Carolina Brew Scene Staff, Credits, & Contributions
PUBLISHER Kyle Stephens EDITOR Lewis Smith CONTENT & PHOTOGRAPHY Lewis Smith Christina Ruotolo Sue Buning Paul Nielsen Chris Day Inez Ribustello Brianna Long Matt Poppe Ryan K. Roberts Alex Shoenthal Harrison Fahrer Kimberly Battersby RD Jones Whitney Varner Cheryl Lane Chris Creech Dave Peters Don Rowell Paul McDermott Shannon Taylor Matt Gabbard John McCord Photography Jennifer Fritsch Candace Holder Erin Lawrimore Richard Cox Sheena Lester Toni Boyce Samantha Everette Photography
ADVERTISING Bryan Wilson Lewis Smith Christina Ruotolo Chris Taylor Rubie Smith
DESIGN & LAYOUT Becky Wetherington
ON THE COVER Design by Becky Wetherington Art contributed by Cory Burton
Carolina Brew Scene is a publication of the Rocky Mount Telegram and Adams Publishing Group. Contents may not be reproduced without the consent of the publisher.
ROUND For six years, Carolina BrewScene has been documenting the life and times of North Carolina’s craft beer scene and all the things that come along with it. As we explored the ins and outs of brewing as well as the length and breadth of the community that had grown up around this pursuit, we always found something new. Some new story, some new brewery opening, some new festival, some new people to meet—around every corner, there was always some new story to tell, some new place to explore. And here we all are. Together again. The centerpiece of this issue could only be one thing—the story of how North Carolina’s craft beer scene weathered its greatest challenge yet: the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this issue you will read stories of breweries and related businesses from all over the state telling their stories in their own words of how they struggled and how they made it through. Or how they held on to the dream of opening a brewery and formed the backbone of a new generation of craft brewers coming up all over the state. By virtue of creativity, tenacity, imagination, and most of all, unity—craft beer has made it through and is emerging more vital than ever. To us, this was the story Carolina BrewScene had been building towards from the time we began this magazine. And we weren’t going to miss our chance to bring it to you. To those of you who got us to this place–who contributed, who bought ads, who helped us return to publication, we want to take this moment to thank you for all the help you’ve given us, and we hope you enjoy what we’ve come up with. Welcome back.
Lewis Smith Editor
THE PANDEMIC How Local Breweries Adapted Through COVID & the Aftermath BY CHRISTINA RUOTOLO in North Carolina continued to brew. There
with their products. Below are contributions
COVID pandemic between 2020-2022,
was still beer to be made and production
from North Carolina breweries on how they
students and employees transitioned to
could not be halted. Breweries had to adjust
adjusted their workflow, created solutions and
working remotely and restaurants had to
their tactics and continue to brew through
effectively brewed through the pandemic.
adjust their workflow transitioning to curbside
the pandemic. Each brewery had unique
The community and their support aided in
and delivery. As the world remained at a
challenges and hurdles to clear in order to
the success of each brewery allowing them to
crossroads with no relief in sight, breweries
continue to brew and provide customers
continue to do what they love.
Tarboro Brewing Company
When the world shut down during the
At Tarboro Brewing Company, our first item of action was to sell curbside supplementing with online sales utilizing Square POS, our website and partnering with BEVV, an online beer retailer that allows you to ship all over the country. We also started canning from kegs since we entered the pandemic with more draft beer than ever. While we did not sell these canned beers to our wholesalers, we did sell them out of the taproom using new and whimsical labels and receiving great feedback from locals and out of towners alike. We added a fire pit to encourage people to drink outside during the colder months which brought in people who didn’t want to come inside. We partnered with a local pharmacy and church to host a COVID vaccine night, where anyone over 18 could get a shot and a free pint of beer. Our favorite part of the pandemic was the collaboration brews with Spaceway, Casita, Duck Rabbit and Koi Pond that gave us a chance to feel the support and camaraderie ENC is so well known for.
At Pitt Street Brewing Company, we pivoted pretty
February of 2020 at 395 Haywood Rd. in Asheville,
quickly once hearing the news of having to close our
NC and ordered all of our equipment for Cellarest
doors. We started offering curbside pickup and delivery
Beer Project. That year involved the buildout of
services. Retail also opened up more avenues for us. We
delivery of and installing our 4 Bbl. brewhouse while everything around us was slowing or shutting down completely. We opened our doors one year later in February of 2021. At opening our indoor capacity was limited to 30% of our already pint-sized max occupancy of 41 patrons, so 12 people. Meanwhile the weather outside on our patio was exactly what you might expect for the North Carolina High Country during Winter. It was a wild year to make wild beer and to keep ourselves afloat. The outpouring of support for our project and respect for COVID protocols from our family, friends, staff, neighbors, local musicians, artists, other breweries and restaurants was the brightest spot in an otherwise bleak year to begin a new business. We are thrilled to move forward this year, stronger for the last two, with more wood fermented ales and
packaged styles of beer that we were not able to offer in cans before. We had a handful of employees working when the shutdown first happened but through the receiving of a Paycheck Protection Program loan, we were able to bring our full staff back to work. The resilience of our employees
our entire space, applying for permits, arranging
Pitt Street Brewing Company
Harrison Fahrer, Co-Founder & General Manager
Cellarest Beer Project • Asheville, NC
After years of planning we signed our lease in
and the outpouring of support from our community really carried us through this time. Our NC Brewers Guild really went to bat for us and once we were able to reopen, we wanted to welcome guests back to a space they felt safe and comfortable in. We followed all Executive Orders and we were lucky enough to have great outdoor seating options and also a spacious taproom inside for guests to spread out adequately. Brewing through the pandemic was a trying time. Before the pandemic, we had plans to open a 2nd location that quickly fell apart after March of 2020. Two years later we are able to set our sights on a second location again and those sights are taking us to Little Washington. The new taproom will be located in beautiful downtown
lagers, bottlings from our ‘Sapling’ mixed-culture
Washington, NC, situated squarely on the Pamlico River. Pitt
program, sharing more art, music and good times
Street will be opening a satellite location to join the growing
in West Asheville.
independent, craft beer scene in Beaufort County. You can look for us opening this location in late May or early June.
Lower Left Brewing Company • Charlotte NC Alex Shoenthal Head Brewer & Co-Owner At Lower Left Brewing Company, we had only been open six months when the pandemic hit. It was terrifying, but we had just enough time to cultivate a small but dedicated group of customers. We had just bought a Crowler seaming machine and it probably saved us! We were able to keep all our Beertenders employed and did nocontact beer and Merch sales. As Head Brewer I really focused on the quality of the beer and kept pushing out new stuff. The Pandemic forced us to evolve quickly, so we also started mobile canning at this time and really worked on distribution which was challenging. Failure was never an option so we all buckled down as a team and worked together to survive. Flash forward two years of hard work, dedication to the craft, and a lot of elbow grease and we are NC Brewery of the Year and NC New Brewery of the Year from the NC Craft Brewer’s Guild.
state capitol, Historic New Bern, NC. Originally opening their doors in 2016 as a Homebrew Shop, Tap Room
RD Jones, Operations Manager
BrÜtopia Brewing Company • New Bern NC
is nestled in North Carolina’s first
and Bottle Shop, they quickly began brewing on a 1 barrel Spike Brewing System and started offering their own beers on tap in 2017. From their light and easy-todrink German Kolsch Ale to their rich Milk Stout and Hazy IPAs, BrÜtopia has something to offer every palate. Focusing on education, they offer in-house troubleshooting for local homebrewers.
facilitated getting a brewing program up and running at the local Community College. Classes were full from day one and only continue to gain popularity. In 2020, the world of brewing was shaken by the pandemic. Breweries were closed down by the state, and sales came to a screeching halt. Thanks to the North Carolina Brewer’s Guild, the
Governor quickly reversed his decision
Havelock is located at 460 US Hwy 70
to close breweries down and allowed
West, Havelock, NC. (252) 652-7040
them to remain open as retail, to-go
Through pandemic related loans
locations only. The retail option allowed
and community support, BrÜtopia is
breweries like BrÜtopia to offer their
steadily moving forward and taking
goods as a take-home option, which
on more challenges every day. They
was the lifeline that would keep them
recently upgraded their brewery to
and many other locations above water.
a beautiful, custom built Deutsche 5
BrÜtopia was overwhelmed by the
barrel system, making them the largest
support in New Bern and its surrounding
operating brewery in Craven County.
communities during the pandemic
As they continue to grow, they look
shutdown. Orders for takeout came in
forward to jumping into the world of
like no other time before, and people
distribution and getting their tasty
were eager to make sure their local
brews out into other communities. If you are interested in BrÜtopia’s
businesses would be able to recover from the lack of in-house events. In October 2020, BrÜtopia’s owners
information about putting their beer
took a leap of faith and opened a
on tap at your location, please email
satellite taproom in Havelock. It was
the sales team at brutopiabrewing@
an opportunity to reach out further
into the community and offer another
option for their customers. Often
email@example.com or call the
hosting tastings and special events, it
taproom at 252-631-5142. BrÜtopia
has become a popular spot for Havelock
Brewing Company is located at 1201
locals to mingle and meet. BrÜtopia
Hwy 70 East, New Bern, NC 28560.
Double Barley Brewing • Smithfield NC Cheryl Lane, Owner & Head Trouble Maker by
taproom was closed. We also received a
selling our beer in a drive-thru behind
PPP forgivable loan and took out a SBA
the brewery. We even sold beer at our
EIDL loan to stay afloat while business
friends brewery, Neuse River Brewing &
was slow. We would not have made it
Brasserie a few times and it was so kind
without these loans. After two years we
of them. These sales allowed us the keep
are reopening our kitchen and finally
our two brewers employed while our
getting back to normal.
portfolio of beer or would like more
Hatchet Brewing Company • Southern Pines NC Whitney Varner, Taproom Manager The owners of Hatchet Brewing Company,
filing endless paperwork, working to create the
Mike and Greg, met as neighbors while Greg
most enjoyable taproom experience for our
was in Special Forces training and Mike was the
customers, and perfecting craft beer recipes.
Senior Operations Sergeant Major of the 82nd
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Team
Airborne Division. Both quickly bonded over a
Hatchet refused to let it bring us down. Our
love of brewing and their shared experiences in the military. Realizing how powerful brewing and a shared interest in craft beer can be, Mike and Greg wanted to create a place where people can relax, share experiences, and develop new friendships over great beer. Hatchet has always been focused on building teams and developing genuine and selfless relationships. It began as a culture on SFODA 3331 and has been at the heart of everything
owners and staff quickly adapted to cranking out production of the to-go beers of the quarantine era, selling 16oz cans, crowlers, and growlers through the taproom to our local community. With the support of our loyal patrons and our team-focused approach, we were able to maintain an optimistic outlook through the struggle and come out even stronger than we started.
we do with our beer, our employees, and the
Now, Hatchet is the go-to place for
community – what we consider the Hatchet
hundreds of customers every week in the heart
of downtown Southern Pines, NC, and our
Hatchet opened its doors in November 2019 after over a two-year long journey of
beer is sold at several locations in the Triangle, Moore County, and surrounding areas.
Brew and Feed Brewing brewandfeed.com 225 S Broad St, Mooresville, NC 11
R & R Brewing • Mount Olive, NC Ryan K. Roberts (Head of Hoperations) How did we survive the pandemic? Bootstrapping, creativity, and people. Day one of the shutdown, we began searching for unnecessary expenses and cut them immediately. Internet service in the taproom and office? Cut off the office and work in the taproom. Do we really need all of these TVs if we’re not open? Call and suspend subscription. After we combed through everything, we eliminated over $40,000 in current and forecasted expenses. The next step was to get creative with what was here. We had tripled all merchandise and production in anticipation of the annual Pickle Festival, our town’s single largest event in April that brings thousands of people through our front door in just two days. We used our food truck gates, a crowler machine, a tent with a menu and sanitizer to
The idea for Braukorps started
with some creative social media marketing helped generate enough cash
in March 2020 after another home
flow to keep our basic costs paid. Lastly, and most importantly, people
brew store in Jacksonville closed. The
made the final decision of our survival. Regulars driving through bringing
community still needed a supply store,
staff meals and buying crowlers; bartenders and brewers working a drive
so three friends decided to open their
through with walkie talkies like they had done it all their lives; other brewery
own store. Opening a business can be
owners openly communicating daily to brainstorm how we overcome this
frustrating, and opening a business
challenge together; even the local fire department donating their labor and
during a pandemic was infuriating.
tools to build 15 picnic tables so we could fully utilize our open air backyard.
Luckily, we have a wonderful community
All of these people, in their own capacities, combined into the true reason
here in Jacksonville that helped us along
we are still here today. So, now that we have survived, the goal is to give
the way. The local home brew club,
back to all of them by spreading rest and relaxation throughout NC.
(BAC)2 now meets at our store, and it has been a great way to help other network.
supplies has been a challenge at times. This has allowed us to be creative with finding suppliers that are domestic and local to help bridge the gap.
During this pandemic it has definitely made operating difficult as things change rapidly all across the board. We were lucky to have such a great local community and team here at Crystal Coast Brewing, and we were able to keep our entire staff on board throughout the course of the shutdown.
Crystal Coast Brewing Company Atlantic Beach, NC
Kimberly Battersby, Store Manager
Braukorps • Jacksonville, NC
create a safe and effective “brew through” at our location. That, coupled
Thanks to our loyal customers both near and far that have supported us throughout, we were able to survive this and wouldn’t be here without them. We were forced to adapt and change many ways of how we operate, and even what we offer in terms of package versus draft, and with restrictions changing, the demand is constantly changing in unpredictable ways. Like other businesses, we struggled, but were able to come out the other side better and stronger, and we are thankful for that.
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The Glass Jug Beer Lab • Durham NC Chris Creech, Co-Owner & Brewing Operations Because of this success, we had begun negotiating with a new building developer in downtown Durham to lease a corner suite adjacent to Durham Central Park and across the street from the soon-to-open Durham Food Hall. We wanted to open a second taproom to showcase the beers we were brewing, and we wanted to do it in the heart of the Bull City, which had been so good to us for the last 5+ years.” Then, COVID happened. On-site sales at our taproom/bottle shop in South Durham were halted for nearly 3 months. Lease negotiations stopped. Brewing paused. The business jumped into survival mode. And, thanks to the tenacity of our team and the overwhelming support of our loyal customer base, we were able to pivot. Bartenders took online training and became delivery drivers. We worked with On Saturday, April 23, The Glass Jug Beer
our bookkeeper to create new pay models.
Lab hosted the first ever Bull City Beer Mile
Pallets and pallets of crowlers were ordered
in front of their new taproom in Durham
so that we could sell our draft beer while it
Central Park. While watching 350+ runners
was still fresh. Pop-up drive-through sales
complete their laps and drink their beers on
began happening (shout-out to our friends
a beautiful Saturday afternoon, all while live
at Hi-Wire, Durty Bull, and Bond Brothers for
music was playing, and spectators enjoyed
taking the lead). Mobile canning was booked,
an array of food trucks and craft beer in the
and our brewers got back to work.
park, it really hit me what a remarkable feat we had just pulled off. Yes, the race was fantastic, thanks in large part to our partners at Bull City Running Company, the folks at Durham Central Park, our amazing front of house and production teams, and all of the volunteers who chipped in to make it happen. But, that was only the culmination of a 2+ year roller coaster ride that we, like so many other breweries, had to weather. In early 2020, The Glass Jug had recently celebrated our 5th anniversary, having opened our bottle shop and taproom in South Durham/RTP in 2014. Our expansion and brewery addition in 2018 was going well, and our beer garden was the place to be for live music and food trucks every weekend.
But, we didn’t want the business to simply
delivery and a drastic shift away from draft
COVID variants began to severely hamper our
survive the pandemic. We still had growth
sales to package sales where margins are
aspirations. We still wanted that second
much, much, lower. But, compared to what
It’s challenging enough to spread the
taproom. And we wanted to rally our existing
it could have been, it was an overwhelming
word and get people out to a new small
community and give them a place of respite
business with a tiny marketing budget, but
where they could let down their guard and
I’d be remiss to not mention how helpful
it immediately became even more difficult
the PPP and EIDL programs were in providing
during the Delta and Omicron surge. Coupled
So, in addition to increased cleaning and
the funds we needed during the height of the
safety protocols, we began renovating our
pandemic to keep our staff employed and
with high staff turnover due to low traffic at
beer garden. We added more tables and
to grow our beer garden, providing safety
chairs, brought in fresh gravel, and purchased
measures like masks, hand sanitizer, and
table top heaters to allow our outdoor space
“drinking circles,” in addition to more outdoor
to be used nearly year-round. And we booked
seating, retail shelving, and heaters.
reduce their anxiety, if only temporarily.
more live music for our outdoor beer garden
With the success of the summer of
in 2020 than we had in any year prior. Pex-
2020, we re-entered lease negotiations on
tubing was used to create “drinking circles” in
a downtown Durham taproom, this time
the lawn of the beer garden, allowing guests
insisting on pandemic-related rent relief if
to bring their own camp chairs and set up in a
COVID were to surge again and cause our
safe space, 6+ feet from other guests.
taproom to be shut down.
our new taproom (and the industry-wide increase in resignations), it made for a scary stretch in the fall and winter of 2021. But, again thanks to some amazing team members who put in the extra work, wore extra hats, and helped us find ways to spread the word and build a community around our taproom, here we are. The first year of the Bull City Beer Mile saw a sold-out race and a park full of friends, family, and spectators. We designed and sold
Online ordering and curbside delivery
We signed a lease and began our build-
continued, even after delivery stopped. We
out of what is now our Downtown Durham
not only maintained the size of our retail
taproom. During the build-out, COVID cases
bottle shop, which was already one of the
began dropping and vaccines were rolled out.
largest in the Triangle area, but we grew it.
The doors opened on March 31, 2021. Indoor
We added more wine, seltzers, and cocktail
capacity was still limited to 50%, but it would
mixers. We added a whole section for mixed
soon increase, and by the summer of 2021,
And this is still only the beginning of our
12-packs and cases. And we made more of
we thought we were coming through to the
story. Our downtown Durham taproom
our own beer available in 16oz cans and 32oz
other side of this pandemic. Then Delta and
quietly celebrated our 1-year anniversary
crowlers than ever before.
in March, and we have learned a lot about
new custom merch and apparel, brewed a commemorative beer, and, most importantly, made and strengthened our relationships within the community, to whom we owe so much for all of their support.
The result? The summer of 2020 saw our
We were thrown one last curve-ball. Now
ourselves in the process. We have built a strong
highest attendance to our summer music
that we had invested all of the relief money
team, tapped into a fantastic community, and
series. All of our staff remained employed.
and loans into our new space, when we had
have our eyes forward, ready for the next
And, revenue for 2020 was a record high.
the smallest safety net we’d ever had, we
opportunity-or the next challenge-the world
Profits were down, due to increased costs for
had to scramble once more. That is when the
throws our way.
Hell on Horsecreek Brewing • Madison NC Dave Peters, Owner Hell on Horsecreek Brewing opened its
We set up a sales table in the rolled-up front
We brought back music and events into and
doors to the thirsty public in downtown
garage door and kept the lights on through
through 2021. As soon as events and festivals
Madison, NC on October 23, 2019. This was
crowler and growler sales right to the sidewalk.
popped back up we were there, kegs frosty
after a year of construction, installation
We had to let our staff go, temporarily, but
and ready. It wasn’t really until the summer of
and waiting forever on permits. We had
brought them back as relief funds were made
2021 that we were back into the swing of real
a very welcoming crowd, folks who had
business with expected sales volumes. What
been watching our construction progress
In May we opened back up with fewer
we’ve missed out on was the natural business
with abundant eagerness Our neighbors
tables, fewer chairs, masks when required,
growth in those first two years. But here we
complained of having to answer “We don’t
gallons of sanitizers and, unfortunately fewer
are, still operating, still small in staff and big
know!” too often to the “When will they
but very appreciative customers. As 2020
in beer. Our taproom is about character and
open?” chorus of customers. But we finally
wore on we looked into keg sales, but were
friendship, Hell on Horsecreek Brewing is a
stymied by the give-away price-cuts big-beer
fun place to visit and yeah, our beer ain’t bad
could afford on their kegs.
We had a great fall and end of year right through Christmas. Our operating model, as a down-town walk-up taproom, relies on almost 100% taproom sales - these have been challenging years for this model! The typical January 2020 drop-off in brew-loving traffic was surprising, but by February and through early March 2020 the taproom was full and our beer was flowing well. We keep and operate with a small staff: the owner runs the brewery and a hand-full of Brewslingers staff the taproom. On March 17, 2020, 5pm, with tables full of St. Patrick’s Day food, the taproom full of our friends and patrons, the Covid-hammer fell. We gave away all the food and converted to a to-go beer pickup operation on the spot.
526 N. Main St.,Tarboro
1121 Falls Road, Rocky Mount
Wed.-Thurs.: 5:00 - 9 p.m. • Fri.: 5:00 - 10 p.m. Saturday: 12 - 11 p.m. • Sunday: 12 - 6 p.m.
Wed.-Fri.: 5:00 - 10 p.m. Saturday: 12 - 10 p.m. • Sunday: 12 - 6 p.m.
Perfect Places to Have a Beer SUE BUNING
ack in the olden days in North Carolina, before
Places to Have a Beer”. Seventy-six of them were
the craft beer explosion and the Pop the
in the United States, (including Alaska and Hawaii).
Cap (6% cap on alcohol in beer) campaign, the beer
The other seventy-four were scattered across the
connoisseur either had to brew their own or make out-
globe, including such far flung places as Cape Town,
of-state trips to get good beer. They could also attend
Auckland, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Buenos Aires. As one
the World Beer Festival for an annual indulgence close
might guess, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and England
to home. My husband, Dave, participated in all of the
had good representation.
above and also became a certified beer judge. (I am the
So my husband and I were intrigued and decided
trailing spouse, who, fortunately, likes some styles of
to take up the challenge. And, as in the words of
beer.) Attending the World Beer Festival evolved into
the immortal Robert Frost, “that has made all the
volunteering for the World Beer Festival, which resulted
difference”. Let me regale you with a few tales and
in a key turning point in our traveling adventures.
discoveries that the intrepid seeker of the perfect pint
As the World Beer Festival grew and expanded,
will appreciate and enjoy.
it began offering a volunteer appreciation night for
We had about fifteen check marks right away.
its many helpers. In 2010, this event was held at
Classic beer spots near our home in North Carolina
Fullsteam Brewery in Durham. Since the magazine
or where we grew up, in Michigan, or from a couple of
“All About Beer” was one of the main sponsors, they
beer-centric vacations. Then we began in earnest.
had various swag scattered about the tables. Our table
We drank great beer. We drank good beer in great
happened to have a copy of Beer Traveler, which came
places. Not too often, we drank beer and wondered
home with me. In it was an article called “150 Perfect
how the spot got on the list (5 Seasons Brewing Co.,
Atlanta, GA). After a while, the beer became
from the ceiling. The most impressive beer
almost secondary to the thrill of the hunt, the
menu that we have yet seen was at a place
journey to the next location. For example, a
in Belgium called Kulminator, in Antwerp. It
few years ago, we were invited to a wedding on the west coast of Scotland. There is only one spot in Scotland on the list: The Marine Hotel in Stonehaven. It is on the east coast. Neither the bus ride, the two train rides, nor the half mile walk with suitcases from the train station kept us from our appointed rounds. A beer never tasted so good. And the journey was half the fun. Our annual trips from North
A BEER NEVER TASTED SO GOOD.
AND THE JOURNEY WAS HALF THE FUN.
Carolina to Michigan began to change from
was the size of a small phone book. They not only had beers on tap, but also aged, cellared beers. Sometimes we actually learned stuff not related to beer. The Cadieux Cafe in Detroit, MI is one of a handful of places in the United States that has feather bowling. The game originated in Flanders, Belgium. Wooden balls, shaped like cheese wheels, are rolled down an alley towards a fixed feather. The
the most direct route to a route that included
Andechs (tour was in German) Goose Island
person closest to the feather scores. Excellent
a top 150 spot. Detours were taken through
(before they were sold to Anheuser-Busch), De
game with a beer in the hand.
Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh.
Halve Maan, and Dogfish Head. Sometimes
One on the list died before we got there
most extreme example was a scenic route
we were just in the right place at the right
(The Brickskeller, in Washington, DC). One
through Canada, so we could stop in Toronto.
time: joining a group brewery tour because
has died since we got there. (We attended
On our return to the United States, the border
they have extra tickets (tour tickets and drink
the Bruxellensis Festival of Characterful
security guard asked the question “What was
tickets!!) or visiting a tavern on the list that
Beers. It is no more.) Much as this creates
the purpose of your visit (to Canada)?” We
just happens to have its samples priced way
sadness, there are still seventy-nine top 150
answered truthfully, to have a beer. He was
less than the equivalent cost of a bottle in the
places for us to visit and many wonderful
store. Sometimes we also get to try amazing
new contenders for the next 150. (We would
food–The pig's knuckle at Andechs Monastery
suggest Founders Brewing Company, Grand
comes to mind.
Rapids, MI and 3 Floyds Brewing Company,
The farthest we have been for a beer is the Sapporo Beer Garden in Japan. One of the closer spots was in our own backyard, Milltown
Belgium was an enlightening experience.
Munster, IN be added to the list.) So many
in Carrboro, NC which was unknown to us.
They have a glass for every beer (there are
beers, so little time. Feel free to share your
Memorable brewery tours include Sapporo,
hundreds) - usually hanging by their stems
Greensboro’s First Brewpub
Loggerhead Brewing Company:
ocumenting the history of North Carolina’s craft beer industry was the motivating factor for creating Well Crafted NC, a project based at UNC
Greensboro. The craft beer industry has changed significantly since it was legalized in North Carolina in 1985. Weeping Radish opened the doors of North Carolina’s first brewpub in Manteo in 1986, but initial industry growth was slow. The Triad region became home to North Carolina’s fifth craft brewpub in April 1990 when Loggerhead Brewing Company launched in Greensboro. Housed in a strip mall on Vandalia Road near the intersection of interstates 40 and 85 in southwest Greensboro, Loggerhead was described in All About Beer magazine in October 1990 as having “little going for it in terms of street appeal. But once inside, you’ll forget about the entrance way.” Led by Gary Vickers, a chemist who had worked as a brewing supervisor at the Miller Brewing Company in Eden, Loggerhead brewed by the traditional Bavarian purity laws, restricting ingredients to malted barley, hops, yeast, and water. Vickers and assistant brewmaster Duane Abbott focused on producing four main house beers: the Loggerhead Pilsner, a “light-bodied American style beer,” the General Greene Lager, “a deep amber lager with a rich and malty body,” the Loggerhead Light, a “full flavored pilsner with City Ale, “a full-bodied brew with a taste all its own.”
After some initial struggles with funding, Loggerhead’s brewing operations continued, but the restaurant side of the business did not. In 1994, Loggerhead shifted its focus solely to beer production, signing a contract to supply beer at a number of local restaurants in January and closing their on-site restaurant operations completely in April. As Vickers noted in an April 1994 interview with the Greensboro News & Record, the restaurant side of the business had been struggling, and they made the decision to “go with our strong suit” by focusing solely on brewing operations. By early 1995, Loggerhead was dissolved, but its legacy continued for a short time with Gate City
In addition to their four standard beers,
Brewing. With Vickers still serving as brewmaster,
Loggerhead typically included “specialty brews,”
Gate City Brewing served as a subsidiary of Ham’s
more limited seasonal brews and variations
Restaurants and focused solely on making beer
such as a sweeter cherry-flavored beer that was
for numerous Ham’s Restaurants across the Triad
available during their first months of operation. A
“sampler tray” flight of their four standard beers and one specialty brew was available for $2.50.
could see in the brewhouse.
Loggerhead Brewing Company and the craft beer industry in North Carolina are important
In the early 1990s, craft brewing and serving
parts of our history, and we at Well Crafted NC
beer on site in a brewpub was a novelty in North
need your help in documenting these significant
Carolina. As a result, Loggerhead’s restaurant
stories. We are actively seeking photographs,
layout and menu design both focused on
educating consumers on how the beer was made.
Loggerhead Brewing Company and other North
The restaurant space featured ceiling-high glass
Carolina craft brewpubs, particularly during the
windows that allowed customers to peer into
1980s and 1990s. Whenever possible, we make
the brewing area. The menu included a full-page
this information freely available on our website
description of the brewing process, with hand-
– WellCraftedNC.com. If you have materials
drawn illustrations labelling the various stainless-
you are willing to share, please contact us at
steel tanks and equipment that the customers
The Craft Beer Specialists on the Outer Banks Pints • Flights • Growler Fills • Fine Wines • Cigars • Tastings Two Locations with up to 44 Taps
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Your adventure begins on the Pitt County Brew & ‘Cue Trail. Discover the birthplace of Eastern North Carolina BBQ with mandatory “pit stops” at B’s, Skylight Inn, Sam Jones BBQ and all the places that put whole hog ‘cue on the map. Hungry for more? See one-of-a-kind art sculptures, attend an outdoor jam at Town Common or lose yourself in the Uptown District. NC’s Emerald City is filled with countless hidden gems.
Find yours at VisitGreenvilleNC.com
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ThirsT in FlighT
The FlighT This was a lovely starter—has a rich initial hit, feels bright
Never having had a Czech lager, yet loving dark beer as I do,
and gold in the middle, then finishes with a little sweetness
I was curious to see how this tasted, and it was quite intriguing.
and a hint of cream in the finish. It’s a perfect sipping beer
It has dark and roasty qualities like a coffee porter, but it finishes
for when you just want something easygoing without the
light and smooth, balancing the roast in a way that avoids the
crispness of a pilsner or a tart sour. Swells’a makes an effort
overwhelming “hey, tastes like the office coffee’s burnt again,”
to include a little something for everyone. Every style they try
over-roasting that can sometimes result trying to strike a balance
has a lot of thought put into making the best version of that
with a variety of flavor hints but the smooth finish eases you
style they can achieve (we’ll come back to this later) I could
right out with no bitterness at all. My first taste of this variety,
easily have done a full pour of this one.
but it won’t be my last.
I’ve never had a horchata—it’s one of those things I know exist,
While Beane Jumper was my favorite beer this trip, the way
but I’ve never got around to it. But I am primarily a Dude of Stouts,
that this coffee porter came together really impressed me as
and so the chance to try something new in a familiar context
an example of Swells’a’s brewing technique. Unlike most coffee
seemed like a good thing to do, and I’m glad I did, because this was
porters, this one actually hits you with the sharp bitter taste first,
my clear favorite of the beers I sampled. Really sweet and rich at
then yields to a roast flavor in the middle, and then finishes super
first, little bit of nutty roastiness and a hint of cinnamon in the light,
smooth. I’ve never quite had a flavor profile hit that way, never
sweet finish. This was an absolute delight. I’ve got a new entry for
mind one done so precisely, but damn if they didn’t do it with
my favorite stouts list, now in its fifth volume.
this one, and made it seem pretty easy. This was challenging to my palate and a really enjoyable drinking experience.
This was a tetralogy of triumph to be sure. Swells’a is more than a good location, more than good vibes and far more than a cool hang-There’s something special going on here. Their beers are brewed with imagination and there’s some real thought put into the flavor profile that offers a challenge to the palate, playing with expectations in new and surprising ways. They’re making a real effort to stake out their own unique territory in the scene. I was really impressed with Swells’a, and I can’t recommend them enough. Great beer, brewed by creative people, enjoyed on a beachfront balcony is a definite delight, and I will definitely be back, and hopefully y’all are planning a visit as well. I’ll see y’all on the balcony. Until then—may all your favorite flavors be found in flight!
B Y J ENNIFER F RITSCH • P HOTOS
C ANDACE H OLDER
Putting on a great festival,
from seven states, all enjoyed
never mind a great beer festival,
in the delightful atmosphere
needs two things: a good
of the Rocky Mount Mills, all to
location and great timing. The
support the Boys & Girls Club of
Rocky Mount Mills was a perfect
the Tar River Region.
location—since 2016 it’s been a
While a beer festival lives or
magnet for culture, business,
dies on a tremendous selection
events, and a bustling craft beer
of delicious beverages, there
community on its campus, and one of its mainstays has been Goat Island Bottle Shop, who began planning in 2020 to bring the energy and excitement of a craft beer festival to Rocky Mount at long last. But then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. A beer festival at the peak of the pandemic was unthinkable. So things had to be put on hold, and plans were shelved while the organizers waited to see if conditions would improve. The next year, with improving conditions, the promise of a
was even more to enjoy for festival goers. There was axe throwing, courtesy of Axes and Exes, delicious food provided by Dubz Grubz & The Walking Crab food truck, and musical guests Will West, the Dogwoods and DJ Nick at Night serenaded festival goers with a great selection of good time tunes. Despite some rough breaks early on, the odds turned in favor of fun, and the first annual Rocky Mount Beer Fest was an unqualified success, and a great time was had by all. We’re
vaccine, and the relaxation
looking forward to seeing you
of the stricter protocols, Goat
for the second annual event
Island was ready. The date was
on Saturday, Nov 12, 2022 and
set for November 13, 2021, and
the Rocky Mount Mills! Ticket
on that pleasant and sunny
information and news about
Saturday, over 500 people
the festival can be found on
turned up to sample craft beer,
cider, wine, sake, and mead from more than 30 breweries
We’ll bring the beer—you bring you!
The Lost Colony Wine
& Culinary Festival aims to
different wines, 7 different
honor the Mothervine, an
breweries, 10 restaurants, and
obscure part of Roanoke
a brand-new Artist Market.
Island’s history. It is said that
This Artist Market showcased
Roanoke Island is home to
the oldest naturally-occurring
varying styles and a Bubbles
grapevines in the United
station. All of the attending
States, and it is still growing
breweries were from North
right along the shore on the north end of the Island. There have been countless folktales told throughout the years that connect this Vine to the Lost Colony. The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary was born to bring together these two fascinating aspects of Roanoke Island’s history while also bringing people together to sample some of the best food and drink on the east coast. The festival is the only major fundraiser held by the Roanoke
Association to support the annual production of The Lost Colony, the oldest, longest-
Carolina, with three of them being located less than 10 miles from the Waterside Theatre. All of the restaurants attending the festival were local, and offered a variety of different fare, from seafood to
also a robust Silent Auction, with many local attractions donating items for guests to bid on. Guests attending the festival sipped and sampled all afternoon while enjoying a beautiful cool day on Roanoke Island. The Roanoke Island Historical Association
running Outdoor Drama in
recently moved the event to
America. The event is held at
the spring, and it is the perfect
the Waterside Theatre, home
way to kick off your summer
of The Lost Colony, which
on the Outer Banks and also
located right on the shore of
look forward to the upcoming
the beautiful Roanoke Sound.
season ofThe Lost Colony
(now in its 85th year!). Event
dates and times for next year’s
Townebank, for the festival
festival will be announced
was held on April 9th, 2022,
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lack Brew Culture
was brewed and distributed at
will once again
Dirtbag Ales in Hope Mills, North
focus solely on the beverage,
American Beer Festival in the
Potter and his team see beer as
country this year on October 22,
discussion among Black Brew
a way for Black folks to take their
2022 at The Durham Bottling
Culture’s founder Mike Potter
collective destiny of equity in the
Company in Downtown Durham!
and members Brian Lawson and
industry into their own hands.
Blacktoberfest Beer Fest is an
This was the approach taken with
homage to every important,
“We wanted to create a
the Blacktoberfest Märzen-style
interconnected sector of Black
tradition and venue that would
beer collaboration featured at the
culture with a focus on a common
allow people of all cultures to
festival. “We wanted to create
love–all things craft beer! Its
enjoy food and beer that was
a template for what a circular
mission: to engage the brewing
created in full or in part by Black
economy would look like within
industry to bond opportunity,
people,” says Potter. “We have a
the craft beer industry. Many of
accessibility and creativity in
deep and rich cultural connection
us as Black brewers and industry
ways that empower the Black
to brewing and cooking, and there
professionals often talk about not
are not enough opportunities
having a ‘seat at the table,’ and
craft beer industry even more
for us to showcase the results of
rightfully so,” says Potter.
progressive for everyone.
these amazing skills.”
While the year 2021 was filled with canceled and revamped events, it served as the inaugural year of Blacktoberfest - Durham. The festival featured beers from sixteen Black-owned breweries, three
and a second year Blacktoberfest Märzen-style beer featuring ten Black-owned breweries on which they all collaborated. The beer
While many beer festivals
The idea for the Durham
This approach resulted in
WE WANTED TO CREATE A TRADITION AND VENUE THAT WOULD ALLOW PEOPLE OF ALL CULTURES TO ENJOY FOOD AND BEER THAT WAS CREATED IN FULL OR IN PART BY BLACK PEOPLE . -MIKE POTTER, FOUNDER OF BLACK BREW CULTURE a successful event that also
industry and think this is a good
In addition to an expanded
focus of the industry past a
allowed Black-owned breweries
and healthy way to promote
festival in 2022, there are plans
mere conversation. “Many of
the opportunity to showcase
it. In collaboration, doors open
for a documentary. The film
us are coming to the realization
some of their year-round beer
up that were otherwise closed,
offerings. Local favorites Dirtbag
and people get to meet each
by AfterMash Productions will
other where they are and create
conversation. The narrative has to
that led to the emergence of
shift to one of ownership, equity
Also new for this year is the
the Blacktoberfest beer festival
and leverage, and I think we are
out their “Don Dada” Cardamom
addition of a new city, Atlanta,
and emphasize the importance
primed to make an even bigger
Stout, which is described by the
Georgia. The event will be held
impact in 2022”
brewery as “an old fashioned in
at the new Hippin’ Hops brewery
collaboration in the brewing
a beer,” were featured along with
in Stone Mountain, who’s owner
beers from the other eighteen
Clarence Boston is a Reidsville
native and is slated to open his
“Jalapeño Business”, and Rocky Mount’s Spaceway Brewing rolled
fourth location in Charlotte later
this year. The festival features
importance in the craft beer
community as a whole supporting
Comforts, Sweet Water Brewing
one another. The fest is expanding
and Atlantucky Brewery owned
on 2021’s collaborations with Run
by hip-hop artists Nappy Roots.
that the diversity and inclusion the
For more information or to become a sponsor, check out
Potter hopes to shift the
541 NW Center St., Mount Olive, NC
The Jewels, Ponysaurus Brewery and Dirtbag Ales, and are inviting local and state-wide breweries
The 2021 festival also featured
to partner with Black-owned
a food and vendors section called
breweries and brewers around
Black Vegan Street which was
the country to do collaborations
fueled by the collaboration beer
for the festival. “We know how important diversity is in our
Brewing Co., and Ponysauraus Brewery,
vegan fare. Over 40 traditional vendors were in attendance, and that number is expected to reach 70 for this year’s event. “Blacktoberfest is bigger than beer. It’s about community and creativity and providing equitable opportunities”, says Potter.
R & R Brewing
BREWERY & TAPROOM
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Hop Into Spring A Celebration of NC Spring Beer & Events B Y S HANNON T AYLOR
From locally malted grains to expertly crafted lagers
June 21st. Hop Into Spring is an opportunity for #NCBeer
and ales, North Carolina is internationally recognized for
breweries, retailers, and communities across the state to
craft beer excellence. With over 380 licensed breweries,
showcase spring beer releases and events designed to
North Carolina’s craft beer industry contributes more than
highlight the flavors of spring!
$2.7B to the state’s economy, and has been instrumental
There’s no finer way to enjoy the sunshine of a Carolina
in revitalizing many of our small towns and communities
spring day than with a locally crafted NC beer. So grab your
throughout the state.
favorite friend (two legs or four!) and head to your local
The NC Craft Brewers Guild is delighted to present
brewery taproom, restaurant, or retailer to experience the
the inaugural "Hop Into Spring" celebration, March 21st -
flavors of spring as you explore the State of Southern Beer!
Open 7 days a week!
Located at the Rocky Mount Mills
Locally owned and operated! We carry a variety of craft beer and cider from all over, featuring a local North Carolina section. Come build your own 6 pack or grab a bottle of wine today! Be sure to try one of our 14 rotating taps, house wine or cider. Find us on Facebook at Goat Island Bottle Shop or give us a call at 252-545-6521
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PICK YOUR 6 EYE ON THE LAGER By Lewis Smith
Who doesn’t love a good comeback story?
gleaned from these movies about maintaining a positive attitude in
As we considered Carolina BrewScene’s big return, the topic of
the face of adversity, always being kind, and letting nothing stop you.
comebacks floated through the room, and we got talking about the
Also, training montages, running up library steps really fast, and did
Rocky movies, because of course we did. Being a huge Rocky fan,
I mention punching? There’s a lot, and all of it seemed ripe for the
this seemed like as natural a premise for the return of Pick Your Six
return of Pick Your Six.
as anything else.
So touch gloves and come out fighting—we’re gonna run the
For the uninitiated, Rocky is the heartwarming story of a goodnatured fighter from the mean streets of Philadelphia who punches
Rocky series. Six beers, six movies, with all the fun and frenzy you’ve come to expect.
things really hard. In between, he raises turtles and finds love and friendship, which he doesn’t punch. There are many lessons to be
You won’t eat lightning and crap thunder by the end of it, but why would you want to?
THE MOVIE: ROCKY In which we are introduced to Rocky Balboa, a club fighter moonlighting as the world’s nicest leg-breaker because he can’t sing or dance. In between, he romances his best friend’s sister and is generally affable, when all of a sudden he gets the chance of a lifetime when world champion Apollo Creed picks his name at random. With no illusions about winning, Rocky resolves to prove his worth by going this distance—the only thing on the line for him is the self-respect that comes with standing toe-to-toe with the best in the world. This is the one that starts it all, and all the components are what makes these movies work is here—larger than life opponent, training montages, poignant
punching meat, eating raw eggs, “gonna fly now” Yeah— this is a great movie and you should watch it.
THE BEER: Vito Italian Pilsner (Ghost Harbor Brewing Company, Elizabeth City NC) My first chance to try one of Ghost Harbor’s offerings, and the can art clinched it—I mean, it has brass knuckles on the can label. I know a sign when I see one. I’ve never had an Italian Pilsner, but it’s a fantastic attenuated take on the original pilsner. Everything is dialed up higher than usual, but not unpleasantly so—the crispness is almost sharp, with a golden middle, and a dry finish. This was an extremely crushable beer and I quite liked it. Ghost Harbor started us off right with this one.
THE MOVIE: ROCKY II
THE BEER: Chocolate Volcano Dessert Stout (Heavy Seas Beer, Baltimore MD)
So, Rocky stood toe
In honor of Apollo Creed, I decided to go
to toe with the champ,
with this choice from Heavy Seas. This may
seem a spurious correlation, but Apollo
really set him off, and
had nicknames like “The King of Sting” and
“The Count of Monte Fisto,” so I feel
Rocky deals with soap opera
like “Chocolate Volcano” is relatively benign by comparison.
As usual, the beer is better than
troubles, childbirth, plot-
my jokes. It starts with a strong hit
convenient comas, etc.)
of chocolate richness, evens out to a
until he gets serious about
roasty middle, and finishes light and
fighting Creed again, and
sweet in a way that belies its 9%
by “serious,” I mean he
ABV. Heavy Seas is always reliable
chases a chicken around.
with this style of beer (I’ve never
I guess in the next movie,
had a bad stout from them) and
Colonel Sanders better
that winning streak continues with
watch the hell out.
this beer. It’s rad.
THE MOVIE: ROCKY III Well into a decent title reign, things are going well for Rocky— he’s got cool cars, nice suits, guest-starring on the Muppet Show, beating up Hulk Hogan— really living the dream. But there’s something he didn’t count on: a
mohawk-wearing Clubber Lang absolutely trucking him and taking
THE BEER: Gourd Rocker Pumpkin Stout (Double Barley Brewing, Smithfield NC) While one might make the argument that Clubber is the true Chocolate Volcano, I did that already, and so went with this seasonal favorite from the great folks at Double Barley. Gourd Rocker is an enduring favorite of mine—dark and heavy, with a sweet start, a lovely spicy middle, and a
his belt by punching him hard in his
sweet finish that doesn’t hit you
complacency, among other places.
all at once, but does hit you. I
training from Apollo to get back
Rocker to people who turn up their
his edge and regain the belt from
nose at pumpkin beers as a concept
Clubber, by using a strategy of “Rocky gets punched in the head a lot
because the flavor profile defeats
until Mr. T gets tired,” a plan that is cunning in its simplicity. In the end,
the common assumptions about
the real winner is Survior, because decades later, “Eye of the Tiger” is
this kind of beer, and being Double
still pretty popular on karaoke nights.
Barley, they do it well.
THE MOVIE: ROCKY IV
THE BEER: Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch Russian Imperial Stout (Lost Colony Brewery, Manteo NC)
Rocky saves Christmas and wins the Cold War. With punching.
Because, y’see it’s a Russian
OK, you need more? Well, there’s a robot girlfriend,
James Brown, a death in the ring, Rocky gets his Jedi
Rather than fill this part with a
on by lifting rocks and
lot of Monty Python & The Holy
Grail references, let’s talk about
this mighty discovery from our
back to back training
friends in Manteo. It starts off rich,
with a nice chocolaty flavor in the
the fate of the world
middle to balance a heavy note
is literally at stake—you
of malt, then finishes very earthy
can’t stop at one—
and nutty. It feels heavy, but not
and a Big Speech to
wrap it all up that
It’s a good steady drinking
I’m sure would be
stout. Lost Colony has been doing
very inspiring if only
fantastic beers for a long time
you could work out
now and I’m delighted for the
what the hell he was
opportunity to show them some
love in Pick Your Six.
THE MOVIE: ROCKY V After winning the entire Cold War in the last movie, it would be hard to go bigger than that unless Rocky squared off with Superman in a boxing match overseen by aliens. Unfortunately, Muhammad Ali had
Before we get started—yes, I chose this beer
already done that 12 years ago (it’s true, look it up!) and so the choice
for this slot entirely based on the title. If you’re
was made to bring everything back to reality with a bit of a hollow thud.
new, Pick Your Six runs almost entirely on
these tenuous thematic connections. But it also led me to a delightful
apparently blocking punches with
beer from Fortnight. I’d never
your face is bad for your brain long
had an Imperial Golden Ale,
term, and so tries to manage a hot
but it’s really good—It starts
young boxing prospect to the title,
hella savory, has this lovely
only he’s kind of a jerk, and thus
bright gold with a hint of crisp
needs to be straightened out. With
in the middle, and finishes
punching, of course.
very sweet. A delightful beer gets
with the force of a stout, but
punched out. If that’s a thing you
the lightness of an ale. Quite
wanted to see, they, uh. . . sure did that.
an intriguing discovery, and a
This is the movie everyone pretends
good bit of business from our
never happened, and with good reason.
THE BEER: I Remember Nothing Imperial Golden Ale (Fortnight Brewing Company, Cary NC)
pals at Fortnight.
THE MOVIE: ROCKY BALBOA
THE BEER: Never Sunny New England IPA (Revelry Brewing Company, Charleston SC)
16 years after that sequel everyone politely disavowed, an older Rocky gets it in his head to try one last match
For all its charms, Rocky Balboa paints a very stark (yet
as he tries to grapple with relevance in the last round of
not bleak) picture of Philadelphia, and as a way of alluding
his life and make peace with his legacy. While the last
to the title of a TV show I quite enjoy, in comes this beer
movie tried to reset things back to the more authentic
grittiness of the first movie, it
I’ve never been huge on NEIPAs—the hype has often
failed to do that. This one gets
over-promised and under-delivered for me—but this was
it right—it’s gritty, honest, a little
actually a fantastic beer with an excellent
sad, and a lot hopeful. It plays
balance that addressed a lot of my problems
it fairly straight—Rocky is old
with IPAs in general, that the pine taste is
and broken down and has no
so heavy they’re a bit of a struggle to get
advantage left to him apart
through. Never Sunny counterweights this
from punching really hard
with a splash of citrus that balances the
(that’s not a joke—that’s actually
pine out perfectly—you barely taste it, and
their strategy) so it’s not a big
it finishes dry and a little sweet. It ended
victory, but a moral one. Again.
up being a delightful and refreshing beer,
As a final chapter (with an asterisk) it works pretty darn perfectly.
and I’m eager to explore more from this brewery, as they really seem to know their stuff.
Elizabeth City set to become
Paul Nielsen/The Daily Advance
hen the third craft
Ghost Harbor opened in 2017 and has
brewery opens in
since expanded to a bigger taproom across
Visit Elizabeth City Executive Director
Elizabeth City in
from its original location in historic Pailin’s
Corrina Ruffieux said having three breweries
the coming weeks
Alley. Ghost Harbor’s former taproom now
will increase overnight stays in the city.
tourism officials will begin marketing the city as a craft beer destination.
houses the brewery’s manufacturing facility.
and other events.
Seven Sounds opened in December and
have a craft brewery trail,” Ruffieux said.
AVDET Brewing Company, which is short
the 12,000-square-foot taproom, event
“People absolutely travel for food and drink
for a military “aviation detachment, will join
venue and brewing system is located along
experiences. The great thing about that is it is
the city’s other two craft breweries — Ghost
the Pasquotank River.
repeatable. If they have a great time they will
Harbor Brewing and Seven Sound Brewing —
The brewery's 6,000-square-foot first
when it opens its taproom and manufacturing
floor features the taproom and the brewing
Mark and Jennifer Napolitano have strong
facility at 407 McArthur Drive, which is just
system while the second floor, also around
ties to the U.S. Coast Guard — thus the name
over a mile from the city’s waterfront.
6,000 square feet, is an event venue that can
AVDET Brewing Company. The Coast Guard
accommodate 280 people. The brewery has
base in Elizabeth City is also one of the busiest
already hosted several wedding receptions
in the U.S. Coast Guard.
Ghost Harbor and Seven Sounds are both located downtown near the waterfront.
(Right) Seven Sounds Brewery Co. co-owner Dean Schann shows off the brewery’s brew house in November 2021. Located in the former Hurdle Hardware Building on Water Street, Seven Sounds Brewing Co. put three different craft beers into production on Nov. 9 and several more were started in anticipation of the brewery’s mid-to-late December opening. Schann and his partners developed the idea for the $3.5 million brewery project in 2016. (Left) Mark Napolitano poses next to the taps in the new brewery, AVDET Brewing Company, he and his wife Jennifer are opening in Elizabeth City. AVDET — which takes its name from the Napolitanos’ strong ties to the U.S. Coast Guard—will have a production system that is capable of producing 450 barrels of craft beer a year. Mark Napolitano has been home brewing beer since 1994 and will be the brewery’s head brewer.
Chris Day/The Daily Advance
PEOPLE ABSOLUTELY TRAVEL FOR FOOD AND DRINK EXPERIENCES. THE GREAT THING ABOUT THAT IS IT IS REPEATABLE. IF THEY HAVE A GREAT TIME THEY WILL COME BACK.
The couple began renovation work around the first of November. Mark, who’s been in the Coast Guard for 28 years, said on April 26 that one beer was in the fermentor and a second was scheduled for the next day. AVDET will have a production system that is capable of producing 450 barrels of craft beer a year. Mark Napolitano has been home brewing beer since 1994 and will be the
- CORRINA RUFFIEUX, ELIZABETH CITY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
brewery’s head brewer. “We are going to brew all types of beer,” he said. Ghost Harbor’s expansion allowed the brewery to increase the size of its taproom and double its craft beer production. Ghost Harbor was producing 400 barrels of craft beer a year but that has now doubled production to around 800 barrels annually.
Seven Sounds is located in the former Hurdle Hardware Building on Water Street along the Pasquotank River.
“It’s been a long project since then.” Lancaster, who is now a member of the Master Brewers Association, attended
Renovation work on the $3.5 million
a brewing course at Appalachian State
project to create what was then Elizabeth
University to help prepare for brewing larger
City's second craft brewery started over two
batches of beer.
years before they poured their first beer.
“The course at App State was very intensive
The original plan for Ghost Harbor was to
“It’s been a long process, but we are finally
because it was heavy in biochemistry and the
open small and grow as demand increased.
serving beer,” said Dean Schaan, one of four
biology of yeast,” Lancaster said. “Brewing
Owner Thomas Reese said that business has
partners in the project, when the brewery
beer is always a learning process and we are
been steady since the doors first opened in
Seven Sounds brewer Josh Lancaster of
Schaan hopes Seven Sounds will produce
“We have some core beers and some
Elizabeth City was a long-time and award-
500 barrels, or 15,500 gallons, of craft beer in
popular beers that I always try to keep on,”
winning craft beer home brewer who left the
the first year. Future plans call for distributing
Reese said. “One of our big things is keeping
banking business to brew beer. Lancaster first
beer to restaurants and bars and retail
things new. Our goal is to have a new beer
thought about opening his own small craft
every two weeks and I would like to have a
brewery before being approached by Schaan
Seven Sounds also features an outside
new beer every week. It’s also a plus for me
and Paul Robinson, who is another partner in
beer garden on the ground level that will serve
and the new assistant brewer because it keeps
as a second bar. A rooftop deck on the second
“That was five years ago,” Lancaster said.
floor also offers panoramic views of the river.
BEST LOCAL BAR & BEST KARAOKE
Pure & Simple
THE GARAGE • BREWERY WINE • SPIRITS • JAMES CITY
Based in Mooresville, North Carolina
Crisp, Refreshing All Natural Root Beer
1209 US HWY 70 East • 252 28 86077 www.facebook.com/thegaragenewbern
Available throughout North Carolina
FIRST LEGAL DISTILLERY IN CRAVEN C UNTY
1129 Irvin Garrish Highway Ocracoke Island Outer Banks NC 27960 (252) 928-2337
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The Smart, Sustainable, and Simple way to handle your craft beers.
1014 Pollock St. • New Bern, NC
541.461.5000 // @PakTech // Paktech-opi.com
BREWERY & TAP ROOM
6404 AMSTERDAM WAY #100 WILMINGTON NC 28405
PUB & ARCADE 7211 MARKET STREET WILMINGTON NC 28411
TO KEG TO KEG
at 10 psi. This is all done at
One side note about cleaning:
serving temperature, which is
You will have to completely
about 36 - 40oF. You can start
disassemble the keg to get a
drinking your homebrew after
good cleaning. Start to finish
you reduce to serving pressure after the 24hrs., but we have found it’s better to wait one week after kegging. Hopefully this article gave you some insight into kegging
is still only about 15 min. once you get the hang of it. That’s a lot less time than cleaning 50+ bottles! Beer lines will have to be cleaned periodically as well
and to understand it’s not
to ensure no bacteria ruins the
as hard as you might have
taste of your wonderful brew.
thought. Trust us……once you
We typically do this when we
get into kegging, there’s no
finish a keg and combine that
going back. You won’t regret it!
with the cleaning of the keg.
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