel Hill, N.C. Caracci got his start as a homebrewer before being invited to train with brewmaster John Withey in 2009. Atkins graduated from UNC-Greensboro, then went on to complete the Brewing Science and Technology Program at the World Brewing Academy, and graduated from the Doemens Academy in Munich, Germany. He interned at the Lonerider Brewery before joining Top of the Hill.
What’s new at Top of the Hill?
Singleton Ale, a single hop, single malt high gravity American strong ale, and Blackwood Mountain Stout, a dry, sessionable stout.
What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?
Chris: The supportive relationships with other brewers, and having a job that I enjoy going to.
Aaron: The opportunity to travel to beer festivals around the state and interact with other brewers and beer enthusiasts.
What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?
Chris: Train for triathlons, cook, and cheer for the UNC Tarheels.
Aaron: Golf, and cheer for UNC Tarheels.
What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?
Chris: Cheese and wild ales.
Aaron: Steak and porter.
What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to brewing?
Chris: Marrying my wonderful wife.
Aaron: Traveling to three different continents.
What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?
Chris: Jolly Pumpkin La Roja.
Aaron: Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous.
What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?
Chris: Belgium, visiting Orval and Cantillon in the same day; or Asheville, N.C.
Aaron: Ireland, visiting various pubs across the country.